At 39 years of age and in the twilight of his career, Gareth Batty is determined not to give up the chance to learn at every given moment.
The Surrey captain spent last winter away with England in Test duty, more than 11 years since last featuring, unexpected for all concerned as he boarded a flight to Bangladesh and then India.
But rather than just go along for the ride, the spinner is self-assured of one thing: his desire to improve will never waiver.
The skipper takes the reins once more for the Royal London One-Day Cup campaign, starting against Somerset on Friday, determined to use his England experience to the max as his continues a career that started in 1997.
“I’m keen to continue learning, I developed a lot over that winter and hopefully I can use all that both for myself and for Surrey,” he said at the launch of the Royal London One-Day Cup.
“I want to move things forward, the day that you stop learning is the one you should stop playing the game. Cricket doesn’t stand still and I don’t think people should.
“So if you don’t feel like you can get better or improve then perhaps that is the point you are doing the wrong job.
“The duty of being a Surrey players means there is an expectation for us to win. Rightly or wrongly, it’s there and it’s never going to change and players get used to that expectation.
“We haven’t delivered for a while, but I feel like we have a very good squad. We’re having to leave out international players which speaks volumes for our squad.”
The lack of delivery that Batty alludes to is the rather large elephant in the room – two Royal London One-Day Cup defeats in the past two seasons.
And as a self-confessed bad loser, the tweaker knows that it’s memories of the game that will always stick with him, whether they be good or bad.
But despite those defeats to Gloucestershire and Warwickshire, this season presents a chance to start afresh for Batty and co, with an early start and a Lord’s summer final which the veteran is simply itching to be at.
“It’s fantastic the competition is coming back to the height of summer, it’s what I remember when I was a youngster, having a big final at the right time of the season,” he added.
“It’s a brilliant idea and a real positive for the game, it’s great that Royal London have brought that in and it breaks up the season brilliantly, there is silverware on offer from the halfway point onwards which creates a lot of intrigue into what we’re doing.
“We’ve certainly not covered ourselves in glory over the past couple of years, but I guess the positives are definitely there to be taken from that.
“We’ve got to finals and as long as we get there we have a chance of winning them, but we certainly feel we’re due a good day out at Lord’s.”
As proud sponsors of the One Day Cup, Royal London is giving away match tickets to see the action live. Visit royallondoncricket.com to enter.
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