AS YOU are reading this latest column, I should have just arrived in New Zealand for a couple of months of cricket.

I spoke a few weeks ago about my plans to go and play for the Bay of Plenty side and train with the Northern Districts state squad through to early March.

I may even get a four-day game or two for Northern Districts, depending on how things go with my form and their availability.

Although it has been a trip in the pipeline for some time, it was only finalised fairly recently.

I had a contingency plan of going to work with Dale Benkenstein in South Africa for a month or two but this is happening and I'm really looking forward to it. It will be a good life experience and hopefully I can play some good cricket.

I have been doing some research on the Bay of Plenty – including speaking to Kane Williamson, who has helped organise my trip, and their CEO – and I think the best comparison I can make is to Minor Counties cricket in England.

They have a one-day cup and a three-day competition, although I'm not yet 100 per cent sure if there's T20 in there as well. In my mind, it will be a bit like going to play for a Shropshire or similar.

That was the thing for me when planning the trip. I didn't just want to play every Saturday, I wanted something a little more substantial.

I think the Bay of Plenty will play three or four three-day games while I'm there on top of one-day games. I think it's going to work out perfectly.

Even if I don't play for Northern Districts, there will be just enough cricket to go with some down time in between to charge my batteries. I want to play and improve but I also want to see some of New Zealand.

I'm not too sure how the early stages of my trip will work out until I get over there. As far as I'm aware, the Bay of Plenty's first game is at the back end of this month, so I will probably be doing quite a bit of training before then. I may also get placed with a club side to play a Saturday fixture or two beforehand.

But my first port of call was the T20 international between New Zealand and Bangladesh at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui. That will be my home base for my time there.

I had a bat at Headingley last week but the Yorkshire lads returned to training on Thursday after the Christmas break and things really start to ramp up now. After all, it won't be long until the season starts.

The training really intensifies, be it fitness or cricket sessions. This will also be the part of the winter where Andrew Gale starts to lead some of the sessions as our new coach.

Elsewhere in the world of cricket, I expect the upcoming one-day series between India and England to be fascinating. I certainly think England have a sniff of winning.

They are a really good team who've developed massively over the last 18 months and I see them doing well. But India in India, it's another level. It wouldn't surprise me at all if it were a game in it either way.

I've also been watching quite a bit of the Australian Big Bash on TV, keeping a particularly keen eye on all the Yorkshire links past and present.

It's a really good competition and it's been great to see so many English lads get signed up and also make a difference. That can only bode well for our game back home.

There's also an element of it being an important time of year for counties to sit back and study different ways to play the game, although it has to be said there's a massive difference in playing at the Adelaide Oval on a Friday night to somewhere like Grace Road because of the pitches.

But actual ideas, you can take a lot of things from the Big Bash as a county.

Martyn Moxon (Yorkshire director of professional cricket) is currently in Australia and has had a few days with Adelaide and that kind of hands-on experience can be invaluable for our development at Yorkshire.

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