When opportunity knocks you have to open the door but Alex Davies has gone one better and battered it down with Lancashire this summer – according to former England international Mark Butcher.
With Jos Buttler on international duty with England for a busy Ashes summer, the 21-year-old Davies was given his chance with the gloves for the Red Rose and has made a massive impact.
The Lancashire man’s 730 runs from 14 County Championship matches at an average of more than 40 shows his red-ball talent while he was also man of the match in the t20 Blast final victory.
All that led to his nomination this year for the LV= Breakthrough Player Award and Butcher has been very impressed by the youngster’s showings.
“Under circumstances whereby Jos [Buttler] hadn’t been away for the whole summer, Alex might not have got a gig,” he said.
“It’s a big thing for him, but it’s also a big thing for Lancashire that a young home-grown wicketkeeper is able to nail down a place and impress enough to be nominated for the LV= Breakthrough Player Award.
“Obviously the situation changes any time soon when Jos Buttler returns, but he has a real chance of impressing and pushing his career on that extra bit further.”
Promotion has already been secured from Division Two for Lancashire who will play their last game of the season looking to seal their second piece of silverware of the summer.
And if they are to end the yo-yoing of the past few seasons between the top flight and the second division, youngsters like Davies – who hails from Darwen – will need to come to the fore.
And Butcher has called on the powers that be at Old Trafford to take a leaf out of their huge rivals Yorkshire if they want to have sustained success.
“There have been criticisms of Lancashire in the past that they’ve relied too heavily on overseas imports,” he added.
“The challenge for Lancashire is going to be how they manage to replace someone like Ashwell Prince, how they bring through their youngsters.
“They have to look across the Pennines perhaps at how Yorkshire do that on a regular basis, but real challenges lie ahead for Alex Davies.
“As a wicketkeeper, you’ve got to be exceptional because there’s only one of you in an 11.”
For more reaction and a look back at this season’s LV= County Championship visit LV.com/cricket
Image courtesy of Lancashire cricket TV via YouTube, with thanks.