Parkinson has time to prove point
CRICKET CHRIS OSTICK MATTHEW Parkinson is out to show that Lancashire don’t need to draft in an overseas spinner for their Specsavers County Championship campaign next season.
Red Rose head coach Glen Chapple brought in South African Test player Keshav Maharaj for the final four matches this year in a bid to save the club from relegation.
He eventually only played in three, but did take 17 wickets although Lancashire still ended up dropping out of the top flight.
There were plenty of Lancashire supporters questioning the decision not to stick with 22-year-old leg-spinner Parkinson for the final few matches.
But the former Bolton School pupil says he took it on the chin, and sees it as motivation to improve his own game.
“It wasn’t a great end to the season,” he said. “But that’s professional sport.
“Keshav Maharaj is an unbelievable bowler and he did really well for us.
“When the club has the chance to sign a Test bowler, they would be stupid to turn it down. He is a world-class performer.
“You have to look at it in that mindset and not get too bothered by it. The idea was for us to play together, but that didn’t really happen. And he showed his class at Taunton when he took a bagful of wickets.
“I have no hard feelings. It was just a shame that the season petered out for me.
“It makes you look at your own game. I know I have areas I need to work on to make myself more selectable, especially in red ball cricket.
“If I can get better in those areas this winter, that will stand me in good stead. I am still learning a lot in all formats of the game.”
Parkinson will have plenty of chance to learn over what will be a busy winter. He first jets off to the UAE along with Lancashire team-mates Liam Livingstone, Saqib Mahmood and Alex Davies for a four-day ‘Test’, five 50-over games and two T20s all against Pakistan A.
He then flies on to Australia to link up with the Melbourne Stars after being signed as one of their overseas players for the Big Bash.
He will be with the squad for the whole competition, but will only play in the last eight group games when he replaces Nepal spinner Sandeep Lamichhane as overseas player.
“I have got a big three months of cricket coming up, starting with the Lions tour to the UAE and then on to the Big Bash,” he said.
“I am sharing a dressing room with different players, working with different coaches with new ideas. If I can take some of those ideas and add them to my game, it is only going to make me a better player for when I come back. It is flattering when a new team wants you to play for them as their overseas player. It is a reward for the hard work I put in last winter and for Lancashire over the summer.
“It shows that the Lancashire players aren’t too far away from being picked for these franchise tournaments if they do put in decent performances.”
Parkinson knows that a good winter won’t just send a message back to Emirates Old Trafford.
“Playing in the Big Bash is something I think the England selectors will notice and value,” said Parkinson, who has one eye on the World Cup being played on home soil next year.
“Hopefully I can make an impression with the Lions and then take that momentum into the Big Bash and produce some good showings there and, hopefully, return a better cricketer.
“Then I can throw my name into the hat for the World Cup squad.”