Tasmanian Tigers Men's Head Coach Adam Griffith has spoken of his eagerness to get the summer of cricket underway after seeing a fantastic pre-season effort from his players.
Speaking with the media at Blundstone Arena following this morning's Season Launch Breakfast, Griffith detailed their pre-season - largely spent on turf wickets beneath the all-weather marquee in lieu of a camp to warmer surrounds.
It was a near perfect preparation for the 2018 JLT One-Day Cup which begins for the Tigers in Townsville against Victoria on Wednesday 19 September.
A 16-man squad will travel to Brisbane on Monday for a week of training and a warm-up fixture against Queensland, with a final 14-man squad for the Tigers first two JLT One-Day Cup tournament matches to be selected on Wednesday 12 September.
"Two of the great things about this pre-season have been firstly, the marquee and the ability to train on turf," Griffith told the media today.
"The ground staff in Marcus and Blair have done a fantastic job and the pitches have come up far better than expected.
"With the clear roof it creates a kind of 'greenhouse effect' and allows the wickets to be nice and fast for us.
"The second great thing is we've had most of the squad here at home for the majority of the time to be able to compete with each other.
"We're now at the point where we are tearing the paint off the walls in readiness to play."
Griffith continued to highlight the benefits of having the bulk of his squad at home during the pre-season.
"It's a bit 'out of sight, out of mind' for players sometimes if they're playing elsewhere, and as much as you want to keep track and watch vision, as a coach to have them here in the flesh is something you really enjoy."
"You get to be hands-on with them and work hard with them over four or five months to make any changes you need to make and continue that learning with how you'd like them to play their cricket."
A new format introduced to the JLT One Day Cup this season will see each State play five matches and all advance to playing a knockout final, ensuring each outfit has the possibility of reaching the play-off for silverware throughout nearly the whole of the three-week tournament.
Griffith said that while he would prefer to play One-Day matches throughout the Shield season, as used to be the norm, there is some benefit in the tournament-style format.
"This format means we can almost use the first couple of matches as a pre-season and then, by the time the business-end arrives and the pressure builds, we'll hope to have our best side in and playing our best cricket."
With the Tigers very nearly reaching the ultimate goal in the longer form of the game last season, there's been a real drive among the group to ready themselves to go one step further this season, as well as improve their showing in the One-Day game.
This has led to a great pre-season from all players ahead of the final squad announcement next week, a facet of the winter months which has really impressed Griffith.
"I think the whole group has done exceptionally well, so it would probably be unfair to single out how anyone has gone," said Griffith.
"The level of training and the intensity we've had has been outstanding, and they've really accepted the challenges we've put in front of them.
"I'm really looking forward to see who can step up and that's a really exciting thing as a coach."