Crane’s Aussie haul can give Parky a lift

The Cricket Paper - - NEWS - By Richard Ed­wards

MATT Parkinson will have big shoes to fill when he walks into the dress­ing rooms of Gor­don Cricket Club in Syd­ney in two weeks’ time – but the club’s coach is con­fi­dent that some of Ma­son Crane’s magic will rub off on the Lan­cashire leg­gie.

Crane was a rev­e­la­tion at Gor­don last sea­son, tak­ing three seven wicket hauls and catch­ing the eye of New South Wales, who whis­tled him up as a first over­seas’ player in 32 years.

That pro­mo­tion pro­pelled Crane into the thoughts of the Eng­land se­lec­tors and ul­ti­mately played a ma­jor role in get­ting his Ashes call on Tues­day.

For­mer Aus­tralian Test star, Trevor Chap­pell, is the cur­rent coach of the Syd­ney Grade side and he tells The Cricket Pa­per that Crane has paved the way for Parkinson to en­joy a sim­i­larly pro­duc­tive win­ter Down Un­der.

“Ma­son took about 50 wick­ets in ten games, which was an amaz­ing ef­fort,” says Chap­pell. “We were all hugely im­pressed, not just with his bowl­ing but the fact that he was a re­ally good bloke and a very good crick­eter, who bowls well, bats nicely and fields very well too. We were ei­ther look­ing for Ma­son to come back or to re­place­ment him with some­body else.

“Lan­cashire and the ECB are in­volved with him (Parkinson) com­ing out and so they thought it would nat­u­rally be a good idea to send him out to the same place that Ma­son has been.

“It had worked so well the pre­vi­ous sea­son and hope­fully Matt can come in and have a sim­i­lar im­pact. The wick­ets here aren’t mas­sively spin friendly, in fact very few in the Syd­ney Grade comp are these days. It’s a very good bat­ting wicket here at the mo­ment, maybe there’s a bit in it for the quicks to start with, but Matt will have to work for his wick­ets, which is no bad thing.”

Parkinson took 14 wick­ets at a cost of just 20 in his five County Cham­pi­onship matches this sea­son. Be­fore the fi­nal round of matches, his av­er­age was more than half of the 41 it has cost Crane for each of his 16 wick­ets for Hamp­shire.

That re­turn failed to dis­suade the Eng­land se­lec­tors, with the 20-year-old one of three debu­tants in Joe Root’s Ashes squad. And both the ECB and Lan­cashire will be keep­ing a close eye on Parkinson as the Ashes ac­tion un­folds else­where.

“I think Ma­son’s suc­cess high­lighted the weak­ness of Aus­tralian bats­men against the mov­ing ball,” says Chap­pell. “Whether it’s swing­ing, seam­ing or spin­ning, they just seem un­able to come to terms with it.

“I think Matt can come in and be con­fi­dent of tak­ing wick­ets. Cer­tainly we’ll all back him to do ex­actly that. These are young guys and com­ing out here and hav­ing to fend for them­selves is a fan­tas­tic ex­pe­ri­ence.

“I had to do the same when I came over to play in the Lan­cashire League three sea­sons in a row. I saw enough bad weather then to last me a life­time. I just hope Matt leaves the rain at home and doesn’t bring it with him.”

PIC­TURE: Getty Im­ages

Matt Parkinson of Lan­cashire cel­e­brates af­ter get­ting Keith Barker of War­wick­shire out

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