England’s Ravi Bopara has revealed his joy at extending his contract at Essex for another year.
Bopara has been with the county his entire career and now aged 29 is considered one of the more experienced members of the team. He says it was an easy decision for him to stay at the club.
He told GiveMeSport: “It’s been a great club for me, I love playing for Essex, I love the boys there, we have a lot of fun.”
Essex had a strong 2014 season, narrowly missing out on promotion to Division One and reaching the quarter-finals in the Natwest T20 Blast and the Royal London one-day cup. However Bopara thinks the side have matured and will be even better next year.
“We had a really young team and the boys have shown just how good they are. I wouldn’t call it a young team now, they have developed and become better players, it’s nice to see.”
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On a personal level Bopara also enjoyed a fruitful season, averaging 52.12 in T20s and 40.40 in the one-day cup. His form has brought him back in contention for the national side and is currently with the squad in Sri Lanka ahead of the upcoming one-day series.
The domestic season ended in September but Bopara admitted he has been working hard during the off-season to prepare for England’s winter tour.
Raring to go
“You’ve got to keep fit, you’ve still got to hit balls and bowl because you’ve got to stay up with the pace of cricket," he added.
"You can’t suddenly have a month off and expect to turn it on when you come back in”
The all-rounder is expected to compete with Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali for a place in the side and the skiddy conditions in the Sri Lanka could favour Bopara’s bowling style.