Glo­be­trot­ter Ben en­joy­ing his ride on the T20 band­wagon

The Cricket Paper - - NEWS - By Richard Ed­wards

BENNY How­ell is head­ing to Bangladesh on Sun­day – for the first leg of what he hope will be a win­ter of dis­cov­ery.

The close sea­son has changed be­yond all recog­ni­tion since How­ell be­gan his ca­reer. And with an­other five months be­fore Gloucestershire re­sume bat­tle in Di­vi­sion Two of the County Cham­pi­onship, How­ell is look­ing to col­lect more stamps on his T20 pass­port be­fore head­ing back home.

It’s How­ell’s sec­ond stint in Bangladesh and, af­ter im­press­ing again for Gloucestershire in last sea­son’s T20 Blast, he’s hop­ing that a se­ries of de­cent per­for­mances on the Sub-con­ti­nent will open doors else­where.

The all-rounder spent the early part of his 2016 stint with the Khulna Ti­tans kick­ing his heels but af­ter be­ing given his op­por­tu­nity he took it with both hands. A re­peat per­for­mance this win­ter could see a number of other fran­chises across the globe sit up and take no­tice.

“It was dif­fer­ent from what I ex­pected,” he tells The Cricket Pa­per. “It was my first ex­pe­ri­ence of fran­chise cricket but af­ter two weeks of not re­ally play­ing any cricket and hav­ing to tell se­cu­rity if you did have plans to go out, hours in ad­vance, I got a bit of cabin fever. Af­ter start­ing to play, though, I loved it, the cricket was great.

“At the mo­ment I’m wait­ing on two teams in the T20 in New Zealand and if that doesn’t work out I’m head­ing to Aus­tralia as my fam­ily are over there any­way. Then I’ll look to get on the re­place­ment list for the Big Bash.”

Given that How­ell’s dad works a stone’s throw from the MCG, How­ell al­ready has plans in place for Box­ing Day, namely watch­ing Eng­land against the coun­try of his mum’s birth hope­fully con­tin­u­ing to keep their Ashes dream alive.

That may or may not be the case but what’s un­de­ni­able is that How­ell will re­turn to a county be­fore the start of next sea­son that is still very much a work in progress.

A dis­ap­point­ing sea­son across all three for­mats left the county pon­der­ing where it had gone wrong, par­tic­u­larly in the T20 Blast where they fin­ished bot­tom of the South Group.

Ad­mit­tedly weather played a part, with three of the county’s first five games suf­fer­ing as a re­sult of the rain. That, though, couldn’t cloud an­other poor show­ing from Richard Daw­son’s side.

“Team-wise things didn’t go well,” he says. “Things have got to change at Gloucestershire, the way we go about things. That was very frus­trat­ing, I think a lot of the boys felt the same way.

"Per­son­ally I’m pleased that I backed up my per­for­mances with the ball in the T20 again. I didn’t take too many wick­ets but had the low­est econ­omy rate which was pleas­ing be­cause that’s al­ways my aim.

“I did okay in the one-day and didn’t get much of a run-out in the four-day un­til right at the end. But hope­fully ev­ery­thing is look­ing good for next year.”

With a win­ter of glo­be­trot­ting be­hind him, How­ell now hopes that Gloucestershire can also go places. Across all three for­mats.

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