DAVID HARRISON SAYS: We'll prove the critics wrong
2:20pm Friday 8th April 2011 in David Harrison
I THINK everyone at Glamorgan Cricket Club is looking forward to the first game of the season which starts today.
It’s been a winter of turmoil both on and off the field with sudden departures shocking us all at the club. It’s never nice to see people lose their jobs, especially when they are good friends.
Seeing Matthew Maynard and Jamie Dalrymple leave was disappointing as they were both people I had much respect for.
It was also sad to see Tom Maynard leave for Surrey as he became a good friend of mine and I believe he is destined for a big future in the game.
However, as professionals you have to move on and we welcomed the arrival of our new captain Alviro Petersen to the club in early January.
Alviro left sunny Johannesburg for a cold and wet weekend in Cardiff! He addressed the players individually and as a team and I was immediately impressed with his attitude and determined personality.
It was left to our remaining coaches Steve Watkin and Richard Almond to steady the ship through the winter nets along with our fitness guru Rob Ahmun.
With most of the players staying at home this winter it was a difficult job to manage the players during practice sessions with only two coaches available.
But the mood in the camp perked up slightly when our new managing director of cricket Colin Metson announced a pre-season tour had been organised for early March!
It was a winter of mixed emotions for me personally. I got married on December 29 to Maxine.
Two weeks later I pulled up injured with what I though was a groin strain. It turned out to be a swollen hip which meant six weeks rest and I had to miss the tour to South Africa.
Things are progressing nicely now though and I’m looking forward to getting back to action as soon as I can.
Although there were a few departures last winter there have also been a few arrivals too. Graham Wagg joined at the end of last season and has the ability to swing the ball at pace and operates with a particularly aggressive attitude on the field. He is the type of cricketer I feel we need so that we can show people that although Glamorgan have had a tough winter, they should not be underestimated.
Stuart Walters, a right-handed batsman, joined from Surrey and will offer some real competition in the middle order.
We won’t have Mark Cosgrove for the majority of the season but the big fella returns for Twenty20 in late May.
It was also great to see James ‘Bones’ Harris getting rewarded for a fantastic season with selection on the England Lions winter tour to the West Indies.
James is an outstanding talent and will lead the bowling attack for us again this year at the tender age of 20.
Of all the new arrivals this winter probably the most important is our new coach Matthew Mott.
Matthew has come highly recommended and recently led New South Wales in winning Australia’s version of our County Championship.
He has also worked with the best players in the world during a season in the Indian Premier League and hopefully will bring some fresh ideas to our one-day cricket.
The pre-season tour was the first chance for the lads to practice outdoors this season. The destination was Potchefstroom just outside Johannesburg.
The team stayed on the same university campus that Spain used for the football World Cup last summer.
The first game against Uganda was a bit of a no contest really but still good practice in game conditions. A two-day game was played against an academy team which was more competitive and gave the boys a better work out.
Last week’s game against Cardiff MCCU – who were captained by my brother Adam – was the real start of the season.
Seeing the boys in whites for the first time in three jumpers gave me mixed emotions – I was gutted not to be on the field but it made me more determined to do everything I can to get back to fitness.
It was good practice with the team spending some vital time in the middle with bat and ball.
A stand out performer in the game was Huw Waters, who bowled beautifully picking up nine wickets. He has always impressed me with his bowling accuracy and his attitude towards the game.
I am predicting Huw to be the surprise package this year and if he stays fit I think he will go on to have his best season in a Glamorgan shirt.
Reflecting on what has happened this winter at Glamorgan I know certain parts of the media have already written us off.
This a great opportunity for the players to once again prove people wrong.
I have seen what it means for the players to not only represent their county but also their country.
I have witnessed English and Australian players state how proud they are to represent this historic county and wear the Glamorgan shirt with pride.
We have a hugely talented squad of players at Glamorgan. If we can show the same desire and passion that I’ve witnessed during pre-season then I strongly believe Glamorgan will again surprise a few people this season.