Somerset captain Tom Abell was back home this week after spending time in Abu Dhabi with the England Lions and some of the England players who are preparing for the upcoming Test series against Pakistan before Christmas.

He said: “I've had a brilliant few weeks away with the Lions.

"I have had a few experiences with them now but this one was slightly different. There was a lot of middle wicket practice and different scenarios aimed at looking to play in the sub continent, how to play spin and reverse swing.

“I felt that I have taken a huge amount from that experience and I have grown as a player for sure.”

Somerset team mate Jack Leach was one of the England players who was out in Abu Dhabi at the same time.  

“Leachy got me out in the Lions game against England so its 1-0 to him!" Abell said.

"He is in a really good place at the moment and its exciting for him going to Pakistan for the Test series.

“It was a brilliant experience because England are playing their cricket with a slightly different mind set at the moment and there is a huge amount of learning to take from that. It’s about a different mind set batting and putting pressure on the opposition.

“One thing that was reinforced was doing it in your own way and I feel I took my game to a slightly different level out there and I will be looking to do that back here with Somerset.”

Where does the captain go next?

“It’s looking like I might have a busy winter ahead of me because I have got a couple of T20 competitions and then I’m hoping to be involved in the Lions tour to Sri Lanka in the new year, dependant on selection," he said.

“I'm feeling my cricket is in a pretty good place at the moment and I am now trying to take things onto the next level. My ultimate goal and dream is to try to break my way into the England Test Match set up but it's far easier said than done.

“I have just got to try and take the learning from these sorts of experiences and hopefully it can help to make me a better player.”

Before he sets off again, however, local boy Tom was the special guest at the Taunton Area Christmas Carol Lunch on Thursday where he had the chance to catch up with many of the people who have enjoyed watching his career develop over the years.