Adam Dibble: “Fitness First” – 12th May 2014

Dibbs4Young fast bowler Adam Dibble’s number one priority for 2014 is to get fit and then stay fit.

And who can blame the 23 year-old Devonian for adopting such honest short-term ambitions considering his two previous seasons have been blighted by injury allowing him only fleeting moments to show the Somerset cricket loving public his genuine and blossoming talent.

Adam made his debut for the county in the 2011 Clydesdale Bank 40 game against the Unicorns, taking a wicket. He seemed set for an extended run in the Somerset first team in 2012, aided at the time by the club’s mounting injury list, but sustained a side injury in April during the defeat by future champions Warwickshire at Edgbaston, in which the seam bowler took his LV=CC best figures of 3-42 in the first innings and hit his highest score of 43 off just 46 balls in the second innings. Ultimately this injury and a later knee operation ended his season.

After an early season absence in 2013 he started to feature in the 40-over competition in August and put in some excellent performances. At Cardiff Somerset were defending an average 222 and young Dibble was trusted with bowling at the death and played a part in nearly pulling off an unlikely win as the Welsh club crawled home with only three balls to spare.  Three days later he took 4 for 52 in a victory against a strong Yorkshire team. But injury would strike again to end another season prematurely.

But Adam, who signed a new two-year contract with Somerset in August last year, suggests that the rehabilitation from the recent hamstring injury is going well and a return to action is near, saying: “It’s all coming along nicely and I am looking to be back playing by the end of the month. I had a bit of a setback recently which put me back about six weeks but I am erring on the side of caution and taking things gradually.

Dibbs2“The training is all progressive on a week-by-week basis and I am running now but not bowling yet. I am just concentrating on getting fit. I need to get some confidence back in the body and miles in the legs.”

He has company on the injury list with Steve Kirby and Craig Meschede also recovering, Adam joked: “Yeah, me, Mesch and Kirbs are the “waterboys” at the moment. They are they doing fine and I expect we will all be available at about the same time.”

Having spent so much time on the sidelines the paceman is not a willing spectator: “No not at all. I am a terrible spectator particularly here (at Taunton) where the atmosphere is fantastic and you just want to be out there on the pitch. This weekend the T20 Blast starts and the place will be full, the cider flowing and the crowd in great voice.

“The thing is you can’t release the competitive edge when watching. You want to be competing for your place and against the opposition and not being able to do that is the hardest thing.”

But a spectator he is for the time being so what does he think of Somerset’s start and the first four LV=CC games? He says: “It is all very positive. Third place in the table and unbeaten – I heard the other day that this is Somerset’s best start for a few years now. The idea for the first 4-5 games is to build a strong foundation for the season and we have done that. You can’t win the league in the first four games but you can certainly lose it and we have gone about it really well. The spirit in the camp is positive based on those results.”

And who did Adam think was the star performer so far? “That would be my fellow Devon boy Mr. Lewis Gregory. He has been very impressive with ball and bat and shown what he is about. He works hard, has had a few injury worries in the past but come out the other side firing.”

With the first of T20 Blast games this weekend and the campaign now lasting longer over the season than previous there is plenty of time to be involved in the action, something Adam would relish: “Definitely. Friday night T20 at Taunton is what all of us want to be involved in. The place is buzzing and where better to test yourself? We are lucky to get big crowds here.”

So does Adam think an extended season is better from a playing perspective than a shorter campaign like the Big Bash in Australia? He added: “There’s pro’s and con’s. With the season spread out it should encourage more people to come to the games more often from a financial point of view as we will have one home game instead of three every week. We may not be able attract the big star names as before because they may not be available for 5-6 weeks though, that said, we have got ourselves a big name in Dirk Nannes.”

It is certainly an exciting prospect for the team and supporters. Asked whether Somerset would be targeting the T20 Blast as the most realistic trophy to win this season Adam said: “At the moment we would take any one of the three. Obviously the Championship is the holy grail for our supporters but we won’t concentrate on just one. We can win any of the three, maybe all three? Yeah, all three, why not?”

And, finally, Adam’s personal ambitions for the season? He takes little time to answer: “Get fit. Get in the team and perform and show the supporters what I am capable of. Last season at Glamorgan was a high point for me – up there with bowling in India in the Champions League – and gave me the biggest buzz I had as a player because I realised that I am good enough and I belong at this level. To bowl at the death was great – you can be the hero or other – and the Glamorgan crowd were giving me loads of stick but you enjoy that. Now I want more.”

Thanks to Adam for his time and we wish him all the best in his rehabilitation and hope to see him feature in the first team very soon.