County Cricket 2009 May 24, 2009

An impressive start heading into World Twenty20

It’s Friday night and I’m knackered

It’s Friday night and I’m knackered. After playing on Tuesday for Leicestershire against Nottingham, travelling here to just outside of Oxford to join the training camp for the World Twenty20 and training hard the last couple of days, the last thing I could think of is a Friday night out on the juice; well not quite, I could actually go a couple, but they won’t be good for me, so I’ll give them a miss.

Tuesday’s match result did not matter for us in terms of progressing in the FPT competition. We were already out of contention for the semis. Of course we were out there to win, and to do our best to win but it was also a chance to change the team up a little and give a couple of guys a game in either different positions or just be playing. This was my first game back after getting hit in the ribs 10 days ago. I had had a really good bowl in the nets the previous day, which was my first bowl back, and I was surprised at how good I felt and how pain free I was while bowling; that doesn’t happen very often!! Straightaway I felt good at the crease and had that sometimes illusive rhythm. I passed myself fit for next day’s game and was really looking forward to getting back out and playing.

Weather was not forecasted great for the game and it kept its promise. Rain came in a couple of times and eventually finished Notts’ innings at about the 36 over mark. The rain kept coming in and only left time for a ten-over chase, and we were set 77 for a win. We didn’t quite get there after losing a couple of wickets close together in the middle of the chase. It wasn’t to be today and there was that too familiar feeling of a loss.

I bowled 6.3 overs for around 30 which I was reasonably happy with. My first two overs I felt really good, bowled well and tied them down nicely. My next two I tried to bowl a little too fast, I was just so excited to be back out on the park, fit, and feeling good and I got a little carried away. I pulled it back in the last two overs of my spell and picked up a wicket in a maiden over and then my next only went for one. A good finish to my first match and spell back and I could now head off to this training camp with confidence that I am both fit and feeling good with my bowling.

Our training base is at a ground called Wormsley, it’s the late Sir John Paul Getty’s ex-residence. He decided he wanted a cricket ground in his premises, so he built one. It’s a really beautiful ground with great on and off-field facilities and it’s been a treat to train and play here. I’ll add some photos tomorrow hopefully....

Since I joined up we haven’t been in the nets, we’ve been out in the middle going through game situations with proper fields, full intensity bowling and some very, very big hits. The boys have obviously been training hard back in New Zealand before getting here, and in the couple of days they got here before I joined up. It has been an impressive start to the World Twenty20 campaign.

Tomorrow will be another tough day with morning and afternoon sessions out in the middle. I was tired after this afternoon session but after a swim back at the hotel and a good meal I am looking forward to getting back out there and training hard.

We played a game yesterday afternoon as part of our preparation. We played against the New Zealand Cricket Club; New Zealanders living in London who ‘wander’ around the south-east playing around 20 fixtures a year. They were never going to be strong opponents but it was still good match practice none the less. Guppy shone in this match scoring a spectacular 101 off 53 balls with some massive hits included; a treat to watch. I was pretty happy with four overs for 18 and picking up a cheeky wicket too.

So, onwards we head towards the World Cup. Franky joined us today from Gloucestershire and a couple of the IPL boys turn up tomorrow. It’ll be good to get everyone here and firing over the next few days.

Fast bowler Iain O'Brien played 22 Tests for New Zealand in the second half of the 2000s