Barrow keen to pile up the runs for Devon and Exeter
FORMER Somerset cricketer Alex Barrow is aiming for a fresh start with Exeter and Devon this season as he looks to get back into the professional game.
Barrow played Premier Division cricket for Exeter last season, most of which he spent out of first team favour at Somerset, who decided not to renew his contract.
After two months in South Africa during the winter, where he worked with specialist batting coaches, Barrow is back with a new focus for 2017.
Barrow has just taken over from former Somerset team-mate Alfie Thomas as player-coach at Exeter – the South African’s other coaching commitments made it impossible for him to continue for a second season – and has been registered with Devon for Minor Counties Cricket this season.
Barrow said the Somerset chapter of his career is in the past now and his spell in South Africa is the start of a new one.
With his batting honed at the Gary Kirsten Performance Academy in Cape Town, Barrow is looking to pile up the runs this summer for Exeter and Devon and make First Class counties take notice.
“I could have gone to New Zealand for another winter to play club cricket, but going to Cape Town was an investment in my future,” said the 24-year-old keeper-batter.
“I didn’t need to play in matches, what I needed was to work on my technique, get my confidence back and start enjoying cricket again.
“When you can see something is coming to and end, which was the case for me at Somerset last season, you don’t enjoy it and can get down about it.
“I took a break from cricket for a few months and played some rugby for Taunton, which reminded me there is a life outside cricket.
“From the age of around 12 cricket has been the only thing that really mattered to me.
“My time in South Africa has given me the hunger for cricket again and I want to score runs wherever I am playing.
“If you are scoring runs at whatever level you should get noticed by the counties.
“I will be playing for Exeter on Saturdays and hope to play county 2nd XI cricket in the week. And I am looking forward to playing for Devon when I can.”
Barrow has set no targets for getting back into the First Class game, but has irons in the fire.
“I have been asked to spend time with a county at the end of the month and hope to show them what I am about,” said Barrow.
“There are other counties I have been in touch with and hope to get some other opportunities.
“I haven’t said to myself I have to find another county this year, although I hope I will.
“You can’t keep going for ever though and one thing I have learned since leaving Somerset is there is a life away from cricket.”
Barrow knows the set up at Exeter well having played regularly for the club since the start of the 2015 season.
Taking over from Thomas as player-coach is a win-win situation as far as Barrow and the club are concerned.
“Exeter are an ambitious club who want to win the Premier Division – and I want to help them,” said Barrow.
“It is a chance for me to gain more coaching experience, which is something I want to do.”
Glenn Lammonby, the director of cricket at Exeter, said Barrow can play a key role at the County Ground this season.
“Alex brings a professional outlook to the game, but after two years with us knows what we are all about and what we need to work on,” said Lammonby.
“We have some of the best training facilities in Devon now after last season’s redevelopment at the ground and with the right person running our coaching are well placed to improve our league performances.”