A LIFELONG Somerset supporter has been reflecting on a dream trip watching England in Australia - with the bonus of seeing Craig Overton in action for the tourists.

Mike Hatcher, 57, and his wife Jackie watched the second Test in Adelaide and the third Test in Perth - the two in which Overton featured prior to sustaining a cracked rib - as well as taking the chance to visit family near Melbourne during their 22-day trip.

Though the series didn’t go to plan from an English point of view, Hatcher told the County Gazette (from whom he won a signed Somerset shirt just prior to Christmas - pictured below): “We had a brilliant time.

“It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.

"Fortunately my wife likes cricket as well, so we watched the Tests together and we were absolutely gripped.

“The Australian people are very welcoming, but when it comes to sport they just want to kill you!

“We were sat near the Barmy Army, who were full of encouragement, whereas some of the Aussie spectators were just abusing the England players.”

Somerset County Gazette:

PRIZE: Mike Hatcher with the signed Somerset CCC shirt he won in the County Gazette's pre-Christmas competition.

Seeing Overton in action was a particular highlight for the Hatchers, who were proud of how the Somerset man performed.

“We turned up in the morning of the day/night Test at Adelaide and saw Craig marking his run in the warm-up, and I thought to myself ‘he’s going to play here.’

“He did really well and tried his best, even after picking up his injury. He’s certainly done his chances no harm going forward.”

Closer to home, Hatcher - who grew up worshipping the famous ‘glory years’ Somerset side including Ian Botham, Joel Garner and Viv Richards - is hopeful the current crop can deliver success in the not too distant future.

“I feel confident that we’ll win something in the next two or three years,” said Hatcher, who travels from Wincanton to watch Somerset in action.

“I really hope it can be this year, as I can’t see Tres [Marcus Trescothick] going on for too much longer, and it would be great to see him lifting the Championship trophy after all he has done for the county.

“I’d love to see them win it in my lifetime, and I think our young, homegrown attack can help us mount a challenge.”