Harmy looking to stamp his mark on the Eagles


After red-ball heroics over the past couple of months, Simon Harmer can turn his attention to the Vitality Blast and his first shot at short-form captaincy.

His mission statement is simple and unequivocal. “My goal is to take us to Finals Day,” says Ryan ten Doeschate’s successor. “I really don’t think that’s aiming for the moon. It’s very achievable and something I look forward to doing.”

“It’s not ideal that we’ve only got that one day to prepare for the first T20 game, but luckily we’ve got a few players who are not part of the four-day set-up who will be coming in for the T20. Our two overseas pros [Mohammad Amir and Adam Zampa] have been playing in the World Cup, so there will have been a lot of focus on white-ball cricket for them.

“We play two games back-to-back, then we’ve got six days until our next game, so we’ve identified that period to put in some real hard yards. I’m sure those first two games aren’t going to be polished performances, but it’s a 14-game competition and it’s about being consistent over the entire competition, not starting like a house on fire.”

Harmer has made 26 T20 appearances for Essex over his two previous seasons at the Club and will also be drawing on the experience of helping Jozi Stars to success in the inaugural Mzansi Super League back home during the winter.

“You’re always learning as a cricketer. There are a few things I picked up during that tournament I’d like to try that I think would work. I’m not the most seasoned campaigner when it comes to T20 cricket, but we’ve got an incredibly strong squad and lots of senior players around me.

“I don’t think it’s going to be a pied piper sort of thing where I’m going to get all the boys to follow me. It’s all about harnessing the potential we have and channeling it in the right direction.

“My whole thing is going to be geared around how we train: it’s taking care of the pennies, the small things, and the pounds will take care of themselves. If we are able to put things together in training, and pay attention to the small details, when it comes into a match the big things will take care of themselves.

“The chat we’ve had with the squad has been about training as smartly as we can, not necessarily as hard as we can. It is all talk now – it then needs to be put into play. It’s going to be challenging, but it’s something I’m looking forward to.”