Central Sparks captain Eve Jones spoke earlier this week, reviewing the first month back training, discussing how it has been getting back in the swings of things and what new aspects of the game the girls are learning ahead of 2024.
Sparks captain Jones and her fellow teammates have been back in training at venues such as Edgbaston’s indoor cricket centre, Sixways in Worcester, and the Alan Higgs centre in Coventry.
During the first month back, the side have been put through their paces in various fitness tests, have started batting with the bowling machines under the guidance of assistant coach Dom Ostler, with the bowling working hard with Head coach Lloyd Tennant.
On returning to training, Jones said: “We had about five weeks off after our last game, which I think came at a good time. It was a good chance to switch off and refresh, but I think we’ve just about got back into the swing of things now.
“It is good to be back into the routine of daily cricket.”
The schedule is a good one for the Sparks to really get back into the routine of working hard during timely training slots while working hard in the gym and away from the team.
With the new season still a while away, it is important Jones and the team work on the fundamentals, while keeping in mind the clear objectives ahead of the new year – which are being instilled into them by coaching staff.
Jones added: “I feel we are tracking well with cricket and fitness. The girls have been working hard the last few weeks since we’ve been back in the building.
“Our objectives for the next few months are to get back to full fitness and then cricket wise, to work on a few technical things, both for me personally and the rest of the side.
“A few tweaks here and there are being worked on and as a squad it’s about getting as strong as we can, especially with more games in 2024.
“We definitely need to be in the best place to ensure we stay on the field and perform.
“We’re also on a journey to make this the best environment we’ve ever had so we are working hard in that aspect too.”
As well as the objectives heading into the big period of winter training, it is also about the learnings the players have had and what they can use to add into their training schedule that they feel can add value to sessions.
Sparks captain said: “You have to ride the wave of highs and lows in cricket. I feel personally that I learned a hell of a lot about myself as a person and captain last year.
“Cricket wise, I’ve worked with the team analyst and coaches to help make some positive changes to my technique and game, while also trying a few new things.
“It’s quite individualised with everyone adding bits to their game and technique, but we’re doing that all together as a squad too.”