CRICKET: WARWICKSHIRE fast bowler Olly Stone is hoping three months down under will help him play a big role in the club’s pace attack next season.
The 23-year-old arrived at Edgbaston from Northamptonshire last autumn, but he had to wait for his Bears debut after completing 12 months rehab following a major knee operation.
Though the surgery had no impact on his pace bowling, his season this year was cut short by a bruised heel.
Stone will jet off to Perth, in western Australia, next month on a mission to return to Edgbaston in the spring well-placed to rattle a few batsmen on the Bears’ behalf in 2018.
“I’ll be in Perth for just over three months to play some grade cricket to keep my body ticking over,” he said.
“I’ll play some cricket in all formats and spend some time in the gym and just enjoy being able to play. It will perfect for me, having not played a lot this year.
“I’d love to contribute a lot for Warwickshire next year.
“It was nice this season to come back and bowl quite fast. The winter objective is for me to get my fitness up so that I can do that in four-day games and not just in T20.”
Warwickshire’s supporters had long a wait to see Stone in first-team action due to his injury.
But the Norwich-born player wants to be a consistent members of Bears’ team for years to come.
Despite the late-season injury, his overall progress since surgery has been very encouraging.
“It was frustrating to get the heel injury because all the rest of my body was ready to go,” he said.
“But while I was in rehab I was told that when I first came back it would not necessarily be the knee that was the issue but everything else needing to catch up with the strains of bowling again.
“I have had a few little niggles but it is nice to know that my knee is strong and can cope with what’s needed.”