This is the second preview before we launch our full Player Blog section next week. To read Mark's first blog click here.
17 May 2007
After a few days off, we were back in training today. With the terrible weather we've been having, nothing more than a gym session and some indoor fielding was possible. I enjoyed seeing the guys again though, and courtesy of Charlie Shreck, we had some Cornish pasties to tuck into.
I find time off a two-edged sword. On the one hand it's handy to have a leisurely lunch or do the little jobs I've been putting off for a while, but on the other, I get bored pretty easily so downtime can easily equate to dull-time for me.
I spent Monday travelling down to Essex to catch up with the team psychologist Jamil Qureshi. He is working with a number of the players and I find him excellent. He also works with a number of golfers, so you might have seen him mentioned in the golfing press. Jamil's other talents include magic, and on our pre-season tour he entertained us with a few tricks.
So impressive was he that Rob Ferley declared he was going to become the 'Great Roberto' during the coming winter and conjure up a second career from thin air. Tickets will be available from the usual outlets…
This weekend, we have a vital game against Scotland. I've never played in Edinburgh, so am looking forward to what should be a great day – as long as the weather holds! There is nothing more frustrating than not knowing whether we will be playing or not: blanket rain or relentless sunshine are more preferable to damp, uncertain conditions.
It's particularly difficult for batsmen to retain their concentration during the breaks, which makes Alastair Cook's hundred today even more admirable. It was great to see Charlie Shreck mentioned in parts of the media in relation to the England team for this teat match. Charlie has bowled with skill and heart this summer, and produces some truly fantastic spells of bowling. I guess it's the usual prescription of continuing doing what he's doing, and that England cap can't be too far away.