GLOUCESTERSHIRE batsman Chris Dent is looking to make up for lost time and get his international ambitions back on track after an injury ravaged season.
The 21-year-old Thornbury star caught the eye of the England selectors with his promising form before fracturing his finger and then dislocating a shoulder just three weeks into his return to rule him out for the rest of the campaign. Dent, who played for England under-19s, is now training again in the nets and hoping for a change of luck next year.
He said: “I am hoping that if I have a big season I will be considered for the England Performance Squads. I felt I was on my way to making that happen when injury struck last summer and it remains a very important target.
“Everyone should have aspirations to play at the highest possible level and I certainly do.
“I’m really looking forward to next season. I feel I can take confidence from how I started last summer and again I will have some targets.
“I am pretty much fully recovered now. The shoulder is feeling solid and I’m able to take part in training fully.
“Having missed so much cricket this year, I have to regain my spot in the first team. I am working very hard at the moment and the aim will be to open the batting again.
“I can’t expect to be put straight back into the side, so I shall need some runs in the pre-season games. But if I can get a few scores before the opening Championship match I hope to be in contention.
“As a team we started last season quite well and it was a case of not maintaining sufficient consistency. I still have big personal ambitions and the better I play the more it will help the side get to where we want to be.”
While much of Gloucestershire’s squad are spending their winter playing in sunnier climes abroad, Dent is happy to be working on his own game in the County Ground nets.
He said: “I’m not 100 per cent sure what will be happening after Christmas, but the chances are I shall be staying at home this winter.
“I stayed here last winter and felt I got better as a player, as well as fitter and stronger, so I’m happy to be at the ground each day working hard.”