Monday, May 27, 2024

Andy looking to build on impressive start – Somerset

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Andy looking to build on impressive start

Andy Umeed is hoping to carry on with his run of good form when Somerset take on Kent at the Cooper Associates County Ground this weekend in the next round of Division One Vitality County Championship matches.

He said: “Getting a win last week was amazing, not just personally but for all the lads. It’s been a tough first five games with four hard fought draws, so to get over the line in the last game was great.”

The batter who signed for Somerset after trialling in a Second XI match against Glamorgan in 2022 missed the start of this year after suffering an injury whilst playing for Scotland went on, “I think that the injury gave me a bit more time to reflect, and having been away for a few weeks in February and March it gave me a block of time to focus on my fitness and get even more eager to get back and cracking . I’m just glad that things have come together.”

In his two games to date, Andy has totalled 172 runs at an average of 43. His runs have come in different styles during his innings, so how has he been approaching this season so far?

“At times you have to go and grind things out for a day or day and a half for a draw, but then sometimes 120 is going to be a winning score so you just have to go out there and try and get as many as you can before you get out.

“I’ve got a bit older and a bit wiser and realised that the one thing you have to do is recognise as early as possible what a good contribution is and then trust your instincts and go for it. I want to be the kind of player that the team looks to for winning contributions no matter whatever the situation, and I’m working hard to try and do that.”

Andy has also been working hard on his bowling during the winter, about which he said: “You never know when you’re going to be called upon to put in a few overs here and there. You want to play as much as possible and win things.”

Andy has impressed in First Class and List A cricket but has yet to make his Vitality Blast debut for the Club. Is that something he is hoping to achieve in 2024?

“We have an unbelievable team, so getting into the T20 side is very difficult but it’s also a great challenge because you know that if you get into that team, you’re ready to play.

“I’m learning a lot from the guys who have played a lot of white ball cricket all over the world with the best, so it’s a double-edged sword. I’d love to be playing but at the same time I’m still learning. I feel that my game is developing quickly by being around the lads and seeing how they went about things last year.”

Andy started his cricketing journey playing for Scotland back in 2015, but after spending time on the Warwickshire staff he had a break from the game, so how hard has it been to turn his vision into reality?

“It was very difficult and at one stage I gave up for two years and didn’t play any cricket in the UK. 2018 was my last season at Warwickshire and until 2022 when I trialled with Somerset I didn’t play any professional cricket. At times during that period I lost hope a little bit but being away also made me realise how much I did want to make it happen. I just needed to find ways to get better rather than getting bitter. If I wasn’t getting picked it was because I wasn’t good enough so I just went away and improved my game and hoped the opportunities would come along. I had to make sure I was good enough when they did. That has been my approach; be the player I want to be and work hard to become that.

“Somerset has helped me a lot in trying to reach my goal and I think the environment at the Club is geared towards developing players. There’s a great vibe about the place which is very Somerset-centric and that doesn’t happen at every club. In big cities the guys train together and then do other things whereas in Taunton the lads spend a lot of time with each other training and playing golf or going for coffee together. It’s been nice for me to come to a place which is in its own bubble, and we can focus on how we are going to get better and how we are going to play.

“Although moving down here was a bit of an adjustment to begin with, I now love it. Taunton is the best place I have been to play cricket. The crowds and the energy on matchdays are great. Taunton is quite a quiet town and that’s allowed me to focus on my cricket. Having everybody around who is dedicated to help you get better and help you to perform is great.

“With the calibre of players we have here it’s interesting to see how the guys go about their business and you can always pick up things from different people.

To be a professional cricketer is a bit of a luxury and a privilege so I’m enjoying every day I get to do it. Every time I go out to the middle is a bonus and every game that I help Somerset to win is the cherry on top and I’m loving it!”

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