Finn stays at Mid­dle­sex in bid to get back on in­ter­na­tional stage

The Cricket Paper - - NEWS - By Charlie Tal­bot-Smith

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

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