Ball: Playing international cricket is a dream
England Seamer Jake Ball says that playing international cricket is a dream come true for him despite enduring a rollercoaster start to his time at the highest level.
Ball is part of the England Ashes squad and feels that his team have every chance of retaining the urn downunder.
The 26-year-old says that he tries not to take criticism from the press and social media personally while also admitting that he enjoys taking it all in when things are going well.
Ball told the Nottingham Post: “It’s starting to feel a bit more normal that I’ll be going to the Ashes. I had a bit of a break at the end of the season and got away from cricket a bit.
“Getting all my kit and packing it all makes it feel more real.
“I can’t wait to get out there now. I’m excited to get in front of an Australian crowd if I play. So long as it doesn’t get out of hand, it’s good to have the banter.
“I think you have to go out there with drive and determination. I’ve got personal pride.
“It hasn’t gone my way all the time in ODI cricket this year. There’s times where it’s been hard.
“There’s going to be bad times in international cricket. There will be times when the media is on your back and you have to deal with it.
“I think that’s how you sustain an international career. I’ve noticed the increased scrutiny.
“I certainly don’t let it influence me. I’m very confident in my game. The stuff like media scrutiny and social media, it’s all a bit of a sideshow.
“When it’s going well it’s good to look at. I like looking at it when you’ve had a good day.
“When you have a bad day and bad press, plus the people on Instagram on Twitter think they know best, it’s about not looking at that and believing in yourself.
“The bad days make the good days even better. It will be ups and downs in international cricket.
“I think from your first ball for England, you feel like it’s your stage. You’ve got to enjoy playing in front of packed crowds in front of the cameras.
“You enjoy playing at the top level. You’ve worked all your career to get to that point so you have to enjoy it while you’re there.
“An international career can come and go if you aren’t switched on. Playing international cricket is a dream, especially an Ashes series.”
Ball expects a hostile environment in Australia but has backed his team to do well after an excellent home summer saw them win series over the highly rated Proteas and a West Indies team with a point to prove.
He went on: “The crowd will be on your back. You have to know in your head we’re good enough to go out there and beat them.
“We’ve got an excellent mix of experienced players that have been out there and know what Australia has to offer, plus guys like me who are new to it. It’s good to have both angles covered.”
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