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Will Jenkins enjoying a good winter Down Under

 

Former Somerset Academy player Will Jenkins is enjoying a highly successful winter working and playing cricket in Australia.

The 18 year old made quite an impression in the three Second XI Championship matches he played for Somerset last summer, scoring 219 runs at an average of 43.80 with a best of 95.

Jenkins, who attended Millfield School, represented Somerset at all age groups and plays his Club cricket for Bath in the WEPL Premier Division.

At the end of last summer he decided to defer his place at Durham University when an opportunity came along via Bath CC for him to further his cricketing ability, playing for Brighton and Districts a Melbourne based club which he jumped at, and things seem to be working out well.

Jenkins is currently playing Suburban Turf cricket and last weekend played for a UK Representative XI made up of season 2012/13 UK VTCA South Imports and an Australian XI of current VTCA South players.

In the game Jenkins made a spectacular clean hitting 70 from 28 balls out of the UK XI total of 154 all out in reply to which the Australian XI made 156 for eight.

Jenkins said: “Suburban Turf cricket is about the same standard as WEPL, but the wickets and outfields are different. They also play most of the matches here over two weekends which means you can go a long time between innings, which takes some getting used to.”

“I have done OK, but definitely not made the most of the starts which I have had , which is a bit frustrating. The highlight so far was probably a quick second innings 77* on a turning wicket, which gave us a chance to get some big points. There are still four rounds to go and I feel I am hitting the ball well now, so hopefully I can help get us to the play offs for a place in the final, which would be great for the club.”

Talking about Sunday’s game he said: “I had a good day and made 70 off 28 balls, opening the batting on a great wicket, but we lost to the Aussie League XI, which wasn’t great.”

“I am working hard on my fitness out here and doing rehab on a back injury that prevented me from bowling when I had the chance in the summer. I gained a lot of confidence last summer by scoring runs for Somerset 2nd XI against some quality bowlers, and my target is to keep doing the same in 2013, and hopefully bowl a few overs if I get the opportunity.”

Back at the County Ground, Jason Kerr the Director of the Somerset Academy said: “Will has graduated from the Academy and using his own initiative decided that he wanted to develop as a player and a person by spending the winter in Australia which has worked out well for him.”

“I am really excited about the changes that have taken place and Will’s development both as a cricketer and as a person. There are obviously advantages to going there for cricket but it’s also about the life skills so I shall be looking for a more mature Will Jenkins when he returns.”

“Will did superbly in the games he played last summer. He came in and played early on against Sussex at Hove when he led a great rearguard action and then at the end of the year he came in and opened the batting and scored 95 against Hampshire.”

Looking to the coming season Kerr said: “He is going to spend the summer with us and will be around working with the professional staff under my guidance so I am looking forward to creating some opportunities. I shall see how he does with Bath and integrate him into the Second XI, and if the schedules suit and there is availability then we will see if we can get him some minor county cricket as well. The rest of it is down to how he performs this season.”

Kerr added: “He has gone away to do a lot of strength work so we will develop his bowling when he gets back, so he is an exciting prospect.”

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