Racionzer Scholar Nick Farrar’s Blog
Nick Farrar was one of two beneficiaries of the Terry Racionzer Scholarship for 2012 / 13. The scholarship is designed to support winter training and playing opportunities in a challenging environment for young cricketers with international potential; and to accelerate their development as both cricketers and people. Cricket Scotland is greatly appreciative of Terry’s continuing support for the country’s best young cricketers
Nick is currently spending 3 months at the Darren LehmanAcademy in Adelaide, training and playing alongside other talented young players. Many of these players are contracted to English Counties and the DLCA is renowned for providing a challenging performance environment for young players seeking to forge a career in professional cricket.
January Blog #1 Training is now in full swing, and the weeks are flying by with our busy schedule. Every morning we either do a gym session or a running session and I can already see improvements in both of these areas. Last week we went to a local boxing gym and were put through a “normal” boxing fitness session, and it’s fair to say I was struggling to even lift my arms by the end.
This week we did the Snake Pit, which is a running course through very deep soft sand, the boys who have been at the academy before Christmas warned me about it - it defiantly lived up to all of the hype it was given.
I am now in the middle of my third game for my club, Southern Districts as a game lasts for two days, over consecutive Saturdays. Sadly, we lost my first two games, but after day one we are in a very dominant position against Sturt.
Sturt won the toss and elected to bat and we bowled very well up front to reduce them to 20 for 4. They made their way to 150 all out and this gave us around 20 overs at the end of the day to have a bat.
I was given the opportunity to open the batting in my first game for the B grade, I started well but sadly got out before the end of the session to leave us 50 for 1 at the end of day one.
I can already feel improvements in my game from a mix of skill sessions, centre wicket practices and net sessions, and playing alongside a group of guys with a lot of experience of cricket at a high standard, which is certainly helping and making me think more about my game.
Away from training I have been able to have a good look around Adelaide and I went to watch some of a Sheffield Shield three day game between South Australia and Victoria in which South Australia just scraped a win with one wicket remaining.
I hope everyone at home is well and enjoying the snow.
March Blog #2 I am nearing the end of my time in Adelaide with around two weeks left and it seems as though the last couple of months have flown by.
Training has continued at the same high intensity and quality during the week as ever, and the results in terms of improvement and finding some good form are on-going and increasing. I’m looking forward to returning and getting stuck in to the start of the Scottish cricket season with plenty of outdoor cricket under my belt – although it will be in slightly different conditions!
My parents made the long trip down to Australia to visit me for just over a week, however, I’m still unsure whether it was simply a visit or just an excuse to get away from what I hear has been a pretty cold British winter… (which is one thing I have certainly not missed) so either way I don’t blame them, it was very nice to see them.
Actually, having them here enabled me to travel around and see a lot more of Adelaide than I was able to before. We went to a wildlife park and saw all the Australian animals, and Mum even stroked a Koala. I was able to make the most of their visit and have plenty of nice meals as my cooking skills are certainly improving, but there has been a slight lack of variation. I also managed to get some golf in and on the last day of their time here and we went swimming with Dolphins in the ocean, which was certainly a highlight of my trip so far.
A lot of the guys have left the academy now in order to return home or fly else where to begin their pre-season tours. With fewer numbers I have been able to really focus on specific areas of improvement which I can already see progress in.
Last week an ex-baseball player, Darren Fidge came to give us a fielding and throwing session which was very useful. I am also looking forward to going to Sri Lanka for our Scotland U19 preseason tour and I have heard the boys back home have been working hard so will good to catch up with them.
My club Southern Districts have been very hospitable and I have enjoyed my time with them greatly. I have been playing for the B grade team and we are in a tight contest for the last position at Finals, it now all depends on what is the last league fixture of the summer. Fittingly, it will be my final game for them on Saturday, which if we win, and a couple of other results go our way, we will qualify, and I wish the boys all the best of luck for that.
Being able to come and train and play in Australia over the winter has given me the opportunity to really progress in many areas, and certainly in ways I would not have been able to achieve back at home and training indoors.
The competitiveness and standard of the cricket played here really tests you and from that you are able to train specifically in finding a way to overcome any issues in an efficient way.
I have been told it would be a bit cool here in March but with the next few days forecast at around 38 degrees, I can’t say that is happening and I am not going to complain at all… I shall make the most of it and prepare for a large change returning home. I hope everyone is well back in the UK and I look forward to catching up with everyone soon.