Published: 9th January, 2019
Surrey all-rounder Scott Borthwick will play Australian grade cricket for Perth club Midland-Guildford until early March ahead of the 2019 English county season.
Borthwick, who flies out to Perth on Wednesday, will train alongside Will Jacks, who turns out for University Cricket Club, under the guidance of former Surrey man Stewart Walters during the week.
Each weekend he will then play for Director of Cricket Alec Stewart’s old club Midland-Guildford, starting with a one-day match on Saturday before a T20 quarter-final this Sunday. Stewart spent seven consecutive winters with the club from 1981 onwards and has remained in contact with many at Lilac Hill since then.
Borthwick said: “Stewie has sent a few Surrey players there over the years and still has quite a lot of friends at the club. He’s sorted this out for me which means I can get some cricket under my belt before the season.
“Stewie has told me a lot about the club themselves and that their set up is excellent. They’re a real family club and he has known people there for a long time. This has just made me even more excited to get over there and get playing in the sun.”
Borthwick has already played in a number of grade cricket leagues in Sydney, Adelaide and Hobart so he knows what to expect when he takes to the middle.
“Grade cricket is quite tough and very competitive. The Aussies aren’t shy of giving you a bit of stick and they take it really seriously, which means the standard is pretty good.”
Midland-Guildford and University have already come up against each other in this year’s 1st Grade competition, meaning Borthwick won’t get to face off against his training partner Jacks but he has already been in touch with him to get the lowdown on life in Perth, especially for help with his packing.
“Jacksy is loving his time out there and learning a lot. He’s doing really well and scoring plenty of runs, I can’t wait to work with him in the week. The only bad thing he said is that sometimes Perth can get stinking hot,” said Borthwick.
The main aim of his time in Australia for Borthwick however remains to prepare him first for Surrey’s pre-season tour of Dubai and then the intensive county season that will follow.
“This will give me the chance to get in some rhythm and game time is always important for that. Playing cricket at this time of the year is crucial and hopefully I can get some overs under my belt and spend some time in the middle.”
We will keep you up to date with the progress of Borthwick, Jacks and Stuart Meaker, who is playing grade cricket in Sydney, throughout the coming weeks on kiaoval.com.