Oxford MailBack in action, but the weather was a shock (From Oxford Mail)

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Back in action, but the weather was a shock

Oxford Mail: Back in action, but the weather was a shock Back in action, but the weather was a shock

I’m back playing this week as Yorkshire were in action in their opening first-class fixture of the season against Leeds/Bradford UCCE.

I can tell you now it was a real culture shock rocking up to Headingley on Tuesday morning in thermals and multiple jumpers.

That’s because only last week we arrived back in the country after our pre-season tour to Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Having not worn any warm clothing to play in for three months, it was always going to be a strange experience.

But I knew I’d kind of enjoy it – until I get hit on the hand and remember what it’s like to field with ice blocks as fingers!

Our pre-season tour was excellent preparation as well as being very hot, humid and sweaty. I’d like to think I have lost a few pounds having spent a fair amount of time running around in the ridiculous tropical conditions.

We played and trained at three grounds, two of which – The Premadasa and P Sara Oval – are international stadiums.

We were also at the Sri Lanka Army campus, which was an interesting experience to say the least.

The army training and fitness was going on around us and when they stopped for lunch or a breather, they would all pile into the ground and cheer and shout whilst we played some Twenty20 matches against the best young cricketers in Colombo outside of the full national team.

Early on in the trip, the Sri Lanka squad were doing their last preparation before leaving for the T20 World Cup.

We had a quick chat with a few of their guys, including Lasith Malinga, who for me is the best T20 fast bowler in the world.

The Sri Lanka coach, Paul Farbrace, was also on hand and, until this winter, was on the coaching staff at Yorkshire and somebody I really enjoyed working with and bouncing ideas off.

It was great to see ‘Farby’ and have a quick catch-up and take the mickey outta him, as I do with most old friends.

One thing I will mention with my previous experience of coming to the sub continent is I avoided the feared ‘Delhi Belly’. My guts are obviously toughening up!!

I was voted in as Yorkshire’s new social chairman and so had to prepare for the end-of-tour fines night.

This is where I come into my own. But with great power comes great responsibility.

All I will say is I hope the new lads can handle their ale.

I love team bonding . . .

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