WHILE the second round of Shield cricket started this week, 11 domestic players made their way to Hobart to take on England in a tour match for Australia A.
The squad is somewhat of a reunion for me, having played Australian Under-19s with a handful of the boys a number of years ago.
It must be reassuring for Cricket Australia to see that players they developed through the junior ranks of U17s and U19s are blossoming into consistent international cricketers.
Back in 2006 our U19 World Cup team that played in Sri Lanka featured some big names, a team in which the majority of players have since played international cricket for Australia in some form or another.
The likes of David Warner, Usman Khawaja and Jackson Bird have shone brightly for the Australian team, as have Moises Henriques, Aaron Finch and Matthew Wade.
This week's match coincides with the second round of Sheffield Shield cricket, meaning a few teams are without their full line-ups.
Fortunately, Australian selectors have said that performances in this Shield round will carry the same weight as a good performance in the Australia A game, meaning the opportunities are there for those vying for the final Ashes berths, whatever the match.
Down in Hobart, the Poms must have brought the British weather with them - not one day's play forecast is above 15 degree Celsius, and plenty of rain causing yesterday's play to be abandoned.
As a fast bowler, this is not prime weather to spend in the field. You would think the hardest thing about bowling in the cold would be getting warm and limber to hit the crease hard, and more often than not you would be right.
Unfortunately I must be different to the other quicks, it's my feet that take the most work to get warm. Half the time they are numb, no matter how many pairs of socks or different boots I wear.
I'm not the most agile bloke when it comes to throwing one's self around in the field, but it's safe to say it must look like my ankles are tied together whenever I field down here - a baby giraffe at its finest.
The Hobart Tour match is the second for the English since they touched down in Perth last week, where they took on a West Australian XI.
On loan for the match was Bulls batsman Chris Lynn, who celebrated his selection with a blistering 104, followed by 61 not out in the second innings. It was great news for Lynny, and the depth of our Bulls line-up.
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