TRO­PHIES THE MO­TI­VA­TION FOR VO­GES

Hayes & Harlington Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - by JON BATHAM tms-sport@trin­i­tymir­ror.com Twit­ter: @el­lis_red

WIN­NING tro­phies with Mid­dle­sex is all the mo­ti­va­tion Adam Vo­ges needs af­ter his in­ter­na­tional ca­reer with Aus­tralia.

The 37-year-old re­tired from Test cricket this year af­ter rep­re­sent­ing his coun­try 20 times, av­er­ag­ing 61.87.

Then he called time on do­mes­tic cricket in his home­land at the end of the 2016-17 Sheffield Shield cam­paign.

Many a player has strug­gled with the rel­a­tively hum­drum life of ev­ery day cricket af­ter leav­ing the Test arena but Vo­ges is happy to fo­cus on county du­ties.

The Aussie, free from the bur­den of hav­ing to im­press na­tional se­lec­tors, can con­cen­trate on help­ing the reign­ing cham­pi­ons de­fend their Spec­savers County Cham­pi­onship ti­tle while nur­tur­ing bur­geon­ing tal­ent at the club.

“I think if I was play­ing at home in Aus­tralia, [mo­ti­va­tion] would be an is­sue but I’m not try­ing to play in­ter­na­tional cricket through play­ing for Mid­dle­sex,” said Vo­ges. “I’m play­ing here to try and help the guys win things and hope­fully to play well enough to get us into a po­si­tion to do that.

“Hope­fully I can put some good per­for­mances on the park and help some of th­ese young kids com­ing through.

“I think guys like Ste­vie Eski­nazi and Nick Gub­bins are re­ally de­vel­op­ing nicely at the mo­ment, so if I can help them along the way then I’ll look to do that as well.”

One thing the ten­ants of Lord’s won’t be win­ning is the Royal Lon­don Cup.

Four de­feats in their first seven games, the lat­est a seven-wicket drub­bing at the hands of Essex on Fri­day – as the Seaxes were bowled out for 148 at Chelms­ford – mean they are out of con­tention be­fore to­day’s fi­nal match with Somerset at Lord’s.

An­gus Fraser’s men are yet to make the knock­out stage in the four years since the com­pe­ti­tion’s in­cep­tion.

Bat­ting fail­ures have been at the heart of Mid­dle­sex’s un­der­per­for­mance, some­thing from which a can­did Vo­ges re­fused to shy away. And with the Cham­pi­onship de­fence due to re­sume on Fri­day against Sur­rey, Vo­ges says it is im­por­tant to win the dead rub­ber with Somerset, both for morale and mo­men­tum.

“I’m frus­trated with how I have been get­ting to 40 and then get­ting out,” he added. “I’ve got to 40 three times now and only got to 50 once.

“I’m find­ing dif­fer­ent ways to get out when I need to bat a bit deeper into our in­nings to give guys like [James] Franklin, [Ryan] Hig­gins and [Toby] Roland-Jones more li­cence at the end, rather than com­ing in ear­lier to res­ur­rect things be­cause the top four haven’t done their job.

“Our bat­ting has not been great the last few games and we can cer­tainly be a lot bet­ter at it.

“Win­ning games of cricket is a habit and it is a good habit to get into, re­gard­less of the for­mat of the game you are play­ing.”

Jordan Mans­field/ Getty Images

Mid­dle­sex bats­man Adam Vo­ges

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