Tom Fell is looking forward to playing a full season of cricket after winning his double battle against cancer.
The Worcestershire batsman scored 1,000 runs in Division One of the County Championship in 2015 before his illness initially came to light at the end of that season.
Happily Fell is now able to focus 100 per cent on his cricket and here he looks back – and forward in a Question and Answer session with the Worcestershire CCC website.
Question: You were able to play half a season in 2016, you must have been pleased to get through that?
Tom Fell: "It was nice I managed to get in quite a bit of cricket. It was a bit up and down in terms of my run-scoring in the four day competition. I had a few scores without really kicking on.
"There were a lot of positives to take from it in that I managed to get myself scores consistently but a little bit disappointed I wasn't able to kick on for a really big one.
"I had quite a few innings where I felt really good and then it was a case almost of one shot too many.
"You get into that routine of building innings and scoring big runs. I almost got out of that habit.
"I got a lot of starts and felt good but at the end of the day it's not really any use to anyone if you get 30 and out all the time.
Question: You did put together quite a few 40s and 50s
Tom Fell: "At least it's a score but it's always disappointing when you don't kick on and, once you get yourself in, go on and get a big score.
"Those are what everyone looks at, the big hundreds, which I wasn't able to do but there are still a lot of positives to take."
Question: Given what you went through with your cancer battle, you would have settled for the way last season turned out?
Tom Fell: "I started playing again when I was expected to play and everything went to plan in that sense.
"I had some good moments and not so good moments but I can't really complain with how it went. It was just nice to be playing again."
Question: Was the hundred against Lancashire in the One-Day Cup the highlight?
Tom Fell: "Definitely, with it being a match winning innings as well, and helping to get us through to the quarter-finals.
"It was kind to get that monkey off the shoulder in terms of getting that first hundred in 50 over cricket.
"Hopefully it can give me a bit of confidence and kick on and get a few more in 2017."
Question: You must have sensed the emotion of the occasion amongst the spectators and the standing ovation you received?
Tom Fell: "I did get a sense of that and it is always nice to get such a nice reception. For me, it was nice for me to get my first one-day hundred.
"I wasn't too worried about it being my first one since I'd come back playing. It was a highlight of my season and a positive I can take going forward."
Question: How did you view last season as a team?
Tom Fell: "If you look at it, we actually did okay but I think it was a good sign we were disappointed with how it went.
"That shows the standards we are setting.
"We finished third in the Championship and got into the quarter-finals of the 50 over competition.
"There were some very good performances but also some poor performances."
Question: "How did you find last season physically after not having a pre-season?
Tom Fell: "Physically I wasn't 100 per cent but I gradually picked that up and towards the end of the season, it didn't feel any different to previous years.
"Naturally you get fatigued towards the end of the season. I know it was only half a season for me but you do feel the wears and tears of it all.
"I probably wasn't at my peak last summer, and it probably showed at times, but hopefully after the winter work I've done I will be back to my best in terms of my fitness and my cricket this year."
Question: Do you still have goals for yourself like the Lions and England?
Tom Fell: "Last season was always a little bit of a write off in that sense but there is still plenty of time in my career.
"Hopefully I will have a good year this year and those kind of things will take care of themselves if you do so.
"I was considered for the England Development Programme and was fairly close although I never actually got onto that tour.
"I was part of the ECB Scholarship going out to Perth so it was nice knowing I was in their minds for potentially going on a tour at some stage.
"Hopefully that will continue and if I can keep doing well and start again this year and do well, hopefully those sort of things can take care of themselves.
"It is great to see Joe Clarke be a regular with the Lions and for him it will be about pushing onto that next level which we hope he does."
Question: Will the fact you scored 1,000 runs in Division One in 2015 always give you confidence?
Tom Fell: "Definitely. I think that is something to kind of build upon and try and make that a regular feature of my seasons, getting that 1,000 run mark and averaging 40 plus.
"That is the kind of standards I've got to set myself if I do want to go to the next level."
Question: It feels like you have been in and around the team for quite a long time?
Tom Fell: "I've had three or four seasons now. It feels like a long time. I almost feel like a slightly more experienced member of our team.
"For a lot of us, it is about forgetting that tag of being potentially being good and being a young squad.
"We want to actually prove ourselves. It is no good being young and a team of talent and potential if you are not going to perform.
"That's what we need to do now, prove now we are the real deal and we can perform and push for promotion, stay in Division One and win trophies.
"We all know we are good enough in this squad – no matter how young and old we are but you've got to go and prove that.
"There are times where you can hide behind the fact you are a young squad whereas I don't think we should look at it that way.
"We should look at it as a team that can win stuff."
Question: Has being a fairly laidback character helped you to deal with your battles off the pitch?
Tom Fell: "I think so. I tried to remain fairly calm and laidback about the whole thing. You just had to try and stay as positive as I could.
"Others around me were a lot more stressed out than I have been!"
——— Question: What was the aim of playing the winter for St. Augustine?
Tom Fell: "I think it is important for youngsters to get away and play as much cricket as you can, learn about your game and play in different conditions. That's the way to get better."