Western Morning News


- RICHARD LATHAM Cricket writer

SOMERSET head coach Jason Kerr has been speaking of his internatio­nal ambitions after working with the England Lions in Australia during the winter.

Kerr was part of the coaching team led by Gloucester­shire’s Richard Dawson, who helped the Lions to a 3-0 one-day series victory against Cricket Australia and New South Wales XIs and a first-ever victory over Australia A in a four-day game at the MCG.

The six-week tour proved hugely valuable for the Lancastria­n, who has returned with a growing belief about his ability to one day operate at the top level of the game.

“I am very ambitious and would certainly like to be involved in internatio­nal cricket at some time in the future,” said Kerr, 46.

“It was great for me to work with coaches such as Richard Dawson, Jonathan Trott and Bruce French, as well as with a lot of very talented players from around the country.

“I spent time with some Australian coaches, such as Chris Rogers, and definitely learned things I can apply to my work with Somerset.

“The experience also reinforced my belief that we are doing things the right way at the club.

“I just set out to work in the same way as I do at Taunton and pick things up along the way. It was a great challenge to have to build new relationsh­ips with players I hadn’t worked with before.

“I deliberate­ly focussed on the ones I didn’t know and it was a brilliant test for me. Everything went well and I feel I have come back with my coaching skills enhanced.”

Somerset were well represente­d in the Lions squad, with Lewis Gregory captain and Tom Abell, Dom Bess and Craig Overton also involved.

Jamie Overton also went on the tour to train while completing his rehabilita­tion from an ankle operation at the end of last season.

“Unfortunat­ely, Lewis picked up a calf strain, which ended his tour early, but Tom, Craig and Dom all played in the landmark win over Australia A,” said Kerr.

“Our fielding coach Paul Tweddle also worked with the Lions earlier in the winter and it is a measure of how Somerset are currently regarded in the county game that we had such a strong representa­tion.

“Jamie Overton worked incredibly hard while not taking part in the matches and would have been ready had the county season started on time.”

Peter Handscomb has called the delay to the English domestic season a “shame”, saying Australian­s benefit greatly from playing county cricket.

The 28-year-old Middlesex skipper was due to lead the Division Two side during the English summer after signing a two-year deal, but Covid-19 has delayed the season.

Former Gloucester­shire batsman Handscomb was one of a number of Australian­s due to play in England over the summer, along with Nathan Lyon at Hampshire, while Michael Neser’s Surrey deal was cancelled due to the pandemic.

Speaking at an online press conference, he said: “It’s a shame to not be able to go over there and play.

“Australian­s love going over there, to England, to play county cricket because it’s a way of developing our game and making ourselves better and understand­ing different conditions as well. That’s a shame, but there’s obviously a bigger picture at play here, the health and safety of the world is much more important.”

He added his deal with Middlesex was “on hold”, and had been talking to his county team-mates each week.

“I’ve obviously got next year as well, but this year we’re just playing it by ear,” he said.

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 ?? Alex Davidson ?? > Somerset head coach Jason Kerr
Alex Davidson > Somerset head coach Jason Kerr

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