A GROUP of Somerset players from the first team and the Pathway have returned to Taunton following a pre-season trip to Sri Lanka.

The trip was to get the players used to playing in warmer weather ahead of the English Summer, as well as integrate some of the younger talent into the first squad.

Somerset batting coach, Shane Burger was one on the trip and has since returned. He said it was a great trip and he was impressed with the quality on show.

“Whenever you get to go away and experience different cultures and conditions, you’re always going to learn, whether you’re a player or a coach," he said.

“I was really impressed by what I saw out there, and everyone worked really hard. It was incredibly hot and humid, but the effort and attitude from everyone was outstanding.

"You could see people transferring what they’d been working on in the winter in to place out on the grass, and since we’ve got back you can really see how beneficial the trip has been for the guys in terms of what they’ve been working on."

Burger added that the goal of the trip was to get the batters facing as many balls as possible to build up match preparation.

“The goal of the trip was to spend time on batting. It was about spending as much time as possible facing bowling from out of the hand as opposed to being in the Centre of Excellence," he said.

"At this time of year, you can’t get out on grass in the UK, and whilst the indoor centre is an important facility, it’s not quite like the real thing. Sri Lankan conditions are different to the conditions that we will face in England, but it’s not just about prepping players for County Cricket, it’s about the bigger picture.

"Some of these players my very well be touring Sri Lanka one day. Exposing the younger players to different conditions is also extremely valuable. Ultimately, everyone who took part in the trip has come back in a good place.”

The younger Pathway players enjoyed the experience according to Burger. He said they were able to link up well with the pro players as well.

“The pros and the Academy players linked up really well, which was great to see. This is a Club that interacts really well," he said.

"It’s good for them to see what the expectations are and what the behaviours are like. I’m really impressed with how our players integrate with the Academy, and long may that continue because that’s how it should be.

"It’s important that we as a Club make that transition from the Academy to the professional staff as seamless as possible.”