HIS ENGLISH home is set in one of the country’s warmest counties, but even James Walsh is aware that settling into the heat of a south-west summer will take some time.
The wicketkeeper-batsman landed at Wesley-CBC at the start of the month, leaving a promising career in Plymouth to try his hand at the Australian game.
And it’s already paying dividends.
The 25-year-old has contributed with totals of 20 and 41 in his first two innings with the Warrnambool and District Cricket Association outfit, while also boasting two catches from behind the stumps.
Walsh said he was excited to take part in a new chapter of his career with the Beavers.
“It’s (playing overseas) is always something that is in the back of your mind,” he said.
“It got to the point where I sort of realised if I didn’t do it now, I never would. It was a fairly quick process and before I knew it, I was over here.
“I’m looking forward to the experience and having the opportunity to play cricket all year round is great. With it being a skill-based sport, to be able to keep playing it will really help me.”
Walsh said he was adapting to the conditions and pace of the game in the south-west after time with the Plymouth Cricket Club in the Devon Premier League.
I sort of realised if I didn’t do it now, I never would. It was a fairly quick process and before I knew it, I was over here.James Walsh
“Here in Australia, the grounds are huge because a lot of cricket is played on football grounds. Because it’s played on a football pitch, the grass tends to be a little longer. That’s something I’m going to have to adapt to,” he said.
“The fields here are perhaps more difficult to score runs on. I was speaking to some guys here who said 200 is a good one-day score, whereas back home, 310 can not be enough from 50 overs of play.
“That’s something I’m going to have to adapt to, but I’m looking forward to the challenge of it. It’s something I’m going to have to adapt to fairly quickly, but I’m going to knuckle down.
“Hopefully it dries a little bit and then we can get on the turf as soon as possible.”
Walsh’s Wesley-CBC outfit have secured one win and one loss in the Warrnambool and District Cricket Association competition to date.
He said his early observations of the game in the south-west had revealed the region had a greater emphasis on medium pace bowling than of that in England.
“I want to just settle in as quickly as I can so I can develop a gameplan for myself that is as effective as possible down here,” Walsh said.
“There’s not so many spinners down here, and there isn’t as many express pace bowlers, but I’ve got to perfect playing against slower, medium pace bowlers.”