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Bird embracing gruelling pre-season

Four-day trek in the Tasmanian wilderness tests the Tigers' toughness ahead of the summer

Paceman Jackson Bird is embracing the gruelling pre-season fitness regime that new Tasmania coach Adam Griffith has brought to the Tigers, saying the preparation has "tested the guys' mental toughness".

Tasmania squad members were recently faced with a four-day trek through the Tasmanian wilderness as part of their pre-season preparation.


Griffith's approach doesn’t come as a surprise given his previous role as an assistant coach at Western Australia under Justin Langer, whose tough pre-season camps have become a staple part of the Warriors' preparations.

"It was a good experience for the players, it was pretty much player driven," Bird told cricket.com.au’s The Unplayable Podcast.

"Everyone had to make their own decisions on what clothes they were going to pack and what food they were going to eat.

"It was nice and cold, wet and windy in the bottom of Tassie.

 

Great weather for camping...... ⛈❄️🌩🌧 Glad I bought the water proof shoes along 😐😐 #experienced

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"Everyone had to fend for themselves which was good."

The change in leadership at the top of Tasmanian cricket comes on the back of consistently poor performances in four-day cricket.

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The Tigers finished on the bottom of the Sheffield Shield table last season, with just one win from their 10 matches. It follows on from a last-place finish in 2015-16 and two consecutive fifth-place finishes prior to that.

Bird has been impressed with Griffith’s communication with the group and the competitiveness he has brought to training sessions.

“Griffo (Adam Griffith) is a really good communicator,” Bird said.

“You know where you stand within the group and with selection and that’s all you can ask for.

“He came in and set the bar for the standards that he wants and he won’t accept anything less.

“The fitness stuff has been the biggest change.

“We are a lot fitter than what we have been and our skills sessions are specific and really competitive.”

While Tasmania continue their preparation for the domestic summer, Bird will next week join up with the Australia Test squad for a training camp in Darwin ahead of the Qantas Tour of Bangladesh.

However, it was confirmed on Saturday that leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson had won the final bowling spot in Australia's 14-man squad, meaning Bird will head back to Tasmania after the Darwin camp.