JOSH Thomas who was awarded a contract in September after graduating from the Somerset Academy has spent the first few weeks of his life as a professional cricketer out in South Africa, writes Richard Walsh.

Whilst the rest of the locally based Somerset players reported back to the Cooper Associates County Ground for fitness testing earlier this week the 18 year old all rounder who has appeared for Somerset in the 50 over one day competition in both 2022 and 23 has been out in South Africa.

Talking from Cape Town earlier this week the local boy who plays club cricket for Taunton St Andrews said: “I flew out two weeks ago since when I have been attending the Gary Kirsten Cricket Academy, where I have been working with some top coaches. I’m out here for a month and go back to England in early December.

“Most of the time I have been training indoors with the coaches - people like Jimmy Cook, Justin Kemp and Gary Kirsten as well- I had a session with him today.”

As well as being part of the Kirsten Academy, Josh has been playing club cricket in Cape Town.

“Everyday has been very busy and its been really hard work in addition to which I have I have also been going to club training on a Tuesday and Thursday at Rondebosch and have played a couple of first team for them. It’s a pretty high standard but I have really enjoyed it and its great playing outdoors in the sun.”

Josh added: “As much as I’m enjoying it out here I’m still looking forward to getting back to England and training with Somerset because I’ve never experienced being in a professional environment in the winter.”