Glamorgan allrounder James Allenby has revealed details of a dramatic winter during which he feared he would not play cricket again.
The Australian-born Allenby was forced to undergo stomach surgery in his native Perth and it meant he was unable to eat for a month, having been put on a liquid diet, which caused him to lose a lot of weight.
It has meant the 28-year-old has made an understandably tentative start to the new season and so far he has played only one County Championship game and a single one-day match.
But they are games the former Leicestershire player had feared he might never play and the illness has put his sporting life into perspective.
“I had days where I did think I would not play cricket again,” admitted Allenby. “So I am happy to be out there again and it puts any bad day in the field in perspective.
“Getting hit for six might not be ideal for the team, but it is not going to stress me out as much as it used to. It was a tricky winter with my health problems, but I am not going to sit around feeling sorry for myself.
“I am doing something a lot of the population wants to be doing, so I am not going to get down about it. The operation was successful, but was a bit bigger than I first thought.
“I had about six to eight weeks without being able to eat or exercise and that zaps your energy a little bit. I’m just starting to get back now and starting to be able to eat properly and get my strength up.
“But I’m just about right now and we’ve got a lot of cricket left this season so I will be okay. It has been more difficult to get back to full fitness than I first anticipated and has taken a long time.”
The allrounder emphasised his importance to Glamorgan by top-scoring with a well-made 41 from 22 balls in the Clydesdale Bank 40 defeat to Somerset on May 2.
“It is just nice to be on the park, although it was disappointing to lose against Somerset,” added Allenby. “It has been a very difficult few weeks, but I am feeling good and getting towards 100 per cent again.
“The break from Championship cricket works out perfectly for me and I should be right for the four-day game against Kent next week.”