THREE Worthing Cricket Club players have recently returned from Sri Lanka, where they were on a tour with the Sussex Academy squad.
Nick Oxley, Jamie Piper and Will Fazakerley all took part in the tour, which saw them face the Sri Lanka Army, the Sri Lanka under-19 development squad and a number of area sides.
During the tour, the Sussex side played at the Test match grounds in Galle and Colombo and they secured three wins in total.
Piper, 17, had never played competitive cricket outside of England before and said: “I was a little bit nervous before the trip, as I was not quite sure what to expect on the tour.
“It took a little while for me to get used to the climate and the pitches but after a couple of games it was fine.
“We had a number of weather delays in matches and had a few no results in games.
“The highlight of the tour for me was opening the bowling against the Sri Lanka under-19 development side and claiming two wickets.
“I am now just focusing on gaining as much first-team experience with Worthing in the new season and trying to progress my cricket.”
The weather proved to be a real problem while on the tour as only six of the scheduled 12 matches were completed.
Despite the rain, Worthing youngster Oxley really enjoyed the tour and said: “It was a really great experience to compete in a different country against teams from another nation.
“I went on tour last year to Sri Lanka but only trained, so to get some games this year was amazing.
“The weather was a bit frustrating and we lost a lot of matches to the rain but it was still a great experience.
“My aims now are to try to get into the Sussex Academy side next year by performing well in the coming season.”
Fazakerley, 16, said: “The tour went really well, although it was quite hard out there for a seamer.
“There was not much in the pitch and to get any wickets was a bonus, so it was nice to take the most wickets out of all the seamers.
“Physically, it was tough because of the heat and humidity. Even bowling seven-over spells was difficult but it’s definitely something that has helped me.”
On his aims for the rest of the year, Fazakerley said: “Hopefully, to get in the Sussex Academy squad this year. If not, I’ll aim to have a strong season for the Sussex 17-age-group squad and then try to get into the Academy next year.”
Worthing chairman Tim Dunn said: “It’s obviously great to see three of our players go on tour with Sussex.
“Jamie and Nick have been with us since the age of ten and Will came later but it just goes to show the level of coaching at the club and the commitment from these young guys.
“We won the under-18 Twenty20 tournament back in the summer and had these three in the squad.
“Hopefully, we will be able to keep hold of these players for a little while but who knows what may lay ahead for them in the future.”