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1st December 2010

Ben Stokes: An update from Oz

“The trip is going good and I know it goes without saying but it’s pretty hot!  Before we came out here we spent a week in Loughborough and they turned the heat inside the indoor school right up to the thirties during our training sessions so we had an idea of what to expect.

“ Training is going well, we’ve got a game coming up so we’re planning for that.  It’s much better working out here than staying and having to practice indoors in the UK.  We’re able to train outdoors in grass nets here every day. 

“Most of the training has been around match play situations and if you’re out, you’re out, so you have to really value your wicket, even though it’s only a training session.  We work from early morning until mid afternoon focusing on specialist skills and I get to work on both my batting and bowling.  We also have evening sessions booked in where we do fitness training and these are normally pretty intense.

“Before I came out I was really keen to improve my batting and bowling and while I’ve steadily been doing more bowling [after breaking my foot last year] I’ve also had the chance to work with Graham Thorpe, who is out here with us as batting coach.

“He’s been great to work with.  He’s got a lot of experience and has given me some pointers on my stance and my preparations for facing deliveries, which I’m now trying to take into my game.  They’re not huge changes to make, but small changes can make a big difference and I’m already fairly comfortable with them.  

“I was asked by the Sunshine Coast Scorchers to play in their invitational side against Queensland U19’s while we were in Brisbane and it was a good chance to get out in the middle and try out the techniques I’d been working on.  I top scored with 54 so was pretty pleased with that!

“We were based in quite a quiet area in town so there wasn’t a great deal to do when we did get spare time but we did go to Australia Zoo which was brilliant.  We’ve been staying in apartments instead of hotels which is actually quite good because we can just relax when we get back after training.  I’ve actually been taking on a fair bit of the cooking responsibilities [ can vouch for this as Ben was cooking when we spoke to him] and I’ve not been too bad – the others haven’t complained!

“We’re in Perth now and there’s a lot more to do here, our apartments are near the harbour and beach so we can head there if we get a few hours off.  We’ve got a training and match preparation day tomorrow ahead of our one day game against the Retravision Warriers on Friday and then we’ll get a day off on Saturday before we travel  for the next four day game, that starts on Tuesday against Western Australia XI, which I’ll hopefully get picked for.  It’s been a great experience so far and I’ll be in touch soon with another update!” will speak to Ben again just before the tour comes to an end so if you have any questions for him about the trip email them to before 10 December and we’ll ask him the best ones!