Jamie Overton back from two-week stint at ECB Pace Programme

Jamie Overton celebrating the fall of a Warwickshire wicket

By Richard Walsh

Jamie Overton is back in this country and preparing hard for a new season with Somerset after spending some time in South Africa with the ECB Pace Programme.

The North Devon pace bowler and Devon youth system graduate had his 2017 season disrupted by a back injury, which has prompted a chance to his bowling action/

Jamie Overton appealsTwo weeks in South Africa with ECB coaches have allowed Overton a real-time chance to get his new action working smoothly.

Overton feels it has been time well spent.

“It was nice to spend two weeks in the sun because it gave me the chance to get back to bowling,” he said when we spoke to him this morning. “It was really good and I’m more than ready to get back out on the grass here now!

“There’s quite a lot of experience in that group with the likes of Reece Topley and Tom Helm who have both played quite a lot of cricket for the Lions and obviously Reece has played for England too.

“It’s always good to talk to them and get as much information off them as possible and hopefully I can use that information back here at Taunton.”

By the sound of it Jamie was certainly put through his paces.

“I got up to 40 overs in the second week,” he said.

“That was obviously a big step up from what I’ve been doing recently and with the start of the new season not that far off it’s good that I’m increasing that workload. 

“By the last few days over there I was coming in at full tilt from a full run up, so we are getting there. It’ll just need a little bit more work because I’m still getting used to my new action but I’m really pleased with where we are at the moment. 

“Bowling on the grass is obviously much better than bowling indoors and hopefully it will help me to get ready for the start of the season.”

The 23 year old had a great start to the 2017 season, claiming 12 wickets at an average of 26 in the five Specsavers County Championship matches in which he featured. 

On the strength of his success he was selected to play for the England Lions against South Africa at Canterbury in late June, during where he sustained a back injury that ended his season prematurely.

How is his back feeling now?

“The back feels absolutely fine and the change of action is feeling really good,” he said.

“Everything seems to be coming along quite nicely and I’m really looking forward to this year. The winter goes so quickly. I feel like I haven’t stopped since July.

“I’ve been getting ready for 2018 since then and hopefully that hard work will pay off and I can have an injury free summer.”

What does he think of the marquee that’s been constructed on the outfield here at the Cooper Associates County Ground?

“It looks good,” he said. “I’ve used one up at Loughborough a couple of times, so I know what to expect but I can’t wait to get out there and give it a go.

“It’s something totally different to what we’re used to at this time of year, but it can only be a good thing in helping to get us used to English conditions in time for the start of the season. Hopefully it can help us start with a bang!”

The players were given last week off but Jamie was training hard on Wednesday and Friday as he explained: “I’m just trying to keep my loads up so that I don’t have a spike when I’m bowling and get injured.

“They’ve found out that if you have a week or two off and then have that spike, you’re more likely to get injured three or four weeks down the line. I’m just trying to keep my loads up to stop getting injured again.

“I had a couple of days off this week when I got back from South Africa so I was back in on Wednesday to bowl a few spells and do some gym work and then bowled again on Friday and did some more gym work to keep my body ticking over and getting my power levels up before the start of the season.

“It’s going to be good to see most of the lads back here again next week and I can’t wait to get out there and start bowling at them.”