Jamie Overton looking forward to bending his back in the sun

Jamie Overton - cranking up for the season ahead. Photo: www.ppauk.con

By RICHARD WALSH

SOMERSET fast bowler Jamie Overton has arrived in South African to join the England Cricket Pace Programme’s two-week training camp.

Overton will be based at the High Performance Institute for Sport in Potchefstroom.

Before he set off from a chill Taunton the former Academy youngster said: ‘I’m really looking forward to bowling outside because bowling indoors just isn’t the same.

‘Unfortunately in the winter in England there isn’t much else you can do so to be able to get outdoors at this time of the year is great.

‘There’s a good group going over there with Mark Wood probably being the most well known and I’m delighted to be involved.’

‘I’m looking forward to working with and learning from Kevin Shine (ex-Somerset head coach and now ECB lead bowling coach) and Mark Wood. Hopefully I’ll be able to gain a little more knowledge and then use that in the summer.’

Overton is now back in full training after recovering from a stress fracture in his back.

‘The back’s all healed now and I’ve not been feeling any pain or discomfort at all and the rehab has all gone really smoothly,’ he said.

I was out for quite a long time and it was really frustrating. It’s just one of those things though.Lewis Gregory - www.ppauk.con

‘Most fast bowlers pick up injuries here and there but now I’m back and I just can’t wait for the summer.

‘I’ll be increasing my workload whilst I’m out there and the ECB have been in regular contact with the staff here at Somerset so they know exactly what I’ve been doing and what I can do.’

He went on: ‘There’s a lot of young talent coming through here at the moment and in addition to Jack Leach and Craig (Overton) who are off to Sri Lanka with the Lions in early February there’s Lewis Gregory, Dom Bess and Tom Abell to name just a few and they’re all outstanding talents.

‘If we can all stay together and perform like we did last year then you never know what could happen.

‘Let’s just say that things are looking pretty promising down here at the moment.’

Overton is also looking forward to playing under the captaincy of Tom Abell, who he grew up with in the Academy.

‘Tom is a top player and he wears his heart on his sleeve every time that he walks out on to the pitch.

Everybody wants to play for him because he is that sort of person. It’s going to be a really exciting year with Chris Rogers coming back as well.

‘He will be able to help reinforce the foundations that we put in place last year and I’m confident that we’ll have a good season.’ 

The former North Devon player added: ‘We’ve got a really strong squad this year, possibly the strongest since I’ve been here and there will be a lot of competition for places.

‘That can only be a good thing and hopefully it can drive us on to that elusive title.’