Moeen Ali is optimistic he will continue to flourish on England Lions' tour of Sri Lanka next month.
The Worcestershire batting all-rounder enjoyed a prolific 2013, scoring more than 2,000 runs and taking 55 wickets across all formats to be the NatWest PCA Player of the Year and FTI MVP.
Moeen subsequently was part of the England Performance Programme in Australia and is soon to fly to Sri Lanka for two three-day games and three four-day matches, the latter trio versus Sri Lanka A.
The 26-year-old, who has played in Sri Lanka for England Under-19s at the 2006 age-group World Cup and for Colombo’s Moors Sports Club during the winter of 2011-12, told ecb.co.uk: “I can’t wait.
“I’ve been in Sri Lanka a few times before. I feel like I know the conditions, playing a couple of months out there in first-class cricket.
“So I’m really looking forward to it and it’s good for me because I bowl spin and hopefully it’s going to spin out there, and the wickets are quite nice to bat on.”
The elegant left-handed batsman made 335 runs at an average of 67 in his five first-class innings for Moors Sports Club and has been working on emulating such figures as the Lions prepare for their trip by training at the National Cricket Performance Centre in Loughborough.
“That’s one thing we’re preparing for really well here. We’ve done a lot of spin work and I think the guys are looking good, so we feel like we’re ready now; I’m just very excited,” he added.
Moeen’s stunning 2013 statistics were the best of his career. His 1,420 first-class runs were more than double what he achieved from more innings the previous year.
The new father reflected: “I think I grew up a little bit; I think I matured a bit, worked hard on my technique.
“I guess I got hungrier. I just really wanted to carry on going. The better I did, the more I wanted to do it and it just kept feeling good. The feeling got better and better, and that’s exactly what it is.
“I think even at the start of the season I got three, four fifties in a row and that frustrated me. Whereas previously I probably would have thought I did alright. So a bit of that but also maturing all-round in my game, off the field, on the field and stuff like that.”