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Tri-series is perfect preparation

Posted in England U19s

Steve Finn writes article 1 of our England U19 blog from the 2008 world cup tour party

It was a relief to have finally landed and arrived at our hotel after a long day of travelling. The journey to Colombo had taken it's toll on all the squad, and with a game two days after the flight it was paramount that we did everything we could to get ourselves in the best shape possible.

The importance of acclimatisation and the need to hit the ground running meant there was no time to rest up. We were straight to the training ground and into pre-habilitation.

Unfortunately, for me, the flight had stiffened up my adductor muscle which I had been operated on two 2 weeks previously. This limited my participation which was a culmination of disappointment and frustration. Practice was high quality and intense, which, considering the conditions, was very encouraging.

The carefully planned acclimatisation routines and the hard hours labouring on the training pitch on arrival helped the team to rapidly adjust to the conditions and to win the first friendly match v Sri Lanka U19s and the opening ODI v Pakistan U19s.

Since then we have suffered two heavy defeats against hosts Sri Lanka U19s and we are all determined to bounce back from these disappointments. Tomorrow’s game against Pakistan U19 is an opportunity to get the show back on the road.

The concept of the current tri-series is exciting and invigorating in the sense that we have an immense opportunity to structure game plans and formulate methods of combating sub continent sides in their own back garden. This along with the heavily structured off field programme is giving us the best chance to be professional within what we do.

Our regeneration programmes ensure we are 100 per cent fit to train/play to our full intensity the following day. We have an aim to control everything that is in our control to the best of our ability so that we can give ourselves the best chance as a group of cricketers.

My rehab programme is up and running now after the flight soreness wearing off with me regaining mobility/fitness again. A rigorous/intense rehab programme is going to get me 100 per cent fit to play in the world cup.

I am now bowling from a half run up and the process is moving along in the right direction. However, the challenge for me is to keep progressing without doing too much and nullifying the good work I have done up to now.

Off the field, everyone has been very happy with the facilities at the hotel. An excellent gymnasium and swimming pool, an array of restaurants and an English pub on the ground floor have provided excellent training opportunities and entertainment for the squad and management alike.

Darts tournaments and snooker schools are regular occurrences, as well as a few relaxing hours unwinding by the pool. A DVD shop adjacent to the hotel has allowed us to keep up to date with the latest films allowing us to watch the latest releases in the comfort of our hotel rooms with the luxury of each others' company. Movie taste has been a sore subject in my room, with conflicts in taste reigning true throughout.

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