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Ben Duckett today flies out to Spain with twelve other professional cricketers from ten other counties as part of the 2016 Tom Maynard Academy. For ten days the group will work on a carefully planned programme covering technical skills, strength and conditioning and both individual and group activity. The trip will culminate in two Twenty20 matches between the Tom Maynard Academy XI and a Spanish national side.

Somerset Director of Cricket Matthew Maynard will head the delivery of the programme assisted by former Australian all-rounder and current Gloucestershire Assistant Head Coach Ian Harvey and, it is hoped, by former Leicestershire, Kent & England wicket-keeper/batsman Paul Nixon. All three were involved in the Tom Maynard Academy in each of the two previous years when Northamptonshire players Alex Wakely and Rob Keogh were involved.  Ben will also be taking part in sessions led by Jamie Dalrymple, former Glamorgan captain and Middlesex and England all-rounder on leadership, sports psychology and dressing room dynamics. Ireland’s former Head of Performance and now Millfield School’s Head of Cricket Coaching, Mark Garaway will be back to carry out personality profiling and to support the 2016 intake. Mike Fatkin, one of the Trustees of the Tom Maynard Trust and a former CEO at Glamorgan will provide management support for Matthew and help the players to understand some of the off-field pitfalls of being a professional sportsperson. Former England Head Physiotherapist Dean Conway will oversee the fitness and physical work whilst the group is in Spain.

Once again, the 2016 programme is being funded in its entirety by the Trust. Matthew Maynard said “We are delighted again to have had such fantastic support from the counties and I’m really looking forward to working with another group of young cricketers as we continue to establish the Rom Maynard Academy as an integral part of the ECB’s and the counties’ player development pathways. There are some very knowledgeable people involved in delivering the programme and the quality of the facilities at Desert Springs continues to improve year on year. A large proportion of the lads who have come through the Academy have gone on to play senior level cricket and I have no doubt the experience will be of real benefit to the twelve cricketers involved as they approach pre-season. 

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