Thursday, October 27th, 2022


Worcestershire batter Rehaan Edavalath is spending the next three months at two leading cricket academies in India as he looks to further improve and develop his game after a memorable 2022 season.

Edavalath was named the Worcestershire Academy Player of the Year and awarded his first 12-month professional rookie contract, which came into effect on October 1.

He produced a series of excellent performances, including 233 for the Academy against Somerset and two centuries for the 2nd XI against the South Asian Cricket Academy and Gloucestershire.

Now he is linking up for six weeks with the Karnataka Institute of Cricket in Bangalore and then six weeks with the CSK Academy in Chennai.

Edavalath said: “I’m always wanting to train and to try and get better and keep improving my game, and being able to do that regularly day in and day out with Worcestershire will be brilliant.

“But before then, I’m in India for three months, to Bangalore and the KIOC and then Chennai at the CSK Academy.

“I’ll be linked up with Academys out there and be able to train lots of hours each day and hopefully get to play lots of games as well.

“It will be a hive of activity, and hopefully, I can do well and train well. The good thing is you are to hit loads of balls.

“There will be the opportunity to play against a lot of spin bowling and adapting to different pitches, and that’s the main reason I’m going out there.”

Edavalath made significant strides on a personal level this summer but was also delighted to help Worcestershire Academy win the ECB Under-18 County Championship Group Two, and Barnards Green gain promotion to Birmingham and District Premier League Premier Division One for the first time in their history.

He said: “I thought at the start of this year, with A levels and things, I was just going to enjoy my cricket, and throughout, it has gone really well personally.

“But as a team getting Barnards Green promoted for the first time in the Birmingham League and Worcestershire Academy winning the Under-18s (ECB County Championship) trophy was also excellent.

“It’s been really good, probably my best season yet.

“I’ve always had the potential but haven’t put it into consistent performances, and this year I’ve trained even harder, but also my mindset was more relaxed and open.

“I felt this year was the one where I’ve actually kicked on.”

Edavalath believes the hundred against SACA in April at Stratford was important in the context of the season, and he backed it up with his 164 against Gloucestershire.

He said: “That was special, my first Seconds hundred, and to get it early on sort of settles you down for the rest of the season.

“With the century against Gloucestershire, I felt in good form, leading up to that, and when I got the opportunity to bat number three, I thought ‘I’ve got to take this’ and on a good batting pitch.

“I enjoy batting for long periods, and I’d say that is my biggest strength, really, grinding the bowlers down and getting as many runs as possible.

“Thankfully, I don’t get bored with many hours in the middle!”

Edavalath demonstrated that quality by batting for eight hours spanning three days in making 233 for the Academy against Somerset at Taunton Vale.

He said: “I had to bat through a tricky period on the first evening and, when I got through that, I thought next day I’m going to try and cash in and play my game.

“I did get off to a slow start, but I realised the more I batted, the easier it would get.

“I just kept going and, on the last day, played more like a white ball innings because I was batting with the lower order, and thankfully it paid off. It was one of my favourite innings.“

Edavalath has also been keen to improve his white ball game, and that was also evident with some of his knocks this summer.

He said: “My red ball game felt really strong when we were working on it in the winter.

“But I also did a lot of work on my white ball game, exploring new shots like the sweep, reverse sweeps, and power hitting.

“That has helped me during the season.”

Edavalath has long-term goals he wants to realise and was delighted that he, Henry Cullen and Olly Cox all received professional rookie contracts.

He said: “I got the phone call from Elliot (Wilson) just before a school game, and I was buzzing and couldn’t believe it.

“I’m glad I’ve got it, and hopefully, it is a stepping stone to progress to the first team and hopefully do well at that level.

“Is that the long-term goal? I’d say having a long successful career for the Worcestershire first team would be ideal, and the biggest dream is obviously playing for England, mainly in Test match cricket, but I don’t mind whatever format.”

So who were the players Edavalath admired when growing up?

He said: “The one I really like and learnt a lot from would be Daryl Mitchell and the way he went about his business.

“Elliot spoke a lot to the Academy lads about Daryl, about his work ethic and his set routines and how successful he has been for Worcestershire.

“Jack Haynes has been a decent inspiration for me as well, to see how he has progressed from the Academy to now and being a main player in the first team.

“When he was in his final year at college, I managed to play a fair number of games, and it was good learning from him. We opened the batting together sometimes.”

Edavalath has also learnt from some of the challenges he has faced from opposition bowlers.

He said: “It was good to face Jake Ball, an England bowler, in a Seconds game against Nottinghamshire. That was a really good experience.

“Also, in that same game at Lady Bay, Zak Chappell bowled really well to me.

“Away from Seconds cricket, we’ve had Jerome Taylor at Barnards Green, who I’ve trained with and faced a lot in the nets.

“That has been really good exposure as well. Hopefully, next year I will get to face the Worcestershire seamers in the nets and learn from that experience.

“The Birmingham League is a good learning curve. You come up against different bowling attacks, and there are quite a few professionals, especially in Division One, so that is a very good challenge as well.”