New Zealand Tour Blog #1
The Scottish U19 trio of Michael English and Gavin Main have been spending time in New Zealand as part of the Terry Racionzer Scholarship, along with Drumpellier's Abdul Sabri. We have the first instalment of their experiences so far.
After a long journey we eventually arrived on Thursday 3rd October at the Ben Williams Cricket Academy in Tauranga, a full 3 days after leaving home in Scotland.
All three of us have settled in quickly and got to know the other boys who are attending the academy very well. Shortly after arriving we enjoyed our first training session with Ben and then went to training at the clubs where we are based (Michael at Greerton, Gavin and Abdul at Te Puke).
We soon found out we would be playing against each other on that coming Saturday! Te Puke ended victorious with all three of us performing well on our debuts and impressing our respective teams (Michael scoring 52, Gavin bowling well for no return and Abdul also bowling well while picking up a few wickets).
Day-to-day life around the academy is enjoyable and a definite life lesson for all involved. We are all working hard on our skills and being put through our paces on morning runs, speed and agility sessions and Thursday visits to the infamous ‘Get Hard Park’.
Last week we were given the opportunity to train with the Northern Knights (the local first class side), and took advantage of their brilliant facilities in making use of their grass wickets and having the opportunity to watch quality players like Daniel Vettori and Daniel Flynn in action and seeing how they go about their training.
In our down time we are enjoying the local area and have visited the beach on rest days, and also visited Mount Maunganui and the local town which is a great place. Our second game for our clubs was even more successful, with Michael scoring 109* and Gavin and Abdul bowling well enough for us all to be picked in the Attril Cup for our respective districts in which we once again played against each other. This time Michael’s team finished victorious!
We are looking forward to the coming weeks, the challenges of training hard and playing a strong standard of cricket, and are excited about the prospect of returning home as better players.