The hard work is paying off in India at Men's Academy

Thu, Mar 4, 2010 3:06 PM

The ICC European Men's Academy in India has so far been a great success, 23-year-old Mark Jonkman speaks about his week.

Winning feeling-the hard work is paying off

Pune- So far my first ICC Men's Academy has been thoroughly entertaining; after arriving a day later due to issues with my visa, everything has been fantastic.

We played our first 50-over game on Tuesday and won, all the guys are really pleased with how they performed. I was happy with my performance, 5 overs no wickets, but didn't go for many runs and bowled some decent out swing at good pace. Overall I was very happy with my performance. The past few days we have had training sessions, team talks and 1:1 technical sessions which has made the programme interesting and provided variety.

The facilities here in Pune have been good, we have six nets to use and can train in the middle when it is not in use by the Poona Sports Club teams. I spent time here before for several days with the Netherlands squad before we departed to Dubai for the ICC World Twenty20 2010 qualifiers and thought it was great then; but being here for longer I have seen what a fantastic environment this is to play cricket in and what a great job everyone has done to get the academy organised.

Working with all the coaches has been great for me; as they all specialise in different areas and therefore can help everyone in all different aspects of their game. We sit down with the coaches and discuss how we can improve in different areas and go through plans of how to achieve this. As bowling coach I have worked closely with Geoff Lawson, former Australian cricket legend. My form has been pretty solid; having played well in Dubai and then to continue it on here, all the coaches seem happy with the way I am developing and particularly how I have trained here. I have worked with Geoff on developing my slower balls and adding additional variety to changes in pace.

Involved in another 50-over game yesterday which ended in a victory for us and we are continuing the winning feeling, to take into the two remaining Twenty20 matches. The bowlers bowled well and as a unit; while Andrew Poynter scored a quality 80 not out. We have been training pretty hard, so had a slightly less demanding day today, which started with a hard pool fitness session which was a team based activity. We followed this with the rest of the day free from activity. I enjoyed having a relaxing day and socialising with the guys; I already knew a couple of them, but the whole group has mixed so well and everyone enjoys each other's company. The plan is to have a team meal tomorrow night after hopefully winning both T20 games. I know how much everyone would like to go through the trip unbeaten!

Looking forward to the last day of the Academy; to make the most of everything here and then it will be home for some rest and then begin training with Netherlands for the Pro 40 League- hopefully taking everything from here into a great season.


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