Maynard happy with hard graft
The England Performance Programme squad certainly did not have things easy during their recent three-week training camp, but Tom Maynard would not have it any other way.
Maynard, 22, was among those put through their paces, primarily at the National Cricket Performance Centre at Loughborough, but also in unfamiliar conditions.
Between a series of demanding sessions, the EPP players spent two days working with the Manchester Fire Service and took part in a white water rescue session in north Wales.
Maynard told ecb.co.uk: “There was full intensity for all three weeks really and I think that’s how you have got to work if you want to learn and if you want to push yourself to the limit. I’ve really enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to more challenges later on the programme.
“We had a couple of days in Manchester with the fire service, which was really good and all part of the personal development part of this programme.
“We had opportunities in smoke-filled buildings to try and rescue some people, which put us in a slightly pressurised situation. It was something that made you get a sweat on.
“Then we did a bit of white water rescue. I wasn’t as good at this one and got swept down the river a couple of times, but it was a very good experience and we learned how to work as a team and enjoy each other’s company in a slightly different situation.”
After a well deserved week off, the EPP players will head overseas next week in a bid to enhance their development. The batsmen, wicketkeepers and spin bowlers will be based in Pune and Mumbai, while the fast bowling group are to be despatched to Potchefstroom in South Africa.
Looking ahead to his trip to India, an excited Maynard said: “I’ve been out to where we are going before a couple of times and I know the conditions a bit. It’s quite a tough environment. The heat, the pitches and also the surroundings can be quite difficult.
“It’s something that hardens you and definitely makes you a better cricketer. It’s a great opportunity for all of the boys to really progress their game.”
Maynard is also relishing the prospect of linking up with lead batting coach Graham Thorpe once again on the sub-continent.
Thorpe was widely regarded as England’s best player of spin throughout his own international career and has already passed on plenty of advice to his young charges.
Maynard added: “Obviously you can draw a lot from his experience and he really pushes you to the limits of your technique. It’s been fantastic working with him so far and I’m sure I’ll learn a lot more from him in India.”