by Josh Poysden

My stint in Christchurch has come to an end. Since my last blog we had a solid block of games. We made it to the T20 final but unfortunately just fell short on the day, losing by 19 runs. The final was played at Hagley Oval (where they have just played the New Zealand v India Test match), so it was nice to play at an international venue. Losing the final was a real shame, as we played some great cricket during the competition.

We’ve also had a couple of two-dayers, winning one and losing one, and upon my departure the club is still in the hunt in that format and so fingers crossed they can finish strong for the last couple of games.

It’s been great to spend the winter bowling outside and in match situations. I’m a big believer that match overs are key in a spinner’s development, so alongside the work put in in the nets and the gym, hopefully all of the above will set me up nicely for the season.

After the frustrating end to my season last year with my head injury, the main thing is that it’s great to be back playing again, and thankfully I’ve made a full recovery. One of the negatives about the injury was that I wasn’t allowed to drive for six months. It’s nice to finally be back on the road, and not relying on friends and family (and lots of ubers) to get around. They even had electric scooters you could rent in Christchurch so I would say this was probably my preferred mode of transport!

Away from cricket, I did a bit of travelling when the schedule allowed. A highlight was visiting Queenstown, where the combination of the mountains and Lake Wakatipu make it a surreal setting. I also managed to check out some great golf courses, including a spot called Tara Iti, and some rounds at Christchurch Golf Club (which was my local).

By the time we head to Mumbai at the start of next week for our pre-season tour, I will have had a week or so at home, and it’s been great to catch up with and see all the lads at Headingley. It’s exciting when you look at some of the recent signings we’ve made, and I think they complement our current squad really nicely. Hopefully we can have a big year, and make everyone involved and who follows the club proud. In particular, it was great to learn off Keshav Maharaj last year, so hopefully there will be more of that, and I’m also really looking forward to picking the brains of Ravi Ashwin.

I would like to finish by saying a massive thank you to everyone involved with Burnside for having me over this winter. I am especially grateful to the O’Brien family, who took me in as one of their own while I stayed with them in Christchurch.

An image of Lauren Winfield-Hill and Adil Rashid, with the Yorkshire logo and Northern Diamonds logo in the middle

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