AFTER a County Championship game it is nice to get some time away from cricket to recharge the batteries, get the body right and prepare to do it all again.

After a hard fought draw against Surrey, Essex earned a 10 day break between fixtures, so we had some time off last weekend.

With a few lads heading off shore and having sometime away from the game I have enjoyed a few days rest at home.

After that, I will be getting back in the gym and pool so I have ticked all the boxes heading into this Friday’s game against (once again) Surrey.

With some time off it has given me a chance to catch up a on some international cricket and enjoy some of the ICC Champions Trophy matches.

My pick for winning the tournament is torn - as I fancy both England and New Zealand - both my old and new home countries.

I believe both have the potential to win the tournament.

England have match winners in Joe Root and Ben Stokes.

And they also have a pretty experienced and settled side who have been playing a lot of cricket leading into the tournament.

New Zealand have built a pretty new look side of late.

We have lost B Mac (Brendon McCullum) at the top of the order but there is plenty of fire power still.

We still have my old Auckland teammate Martin Gup (Guptill) who is going to be my pick as player of the tournament.

He is one of the best white ball batsmen I have played with, who on his day can take the game away from any team.

With early stages of the competition still happening it will be interesting to see who does well in the tournament.

And I am also looking forward to getting back into some County Championship cricket with a One-Day Cup home semi-final just a few weeks away!