Have an enjoyable but safe Bermuda Day
The weather spoilt our four-day game against the touring New Zealanders but we ultimately got on the park after losing the first day and had an enjoyable match.
It was a nice experience to play against the Test world champions. While we can’t control the weather — and to be fair this English summer has been pretty dry — as a group and as a team, we got a lot out of it.
The New Zealanders made 343 for three declared, with five batters retiring not out with fifties, and we responded with 247 all out before their openers got them to 40 without loss in the only play possible in the second innings, as the final day was washed out.
It was nice to get a couple of wickets and contribute to the team, finishing with two for 63 from 17 overs. I just tried to go about things the way I have been for the past couple of weeks. On a pretty flattish wicket, it was rewarding to pick up two wickets in that fashion. On another day, it probably could have been a couple more, but those things happen and I was really pleased.
It was the type of game where we could get a few people back who had not been involved recently in our County Championship matches. A few guys came in to play as batters and got some game time before potentially being involved in the Vitality Blast, which starts today [Thursday]. So, yeah, it was nice to be involved and get to bat at the end of our innings against some top bowling.
We have three matches coming up in four days. We had a practice match against Hampshire on Tuesday that went well. It’s just about getting your feet wet, really, and creating scenarios — not always about results, just probably getting overs in and getting that match intensity back. Obviously, the intensity goes up from four-day cricket. We came away with the victory against some good opposition, and I picked up a couple of wickets with the new ball, which is part of our strategy for the powerplay. Everyone’s pretty much ready. There was another game yesterday, which I didn’t play to get others involved.
We got some volume work in and plan to go hard today against Glamorgan in our home opener in the South Group. Then we have Gloucestershire at Bristol tomorrow and Kent Spitfires back at Hove on Sunday.
It’s hard to not get yourself up and about for T20. We lost a couple of players, but there are players that have also come in such as Australian Josh Phillippe and Mohammad Rizwan, who is back from family bereavement. We’re also looking forward to a new captain in Ravi Bopara, who is replacing Luke Wright. He seems very positive and is looking forward to the campaign as well, as is everyone else. The only thing we can do is just take it one game at a time, look to build some momentum early and get ourselves into a quarter-final and another finals day.
In the back of my mind is the prospect of putting myself in the shop window to be picked up as a wild card for The Hundred. My main aim, though, is to put in performances for Sussex Sharks and help Sussex win games — that’s the most important thing. And if you’re doing those sorts of things, you will definitely get noticed. So I’m not worrying about The Hundred day in, day out; just worrying about what’s in front of me — and that’s one game at a time for the Sharks. If I put in a couple of performances, I definitely would have a few of the selectors or the analysts around the country looking, but it’s not something I think about all the time or something I worry about too much. Just worrying about putting in performances at Sussex.
Finally, I appreciate this is a big weekend for everyone back home — Bermuda Day. Every now and then I have a thought about it, but it’s been a few years. The last one I think I saw was in 2019 when I managed to have a little break and I was able to come home. But before then, I couldn’t tell you the last time I was able to be home for one. But those are the sacrifices you make to get where you are. I just hope everyone has an enjoyable but safe holiday, and hopefully I can put in a performance on Friday night during the celebrations.