Dawson looks ahead to England training camp

25 June 2020

The Gloucestershire head coach led the successful Lions tour to Australia during the winter, having previously filled various roles with England Under-19s.

Now, for the first time since his playing career ended, Dawson is involved with the senior England squad, having been named spin bowling coach for a training camp at the Ageas Bowl and the three-match #raisethebat Test Series against West Indies, which follows next month.

Training starts today (Thursday 25 June) and 39-year-old Dawson is delighted at the opportunity to further boost his growing reputation.

“It’s a really exciting prospect for me,” he said. “I never expected to be named Lions head coach, so to be part of the England staff leading up to a Test Series is huge.

“I had led an England Under-19s tour to South Africa in 2017, but obviously the Lions was a big step up and now I have a fantastic opportunity to work with all our top spinners.

“I’m going to enjoy it and give it my best shot. I learned a lot working with different coaches and players during seven weeks with the Lions, managing the playing side of the trip.

“That and all the other experiences I have had as a player and coach will be going into the new role.”

Dawson can talk to England's players from experience, having made seven Test match appearances himself, including four in the 2002-03 Ashes Series in Australia.

Among the spinners he will be working with at the Ageas Bowl will be Somerset pair Jack Leach and Dom Bess, the experienced Moeen Ali, Lancashire’s Matt Parkinson and Surrey’s Amar Virdi.

“One thing I have learned is that coaching involves listening to players as much as talking to them,” said Dawson.

“I am looking forward to asking the lads in the England squad questions to find out what they want to achieve and how they intend going about it.”

The #raisethebat Test Series behind closed doors against West Indies starts at Southampton on July 8, with both the second and third games to be played at Emirates Old Trafford.

Dawson’s involvement means he will miss the start of Gloucestershire’s preparation for the new county season.

The players are due to report back next Wednesday, even though no date has yet been set for competitive matches to start.

“All the other Gloucestershire coaches will be working again and we have already drawn up training schedules,” said Dawson.

“The lads are raring to go after such a long break and hopefully it won’t be long before we learn what formats we will be playing.

“I will be back with them at the end of next month and we all hope we can maintain the momentum built up while winning promotion in the Championship last summer.”

As far as his international ambitions are concerned, Dawson said: “It is not something I spend a lot of time thinking about.

“At the moment I am not looking beyond the next five weeks and trying to do the best job I possibly can over that period.”

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