The allrounder admits this season has been a challenge but is committed to a spell overseas
Sean Abbott admitted that there have been days during a long season when finding the motivation to train has been difficult but after a brief break he is ready to keeping playing in order to push his case for a T20 World Cup spot.
Abbott’s Australian season will come to a close over the next 10 days with two finals – the Marsh Cup and Sheffield Shield – as he aims to hold all three domestic titles aloft having also been part of the Sydney Sixers side to secure the BBL then he will head to the UK for a spell with Surrey in mid-May.
The state campaign is stretching further into April that it normally would due to the impact of Covid-19 on the schedule and Abbott’s season effectively began in mid-August when he travelled to England with Australia’s white-ball squad.
After returning from that tour there was two weeks quarantine before he went into the Sheffield hub in Adelaide, then to Australia A duty before returning to the Test squad after a calf strain. He then slotted into the Sixers line-up before resuming duties with New South Wales following the postponement of the South Africa Test tour.
Being selected in that Test squad meant he was unavailable to be part of the T20I team that went to New Zealand and it’s the carrot of the World Cup in India that has been a large driver behind taking up a deal with Surrey which will see him available for the entire T20 Blast tournament.
“It’s something I certainly had a few conversations with my girlfriend about. She’s working full time and the times I am home it’s not like I get to spend all day with here,” he said. “Was something we had to talk about seriously then obviously the risks with Covid, but it’s a World Cup year.
“I missed out on the trip to New Zealand having been selected in the South Africa squad and with a lot of guys playing really good cricket there’s a lot of competition for those spots for tours at the back end of the year. Weighing up the risks of going away and trying to improve and trying to challenge for those spots.
“It’s another heavy workload being away for eight to ten weeks with quarantine on the back of that, it was the risk I was willing to take given the year we have ahead.”
There is plenty of motivation for the last two matches of the season with a pair of titles at stake – facing Western Australia for the Marsh Cup on Sunday before defending their Sheffield Shield title against Queensland in Brisbane – but Abbott is actually grateful to have been sidelined for a couple of weeks by injury,
“There’s definitely been tough days, rolling out of bed sort of trying to work out where you are and what you are up to that day,” he said. “Splitting my webbing open [against Tasmania] was almost a blessing in disguise even though I hate missing cricket games but it allowed me the chance to visit my family, spend some time with them and my girlfriend.”
“We’ve had to band together a lot of the time and maybe focus less on training and more on staying mentally fresh this time of the season because there is some fatigue there. But pretty fortunate with the teams I’m involved in surrounded by a great group, both the players and the coaching staff.
“Whilst right now there’s been a couple of days where you don’t really want to get up and do your job, the people I’ve been around have made it a lot easier. So pretty lucky.”
Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo