Northamptonshire to jet off to South Africa for pre-season training camp

The Northamptonshire squad jet out to South Africa on Sunday for a 10-day pre-season training camp.

By Jeremy Casey
Thursday, 3rd March 2022, 3:41 pm
Northamptonshire head coach John Sadler
Northamptonshire head coach John Sadler

The trip is a late change to the scheduled jaunt to Singapore, which has been cancelled due to concerns over the country’s Covid-19 regulations.

So instead of going to the Far East, John Sadler and his players will be going to South Africa where they will get in plenty of outdoor practice, as well as play a couple of friendly matches.

The Northants squad will be based at the High Performance Institute of Sport in Potchefstroom, and Sadler believes it is the perfect location for his players to prepare for the start of the new season on April 7.

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"We have got 10 days out in Potchefstroom in South Africa, at the high performance centre," said the Northants head coach.

"That is a fantastic training base and it has everything we need in terms of world-class training facilities, gym, pool and world-class wickets.

"There is a high standard of net bowlers which should be great, so it has everything we need."

Expanding on what the trip will entail, Sadler added: "It's a cricket tour and that is why we are going.

"We are going there to sharpen skills and get ready for the season, as we are on the cusp of a new one.

"It is also the chance to reconnect with everyone.

"Some people have been out in Australia, some have been out in South Africa, Zimbabwe, we have a new management team and new faces around.

"So it is about getting out there and training in a confined area, where we are all around together.

"It is very much a cricket camp, a training camp to get ready for the season, with a little bit of team bonding as well."

Potchefstroom is situated in the North West Province of South Africa and is roughly 120 km south west of Johannesburg.

It will be the first time the County squad has gone overseas since the 2020 trip to Singapore that had to be cut short as the Covid-19 pandemic started to bite across the globe.

On their return from South Africa on March 17, Northants will continue their training before playing a couple of friendlies ahead of their LV= Insurance County Championship Division One opener against Gloucestershire at the County Ground.

First up is a three-day game against Cardiff UCCE at Wantage Road, that starts on Monday, March 28.

The County will also host Leicestershire in a three-day encounter before the season starts in earnest.

The players have been back in training since the beginning of November, but Sadler says the next few weeks are when things start to really come together.

"We are now moving from off-season training to pre-season training," said the 40-year-old..

"It's now about starting to get match ready, working on routines and starting to get a feel for where fields are.

"Working out gameplans, movements and triggers and all that kind of stuff.

"Then as we go on week by week, by week now, we are going to really upgrade and sharpen those match skills."