YOU can tell it was the first week of the cricket season as we had snow in some parts of the country - including back at home in Wrexham!

I’ll have to pack a sweater or two, or maybe three thinking on as we start the County Championship at Headingley when we take on a very good Yorkshire side.

It’s exciting to start at Headingley and most of the lads probably haven’t played there before.

I’ve played there once before, about 10 years ago while I was there with Brymbo as a 10 year-old when we were the guard of honour. And I can’t remember much from that day.

I’m really looking forward to facing a Yorkshire team with England captain Joe Root in it.

We have his brother, Billy, in our side so those two going up against each other will be fun to watch.

As a start to the season, it will be a real test and a challenge. But we’ve got a group with plenty of good players. And as a club and a team we need to embrace these challenges and show how good we can be.

Everyone’s excited to get going. It’s been a long winter, and we’ve been fortunate to be able to keep training and keep ourselves fit, and the recent news means things are looking better.

I told readers in last month’s Leader column that I’ll be opening the batting this season - and in the pre-season warm-up matches, me and Nick Selman are starting to gel as an opening partnership.

I’ve hit 80, 60 and 50 in the warm-ups.

We’ve had a good pre-season, culminating in a game against Somerset last week. But now it’s time for the real thing.

One of the benefits of opening the batting is that I won’t be suffering from nerves like you do when you’re three, four or five in the batting order.

There’s nothing worse than waiting to go into bat. I’m not the best of watchers and with virtually all pavilions side on the square, the ball looks so much quicker as it flies past the bat.

Knowing that you are opening means that once the toss is made and you’re batting, you get ready and you’re out at the crease within half an hour.

You hear of all the superstitions and idiosyncrasies in sport and not just cricket.

Some of our team tap both sides of the crease at the end of each over when they’re batting. I just put my equipment on in the same order every time I bat.

Because of Covid restrictions, all the team members will be driving up to Leeds in their own cars.

If we’d have gone on a bus and someone supplied a positive test then that would be game over.

So we’re meeting at Headingley today and then we’ll be in the hotel rooms before the game starts tomorrow.

It’s a bizarre existence with no-one else in the hotels - and then no spectators in the grounds.

It’s good to hear that pilot events are being organised for some sporting events and you’d like to think that the crowds four-day cricket attracts, some supporters can be allowed in.

It’s good to see the North Wales League will be starting their season in a month’s time.

That’s where I started out from all the junior age levels with Brymbo - and hope all their teams have a great season.

The return to action last summer after the first lockdown where matches started much earlier on a Saturday proved a big success.

It’s always been traditional that matches would start a bit later but if teenagers are being encouraged to play then it makes a difference they know the game is going to finish before seven o’clock instead of driving back down the A55 from the likes of Bethesda and Menai Bridge in the dark.

I was lucky when I started out. Obviously my dad played a huge part as he has done at Brymbo for years.

But when you have the likes of Nige and Ross Roberts there offering advice then cricket was the thing to do. If you weren’t playing games Saturday, Sunday or midweek matches, you’d be at the ground in the nets.

Playing alongside the Roberts brothers, that’s how you learn the game - and I’m sure a lot of players whether they’re on the county circuit or playing league cricket will say the same.

I’m hoping Dean Keates can bring in a couple of strikers at Wrexham to keep the Reds’ promotion dream alive.

We’re running low on strikers although one facebook post saying Daniel Sturridge is available made me laugh.

I know the club has mega-rich owners but Sturridge may be a bit out of our league. Whoever they sign, I’ll be watching along as will our five-month-old son, Freddie, who has already got his first Wrexham FC shirt.

Come on you Reds and come on Glamorgan too!