Jack Burnham Reflects on Amazing Winter in New Zealand
Durham’s Jack Burnham has reflected on an “amazing experience” over the winter when he packed his bags to enhance his cricket and life skills on a trip to New Zealand.
The 23-year-old held discussions with the county about the possibility of playing overseas to build on his comeback season after missing the 2018 campaign due to suspension.
Durham lead high performance coach James Franklin set the wheels in motion for Burnham to travel to Wellington where he served as the professional for Johnsonville Cricket Club.
The middle-order batsman notched two centuries and two fifties in his 15 games for the club, and although he feels that he could have performed to a higher standard, Burnham believes that the overall journey was a life-changing experience.
“I mentioned that I wanted to travel away in the winter,” he said.
“Then I had discussions with the club to see if going away was the best idea and then it all came together nicely. They said it was a good idea to go out there to learn about yourself and your game.
“I got to meet some very cool people along the way. I lived with a family of four, which was a different experience for me because I don’t have any younger siblings.
“Cricket wise it was incredible. It was different as there was a little bit of expectation going overseas to play as a professional. I was satisfied with how I played because I felt I was getting better towards the end of my time there.
“I wish I’d performed a little bit better, but the experience and more importantly the life experience was amazing. I got to visit and see some incredible places. I loved it, it was an amazing experience.
“It was a great idea and overall I feel I returned here a better person than before I left. I would not say no to another opportunity abroad, although I’m 23 now and I think I’m at the stage where I want to get my own house and settle down.
“I might go away again, but it’s unlikely to be this winter.”
Burnham is approaching the current crisis engulfing the country with the same relaxed attitude, although he has admitted that he’s missing the camaraderie in the Durham dressing room due to the delayed start to the cricket campaign.
However, he is more than happy to wait for a return to the field, hailing the sacrifices that frontline workers are making in the bid to stifle the spread of coronavirus.
Burnham added: “I’m missing cricket every day, missing being around the boys and having a laugh. We’re missing that feel of competition when you’re out there playing. It’s hard, but you’ve got to get past because everyone is in the same boat and some have it worse than others. Luckily, I’m with my parents and they’re keeping me going.
“I’m quite calm through it all. I don’t feel the need to go out. We still communicate and we’ve got a group chat going on. Everyone seems to be in good spirits, but we’ve just got to stick together and get through this
“We don’t know what’s going to happen this season. The T20s are where we get the most fans through the gates and everyone likes Friday nights at Chester-le-Street. Hopefully we’re able to fit all formats into the window.
“It’s going to be tough, but we’ll get through it. All the respect has to go to the people on the frontlines, it’s incredible what they’re doing. We just have to be patient.
“We’re trying to do as much as we can, but it’s hard because you don’t want to put yourself or your family at risk. There are a few things that we’re talking about doing, but for now it’s about looking after ourselves and our families.”