Lancashire CCC hope Siddle and Petersen signatures help them back to top

A youthful Lancashire squad will attempt to bounce back from the County Championship Division Two for the third time in 11 years after their last-day relegation in 2014.

Former England and Warwickshire spinner Ashley Giles has been appointed head coach, his first management position since departing as England limited overs coach last April.

There had been speculation that Giles would sign disgraced England star Kevin Pietersen, but the coach quickly quashed that thought, stating that he wanted to showcase the abundance of young talent at the club.

The absence of Jos Buttler, awarded a central contract by England in September and likely to be unavailable to his county for most of the summer, will also give some of Lancashire’s youngsters 1st XI opportunities.

One of those is 20-year-old Alex Davies, who has announced his intention to make the gloves, and a spot at the top of the batting order, his own.

Davies, from Darwen near Blackburn, broke into the side last season and recorded his debut first class half century, a gritty 59 having come in at 80-6 against Sussex.

Buttler’s replacement has made it clear that he sees his future as an opening batsman, where he passed fifty twice more in the 2014 season, before being surprisingly dropped.

With the man who then jilted him from that spot, Andrea Agathangelou, no longer with the club, Davies sees 2015 as the perfect opportunity to announce himself as a Lancashire opener.

The 20-year-old has spent the off-season honing his top-order credentials in Australia at the Darren Lehman Academy, while playing grade cricket for Northern Districts he scored 625 runs at nearly 45 opening the batting.

Lancashire’s bowling attack will start the season without retired Glen Chapple, now a coach at the club, for the first time since 1992.

Replacing him will be new signing and Australian international Peter Siddle, who will be attempting to force his way into the selectors’ minds for this summer’s Ashes in England.

In the batting department, the Lancashire middle order will feature the formidable pairing of South Africans Ashwell Prince and Alviro Petersen, the latter having just signed a two-year contract.

Lancashire’s County Championship campaign will begin on Sunday April 19 away to Derbyshire before they start their first competitive home game a week later at Emirates Old Trafford against Rob Key’s Kent.

Main image courtesy of via YouTube, with thanks.

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