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Evo’s Q & A with Kazi

1. How and where were you first spotted by Glamorgan?

I was first spotted at the Bunbury Festival where Kevin Lines, the Glamorgan scout spoke to my parents about their interest in potentially wanting me to be on their academy. From there it helped that I won the best bowler award at Bunbury. Also my school Kings College had links with Glamorgan so it went from there with meetings to discuss being on their academy.

2. How did you feel when you were signed up for their Academy?

It felt amazing to have signed with them and continue to further my development in a professional environment with quality coaches and players. It was another step on the ladder to becoming a professional player.

3. Describe the phases of your off-season training?

So basically we finish the season in early September and we have two months off in which we return in November for light training and strength and conditioning work preparing us for the winter and blowing the cobwebs away. Then after Christmas the sessions get more intense and work us harder in regaining where we left off. Also we touch on what we want to work on through the winter and areas where both you and the coach talk about areas for improvement. We then have specific sessions on improving these areas such as batting and bowling.

In March we go on a pre-season tour away for two weeks, in which we train and play matches. This year was South Africa at Hilton College and last year was in Mumbai India.

Then it’s near the start of the season after a whole winter working on your game it’s time to get a feeling of playing on cricket pitches again so you’re ready for the season. The last academy session is always the toughest in which we have fitness tests and show how far we’ve come.

4. How well did the training fit in with your education?

It fitted quite well actually as Glamorgan were always supportive on education was very important for everyone on the academy. Also being at school where we trained most of the week if we had something to catch up on or an exam they would always be supportive and let education come first. It was always tough in the summer as exams were always being done therefore this was harder but both school and Glamorgan were very supportive with exams and work.

5. Talking of education, how much importance did the Academy put on it?

They do put a lot of emphasis on education being on the academy. They’re sponsored by Cardiff Met in which a few of the academy players also go to uni. They also gave us an opportunity to gain an extra qualification in BTEC in which we had to do units each week at the ground or at home. This was good as it gave us an extra qualification on top of our current subjects and added to more UCAS points. They also give you talks on how important education is as being a professional cricketer can be tough, such as getting

injured could potentially end your career. So having a back-up is important for everyone.

6. Compare and contrast your 1st and 2nd seasons with the Academy?

My first season on the academy was completely new to me especially being at a county academy that I have never been in before was challenging but luckily I knew a couple of them so I settled in well.

In my second year I knew the set up a lot better and also felt more comfortable in the environment while working on my skills and improving as a player by playing second team cricket for most of the season.

My third season was my most important season by far as I knew this was a big year for me therefore working even harder at my game was crucial for myself to perform well for the summer in the 2nd XI matches. Also as you’re one of the senior players on the academy you’re expected to set an example and also show that you’ve improved a lot over the past 3 seasons as you’ve gotten older and improved as a player.

7. What is the biggest difference between club cricket and 2nd XI / Academy cricket?

The standard and the tempo are main differences. In the 2nds you’re playing against people that have a lot of ability and also that being their job they take it very seriously on the pitch. Club cricketers play hard cricket on the field and want to win but the majority play for the social. 2nd XIs and academies contains professionals or aspiring professionals who play the game full time and train full time throughout the whole week. With club cricketers they train once or twice a week. Fielding is the next step up too and especially T20 cricket the tempo is so fast. You get less bad balls too playing 2nd team cricket and also the same when you’re bowling if you bowl a bad ball it will get put away as with club you might get a away with bowling bad balls.

8. How does pre and post-match differ from club cricket and 2nd XI / Academy cricket?

Pre match is very different to club it’s a lot more intense. In the mornings at 9:30 we have hits in the nets with the coaches and then we get to have an enjoyable warm up by playing football then we switch on properly by doing stretches and bowl through and an intense fielding session it’s kind of similar to the warm ups we do just more intense.

Post-match - depending on the game if it’s a 3 day match as a bowler we usually recover in a swimming pool or sauna in which this helps relax our muscles and stretch them. We are also allowed physio and if you feel stiff after you’ve recovered in the pool the physio will help you.

9. What has been the funniest moment while you been on the Academy?

Umm that’ll be a tough one but one that stands out is we were on tour in South Africa and we had to put all the covers on the pitches and practice wickets before the rain come at 4pm all the players had come and help and there was one person taking a shower the whole way through it and the funny thing about it he had a two hour shower

we all laughed when he arrived late to say his excuse “he was in the shower” coach wasn’t happy extra running for us thanks for that haha.

10. Who is the best batsman you have dismissed?

I would have to say in a match it would have to be Chris Dent or Sean Ervine. In a net session I have got Jonny Bairstow out. One for the future would be Tom Banton who’s an up and coming batsman in the professional game.

11. What has been your finest performance for Glamorgan and how did it make you feel?

My finest performance for Glamorgan was for the 2nd XI vs Sussex at Newport CC. It was their first innings and I took 8 wickets in the innings against them in which my final figures were 9 overs 8-21 we bowled them out for 42. It made me feel shocked to be honest as it happened so fast and especially the standard of cricket I felt astonished by it and couldn’t believe it really happened I had lots of people message me about it which I was very thankful for.

12. What have you learnt as a person and how have you developed as a player over the last two years?

I have learnt a lot about my self being on the academy for Glamorgan. One thing that stands out from what I have learnt as a player is that if you want to become a professional cricketer you have to consistently be good at what you do whether that is performing well for your team or consistently aiming to improve as a cricketer and as a person. Also being dedicated and committed to wanting to be the best you can be and do everything you can to want to get there.

You can’t just turn up to a session and be amazing and then the next session you’re slacking and are below standard it’s all about maintaining being a professional and consistently wanting to improve. Also it’s not all about being just a cricketer they’re many more factors to that as well and that can be. The way you are as a team mate and being professional and a role model for up and coming players and spectators at the club.

13. What are your plans for this winter?

My plans this winter is I am taking a year out and I am going to Sydney on the International cricket programme in which is an academy over there with a week full schedule of cricket training, matches and strength and conditioning/fitness. I managed to get this with the Tom Maynard Trust – they are kindly funding me and got me into contact with a cricket club over there called Fairfield Liverpool who are in the 1st Grade competition.

I’ve done this as I want to improve my cricket for the next summer coming and also growing as a person in a complete different country.

14. What are your hopes for the 2019 season?

My hopes and plans for the 2019 season is that I hope I play matches for the Glamorgan 1st team and play as many matches as I can for them. I also hope to become a

professional player as well. I also want to improve from my season in the 2nd team this season and be able to consistently perform next year.

15. What one piece of advice would you give to someone joining an Academy?

My one piece of advice for someone aspiring to be a professional player and aspiring to take their next step on joining an academy is make the most of all the opportunities you get and put everything into it as you’re very fortunate to be given a chance to become a professional cricketer they’re not many people that go onto academies. More importantly enjoy everything that it has to throw at you such as challenges, failures, friendships and most importantly, becoming a better player and growing as a person in which you’re closer of fulfilling your dream of becoming a professional cricket player.

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