Finn stays at Middlesex in bid to get back on international stage
STEVEN Finn was certainly tempted to leave Middlesex to further his England claims, but in the end the 28-year-old seamer admits he could never really turn his back on his boyhood county.
Finn inked a new multi-year deal this week at Lord’s in the face of mounting speculation that has seen the 6ft 6in fast bowler heavily linked with a move north to Old Trafford.
But the Watford-born seamer – who has taken 458 wickets for the county in all forms since making his debut as a 16-yearold back in 2005 – has unfinished business in north London.
“I am at quite an interesting time in my career – I am 28 and have played a good amount of cricket for England but never quite cemented that spot,” he said.
“So this was an important decision to make, both from a
personal point of view but also in terms of ‘what will give me the best opportunity to play for England?’
“Because that is still my ultimate goal – to become a regular in all three formats.
“There was a lot of deliberating to do – it has been pretty much non-stop cricket this summer – with the odd call-up thrown in. So I had not given myself much time to sit down and think about it.
“I had an option to move, and I certainly thought about moving to other clubs – but in weighing up the options and thinking about how I wanted to progress my career it came back to the fact that this Middlesex team has made real strides forwards.
“Yes, we won the County Championship last year but we are still growing with the white ball, we made strides in T20 this year and one-day stuff still needs work.
“It just wouldn’t feel right to be somewhere else as this team is still building.”
Finn – who is centrally contracted for another month for Test cricket by the ECB but has not featured in the longest form of the game in nearly a year – did not consult the England top brass before making his decision.
But with an Ashes around the corner, he knows now is the time to prove his case and right the wrongs of the last trip Down Under that saw Ashley Giles brand him “unselectable”.
Finn has made contingency plans, however, the new T20 Global League in South Africa for one, but there is no doubt where his priority lies.
“I still feel like I am in the loop with England, just on the fringe,” he added. “Whenever I am not picked I still get a call to explain why – I feel I still have a lot to give so it is about finding that consistency.
“Everyone knows what I can do, I have taken wickets for England before and I hope I will do again.
“The Ashes is obviously the pinnacle – I know just how terrific it is when you win, and just how disheartening it is when you lose.
“I remember what happened four years ago and I would love to have the chance to avenge it.”
Criticism: Ashley Giles
Staying put: Steven Finn