Parkin­son has time to prove point

Rossendale Free Press - - Sport -

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.”

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