By Harry Brook
This will be my second winter in Australia after playing grade cricket for the University of New South Wales club in 2018/2019, and I feel I am a much improved player now than I was a couple of years ago.
It’s not just skill wise where I have developed my game, I’m a lot more mature now than I was then and know how to play the game a lot better. All round, my game has become a lot better.
First, I will be spending six weeks with the Lions squad, helping the senior lads prepare for the Ashes and also hopefully playing in some intra-squad games and against Australia A.
I was a bit upset when I didn’t get picked in the original squad, but I soon came round and understood the reasons why.
I’d had a good season in red ball cricket without being one of the best batters in the country. There were other people who had scored more runs than me, so it was a fair enough call.
I wasn’t too down about it because I had already signed the Big Bash deal with Hobart, which would get me out of the terrible weather we’ve been having!
But I’m very happy that I now get the best of both worlds.
I certainly think the England lads have a great chance in the Ashes. We have some of the best players in the world in that squad. Especially now Ben Stokes has been added, they can definitely win that series.
If the big dogs like Rooty, Broad, Stokes, Anderson step up, we’re definitely going to give them a good run for their money.
Has it crossed my mind that there is an outside chance I could play in that series? Honestly, no it’s not.
In the past, I’ve tripped up looking too much into the future and not living in the moment, enjoying the present. I still think that’s a goal I can work towards this winter and in the years to come.
We flew out to Australia last Thursday with a strong Yorkshire contingent on the plane. Rooty, Dom Bess, myself, Matthew Fisher and Pete Simm, who is with us as the strength and conditioning coach.
I haven’t really done that much training since the end of the season. With a busy winter coming up, I’ve been trying to have a break and see and spend as much time with my family as possible.
I’ve batted quite a few times and done some fitness stuff, but I certainly haven’t had a specific routine. Over the next few weeks, we have a lot of time to train, so I’ll be working very hard.
The Big Bash is something I’m really looking forward to. I can’t wait to join up with the Hobart guys.
I’ve always watched it during the winter, and I watched a few games live when I went to Australia a few winters ago. It’s a very good competition. I feel like we have a really strong squad, and we’ll definitely be trying to get some silverware.
I was delighted to win the end of season awards that I did.
To be voted by your peers and team-mates as the Young Players’ Player of the Year for the PCA and Players’ Player of the Year at Yorkshire is something I’m very proud of, as is the case with the Members’ Player of the Year award.
You’re there to try and win games for your team, so to almost get the approval of your team-mates is very important.
And I have loved playing at Headingley over the past couple of years, and the members have been behind me all the way. I’m really grateful for their support and recognition.
I was very happy with the season I had, scoring runs across all the formats I played in for both Yorkshire and the Superchargers.
If you would have come to me a couple of years ago and asked me what my best format is, I would have probably said, ‘white ball’. So I’ve done a lot of work on my red ball game in that time.
I would maybe say that I didn’t have a game plan against the red ball, but now I feel like I have a really solid one with a decent defence.
The way I look at it is that this year I probably defended the majority of balls I faced.
If you have a good defence, you can hit the bad balls for four and get off strike, and I can only see you doing well as a batter.
I’m a natural run-scorer, so T20 comes easier to me than first-class cricket. But this is only the start. I have to be consistent for many years to come.