Slater highlights importance of Abu Dhabi tour

Tuesday 8th March 2016
& News
Written by Danny Painter

Ben Slater says the warm-weather training in Abu Dhabi plays a vital part in the Club’s pre-season preparations as Derbyshire plan a fast start to the new campaign.

Derbyshire, who flew out to the UAE on Monday morning, will face county opposition in four one-day fixtures during the 10-day tour after having been in pre-season training since the beginning of November.

Slater believes that the fixtures, in addition to a number of days training outside at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium complex, will be pivotal in ensuring that Derbyshire hit the ground running in April.

“All the lads are raring to go in Abu Dhabi,” Slater said. “It’s been a long winter training inside since the start of November so to get back outside and play some competitive cricket will be extremely valuable to us.

“The tour is massive in terms of our preparations for the season. In Derby it is difficult to get outside due to the weather so to go away is hugely important.

“We have had a lot of time now to work in the nets on our skills ahead of the tour and the new season. We can’t wait to get some competitive games under our belt.

“Playing some games against county opposition can only stand us in good stead for the summer. We will have strong competition and it will be good to test ourselves at this stage in the winter.”

Slater added: “Everybody in the squad is now just aiming to be in that first line-up in April at Bristol. That’s what we are all striving for and the tour is a great chance to push for a place.

“The signings of [Neil] Broom and [Hamish] Rutherford have strengthened our batting line-up and we all know we need to score runs to stay in that team.

“I’m also looking to make my way into the team for the white-ball competitions. The four one-day fixtures in Abu Dhabi could be really important for me if I am to do that.

“Personally I think my pre-season has gone well. I’ve done a lot of work in the gym to get stronger as well as all of the cricket training I have done.

“I haven’t had too many specific aspects of my game to try and adapt; it’s more been about working on what I am good at. I am feeling in good nick and I am ready to go.”

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