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King ready for action after Oz adventure

14:11 03 April 2014

Bideford

Bideford's Josh King (left) has returned from a winter 'down under'

Archant

Bideford cricketer Josh King returns home from a winter season in Australia

Bideford's Josh King (bottom, second right) has returned from a winter 'down under'Bideford's Josh King (bottom, second right) has returned from a winter 'down under'

BIDEFORD all-rounder Josh King has returned from a hot winter of cricket ‘down under’ raring to go.

In a successful season at Traralgon Cricket Club, near Melbourne, 21-year-old Josh helped his Ozzie Club Traralgon to two out of the three league titles in which they play and a cup triumph.

“Personally I feel my cricket has improved a lot, not just from the playing aspects, but the training side of things as well,” said Josh.

“It was a lot harder to get wickets over there as I use swing to get a lot of mine, but due to the conditions and type of balls they use here, there was very minimal swing! So it taught me to bowl in a much more disciplined way as there wasn’t much room for error.”

Bideford's Josh King has returned from a winter 'down under'Bideford's Josh King has returned from a winter 'down under'

Despite finding it harder to pick up wickets, the Bideford man still comes back with an outstanding bowling average of 17.56.

“If someone told me that I would end up with that, I’d be pretty happy,” said Josh, whose best figures for the year were 5.4 overs, 5 wickets for 11 runs - a performance that saw him promoted from B grade to A grade cricket.

“Off the field, Traralgon are a great club, very sociable and they made me feel very welcome from day one. I couldn’t have asked for any better from them.”

However, living so far away for six months had its ups and downs for Josh, especially around Xmas.

“You start to miss home a little,” he said. “And I’ve decided an English Xmas is a lot better than an Aussie one!

“That said, I’ve loved every minute of being out here. It’s not as bad as everyone says about the spiders and snakes either - since I’ve been here, I’ve only seen three big spiders and one snake.”

As North Devon endured one of the wettest winters since record began, Josh was enjoying an entirely different experience.

“The weather is exactly how everyone describes! We had a very hot period where it was 40+ degrees for over a week, which caused a lot of bush fires only three or four miles from where I was staying.

“But I got a lovely tan to come home with!”

Although relishing the onset of the English cricket season with Bideford, spending some time with his family and friends is Josh’s immediate priority.

“I’ve had an amazing time and recommend anyone who’s thinking about it to just do it, as you might only get once chance!”

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