Published: 8th March, 2018
Mark Stoneman is heading back Down Under for England’s Test series with New Zealand – but not before getting his eye in at the start of the Surrey pre-season.
Stoneman was an ever present at the top of the England order in Australia, opening the innings in all five Test Matches alongside Alastair Cook.
After a prolonged period of white ball action, Stoneman is now flying to New Zealand as England prepare to conclude their winter programme with a pair of Test Matches against the dangerous Kiwis.
To start his preparation, Stoneman has been training with the Surrey squad this week, utilising the heated marquee on the Kia Oval outfield that has allowed the squad to train in outdoor conditions despite the recent extreme weather that the south of England has suffered.
Before he left, he spoke to the Surrey website about the memories of his first Ashes series, which he described as “everything you’d expect it to be and more”.
“The hype, the intensity, the quality of the cricket – it was just an incredible thing to be a part of”, he continued.
“It could have gone a lot better from a personal note and as a team losing the Ashes is not something you ever want to be a part of but credit to Australia for how well they played. All in all, it was a fantastic experience and hopefully something I’ve learned from and can use to help take my game to the next level and help me do really well in New Zealand.”
Golf, Father-in Law and Ollie Pope
With an Australian wife, Stoneman has spent many months Down Under in recent years, so enjoyed the chance to relax in Sydney once the Ashes were complete. As well as “schooling” his father-in-law on the golf course, he also took the chance to spend time with a Surrey team mate who was enjoying a hugely successful summer in Sydney.”
It was also good to catch up with Ollie Pope and have a few hits with him”, said the man universally known as Rocky. “He’s been absolutely flying so all things looking good for him for this coming season with Surrey as well.”