While Alex Carey, Kane Richardson and Adam Zampa are in Australia’s World Cup squad, and captain Travis Head leads the way for Australia A, a younger South Australian squad has been tackling the cold in various locations across the State.
With fitness always a focus at this time of year, there have been 2km time trials, a triathlon in Normanville, and even the opportunity for some centre-wicket practice for the bowlers at Park 25.
General Manager, High Performance Tim Nielsen is pleased by what he has seen so far after an intense four weeks of training.
“Pre-season is a good part of the year, we are 0-0 and we are all going well," he said.
“It is a different winter for us this year as we have three guys away with the World Cup squad so for the first time in a couple of years we have got nearly 10 or 11 players away from our winter program which in its own way is a positive.
“Over the last 3-4 years we have had a reasonable amount of consistency (going into pre-season), as all the players understand the demands and expectations of the strength and conditioning staff, who ensure the players come back in good shape.”
Along with those playing for Australia, Callum Ferguson, Chadd Sayers, Jake Lehmann, Nick Winter, John Dalton and Cameron Valente are all playing county or club cricket in England, and Winter especially has dominated the Essex League Premier Division with Brentwood Cricket Club.
Nielsen believes that although there is room for improvement from a domestic view with the results shown last season, the continuation of players being selected to represent Australia has been a highlight for this squad in recent times, especially seeing Carey performing exceptionally for Australia.
“To have three players in a squad of 15 for a World Cup tournament and Alex Carey playing consistently and also having Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson over there contributing when required has been special, and the whole squad is really pleased and proud of them,” Nielsen said.
“It’s pretty cool having your own mates playing for Australia in such a big tournament.”
With the signing of four new players for the 2019-20 season, the Redbacks have added depth in both their fast bowling and batting stocks, with a focus on finding young talent to fill the gaps in skillsets as required.
Wes Agar, Henry Hunt, Jacob Dickman and Tim Oakley are the four new players who have received contracts for South Australia.
“Tall, fast bowling was an area we thought we could add to our depth so we’ve included Wes and Tim, and we also added Henry who is a top-order batsman, and Jacob who is a middle to top-order batsman who performed for us in the Toyota Futures League competition,” Nielsen said.
The Redbacks will continue pre-season next week before they fly to the Sunshine Coast in August for a training camp and practice matches against the Queensland Bulls.