Gregory on 'brilliant journey' to England and Big Bash League in Australia
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo
Somerset Vitality Blast Captain Lewis Gregory has looked back on his "brilliant journey" ahead of being called up to the England squad for the upcoming series in South Africa.
Gregory has also been drafted to Brisbane Heat in the latest edition of the Big Bash League in Australia.
“It’s come about at quite short notice. I was expecting a pretty quiet winter but I am really excited to go out to Australia and get stuck in with a fantastic T20 tournament," Gregory told the club's website.
"I fly to South Africa with England for the ODI series, so hopefully now my winter is going to be pretty busy with cricket.
“I find it amazing to think that it has been 10 years since I made my Somerset debut. It’s been a brilliant journey and am delighted to now be involved with England squads.
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"I believe staying fully fit over the last 12-18 months has helped me a lot when certainly before that period I did have a few troubles.
“I think my game has grown. I am more confident in my skills and abilities now and ultimately that has improved performances on the park.
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"It has helped me being a three dimensional cricketer and I’ve continued to try and improve my game across all three formats.
"When I first came into the team as an 18-year-old back in 2010, the idea of who I am as a cricketer has certainly changed a lot.
"Putting on an England shirt at any stage has been a dream since I was a kid and to have done that eight times so far is incredibly special.
“It’s now a great time for me to go out to South Africa and show what I am capable of and try to nail down a spot in that England squad for the foreseeable future.”
Gregory will be following Somerset teammate Tom Banton in Australia.
He added: "I’ve played in a couple of franchise tournaments already with 'Bants' and he’ll probably claim I’m just following him around!
"He’s been a brilliant advert for T20 cricket over the last two years since he came onto the scene and I’m looking forward to spending some time in Australia with him.
"Hopefully we can both perform well together for Brisbane Heat and put on a good show.”
England World Cup winner and former Somerset batsman and wicket-keeper Joss Buttler has targeted winning the three-match tour as their "ultimate aim", but says everyone is glad to be able to travel to Africa and play cricket.
"Once it's planned you're just excited and looking forward to the tour," Buttler told reporters.
"Reading in the paper the tour was in doubt, you are wondering if it was going ahead, but [ECB director of cricket] Ashley Giles got in touch with all the players and said he was confident it would go ahead.
"I think everyone is grateful - especially so close to your departure date you are starting to gear up to go. We're delighted it can go ahead."
England will take part in three-One Day International (ODI) and three Twenty20 International (T20I) matches at Boland Park, Paarl and Newlands Cricket Ground, Cape Town between November 27 and December 9.
And Buttler expects a big reception from back home, despite the world battling the coronavirus pandemic.
He added: "All the sport that has been live on TV has been a big plus for everyone, being in a lockdown, you're always trying to put on a good show for the people watching at home.
"You're aware that there are going to be millions more watching at home and on screens.
"It's been a tough year for the majority, we're very lucky that we're able to carry on and play professional cricket. It's our duty to play well and put on a show for the people watching at home."