THE new season cannot come soon enough for Somerset’s young seamer Sonny Baker who is now back fully fit and raring to go, writes Richard Walsh.

The youngster from Torquay who will celebrate his 20th birthday in March said: “I am really pleased with how last season ended for me personally. It  was brilliant to get the opportunity to play in The 100, and a fantastic experience, and now I’m already to get going for 2023.

“However between then and now there will be lots of training and lots of hard work. I have entered into a couple of drafts for overseas tournaments , but its looking like I am going to be here for the rest of the winter, so I will be puting in a lot of hard work to try to get myself a place in the first team in the new season.

Sonny who came through the Academy burst onto the scene when he enjoyed success in the Royal London Cup in 2021.

“I have had a fantastic start at Somerset and Im really pleased with everything and all of the opportunities I have had. I have worked hard for them and taken them as they have come along so hopefully I can continue to do the same going into next year and hoping for a debut in the T20 and the Championship.”

Bridgwater Mercury:

Which format of the game does he prefer?

“I love all formats of the game. The experiences I have had so far have been in white ball cricket and my return from injury last year meant that I was back later in the season which is more white ball led with the Royal London and The Hundred which I was really fortunate to have been involved in. 

“However Id like to play in all formats and I’m desperate to make my County Championship this coming summer- I have been wanting that for a couple of years now and it would be awesome to get it.

“Red ball cricket is a very different game and when you are bowling you relentlessly challenge the batters and try to hit top of off stump for however many overs you end up bowling.

“I’m really hoping that in 2023 I get my chance to play some red ball cricket for Somerset and to that end I am really working hard with Jason Kerr working on my skills and trying to get my fundamentals right so I can bowl quickly and challenge batters- hopefully at 90 miles per hour. I managed to get to 89 last year so Im very keen to get past that 90 mark which I hope will get me into the side.”

Sonny realises that he is up against several others who are challenging for a place in the firsts team at Somerset.

“Competition is pretty keen here and we have got some of the top bowlers in the county championship with Craig Overton and Josh Davey both slamming away, then we have also got Lewis Gregory and Jack Brooks both very talented and now Kasey is tearing it up as well, With Ned Leonard coming back to full fitness and Alfie Ogborne just been signed there is defintely a lot of competition for places.

“I am hoping that I get my opportunity and seamers do have to be rotated, they cant play every game of the year performing to your best so I’m hoping that with that in mind I will get the chance.

Alternatively I might get into the side in the first place!

Long term what is Sonny’s ambition?

“I know everyone says it but Id be desperate to play international cricket at some point, bowling at real pace, challenging batters and having the skills to play in all three formats- that’s where I’d really like to be. Thats my aim and I’m working towards that!”

"We have been back training since November and that has ramped up after Christmas and pre-season games start in March so Im looking to hit the ground running.”

He added: “I’m hoping very much that my name will be on that team sheet for the first championship match of the season, but there is a lot of time and hard work to be done before then.”