Northants skipper Adam Rossington raring to go after 'different' pre-season build-up
Today marks the first day in what is hopefully going to be a long, busy, sunny and successful season for skipper Adam Rossington and the rest of the Northants cricketers.
After 12 months of frustration and disruption due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2021 summer of cricket gets underway with the County playing their first pre-season friendly against Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton.
Yep, it may still be March, the clocks haven’t gone forward yet and there is a distinct chill in the air, but Northants will be taking to the field today, and Rossington admits he is just looking forward to getting going again.
After the first four months of the season were wiped out in 2020, the County did manage a handful of first-class and T20 games last August and September, but the second wave of Covid in the autumn and winter then put paid to head coach David Ripley’s scheduled winter training plans.
It was not ideal, but the club’s red-ball skipper says things have worked out pretty well.
“It has been something different,” said Rossington, who took over first-class captaincy duties midway through the 2019 season.
“We started off in the smaller groups and had a bit more one-on-one contact time with the coach you had, and it did give people the chance to really knuckle down and work on stuff.
“We were only in two days a week, but in those two days you had a lot of contact time with the coaches and could get a fair bit done.
“We also had our gym programmes and running programmes to keep on top of when we weren’t at the ground, so it was good and the boys made the most of it for those few months.
“We also had a couple of days up at Loughborough which was good, and then last week was the first time we have seen some of the lads since last September or October, which was a bit strange.
“But it has been good and it was nice to get outside the last few days to get some decent nets and get back out on the grass and get used to it again.
“There is a lot of competition for places this year, so that has ensured there has been a real high standard to the nets, and now we have the two days down in Hampshire and then the intra-squad game as well next week.”
It has been a tough time for cricketers around the world as leagues and competitions have had to be cancelled, but Rossington says for him the forced inactivity has been a case of absence making the heart grow fonder.
“We did have a little bit of cricket last year, but what has happened almost helps with that hunger,” said the 27-year-old.
“It almost feels like you have had a long-term injury where you have not been playing for so long and you want to get back out there and score your runs and do your job.
“It was a different feeling last October, and there weren’t so many sore bodies after only a couple of months of playing, and the lads were ready to go!
“But it has still been a good pre-season, and the lads are itching to get back out there and play and we are all looking forward to it.”