Northantscricket.com caught All-rounder James Middlebrook as he quickly nipped into the County Ground after arriving back from the sun of Barbados to catch a flight straight to the heat of Abu Dhabi.
James was picked to represent the MCC in the traditional season opening fixture against the Champion County Warwickshire in Abu Dhabi, but beforehand the Spinner had to ‘endure’ an eight day stay in Barbados.
James said of the tour, “Yeah it was a great tour, short and sweet for myself, but the lads are getting a lot out of it. A bit of sun on the back helps. Getting match practice is always a bonus for any cricketer or any sportsman. We can do as much training indoors or the gym, but getting a 30-40 minutes in the middle is a lot better than playing/generally knocking about in the Indoor Centre. Definitely a worthwhile trip, and the lads are bonding well.
As for performance in Barbados, James managed to take a couple of wickets in one over during the opening friendly match against Derbyshire, and the Yorkshireman talked further about the benefits of the pre-season for himself.
“It’s always nice to take wickets, no matter if it’s a pre season tour friendly or a final, I always want to take as many wickets as possible. I thought I might have had three, but the umpire decided against the 3rd. Yeah it was a good fight back by the boys, obviously we lost our t20 matches and didn’t bowl very well at the front of the innings, but we chatted about that after and have moved on.”
Back in Northampton for one day, before the all-rounder flew off to Abu Dhabi on Tuesday evening, James was clearly excited about the trip, when he said, “It’s always a privilege playing for the MCC, and a nice honour for myself and for the club, getting a bit of recognition playing for the MCC, and hopefully testing my self against the best team in the country in four day cricket. I’m delighted to be going out and looking forward to it, and hopefully I play well and help the MCC in a tough and challenging encounter against Warwickshire in Abu Dhabi.”
Whilst some County Cricketers have had to stay in the cold of England’s winter, James was lucky to go on the Barbados trip and be selected for the MCC opener, and those trips will help James hit the ground running in 2013.
“I think the opening game might be a little bit different after seeing the weather from a far, not been great weather here, so obviously it will be a little bit different in Cardiff. Can’t imagine its been 30 degrees there for a while, so it will hopefully put us in good stead for match practice and bit of batting and bowling. Again I don’t think the opening game will be dry and dusty like in Abu Dhabi.”