Former Lancashire and England batsman Neil Fairbrother insists club should be playing at highest level

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Legendary batsman Neil Fairbrother believes Lancashire’s status in the game demands a return to the top-flight and fully expects his former side to mount a promotion charge.

The Red Rose have made a solid if unspectacular start to life in domestic cricket’s lower tier and currently lie joint-second in LV=County Championship Division Two.

Despite early season victories, Fairbrother – who played at Old Trafford between 1982 and 2002 – believes the club’s modern run-makers need to up their game and come to the party.

“The club is one of the top three clubs in the country, it’s got massive ambitions – you only have to go down to the ground and see the work that’s going on,” he told MM.

“But given the sort of club we are, we need to be in Division One and I think we are going to be right there at the end of the season – the batsmen just need to get in a bit of touch.

“Both divisions are going to be unbelievably competitive and Lancashire have two wins under their belt which gives them a good start.

“Although perhaps they are not playing as well as they would want to at this stage.”

Lancashire famously won their first outright County Championship for 77 years in 2011 with a crop of home-grown players.

Fairbrother – who made 15 Test appearances for England – has been particularly impressed with Simon Kerrigan, who has 14 first-class wickets to his name so far this season.

And while the 49-year-old is adamant a bright future lies ahead for Kerrigan, he believes the left-arm spinner will have to bide his time before full international recognition beckons.

“He’s had an interesting winter, he has been away with the Lions – he played a decent bit of cricket out there and that group will have learned from a hard trip to Australia,” he said.

“And he’s now the number one spinner at Lancashire because Gary Keedy has gone to Surrey, so there will be a weight of expectation on his shoulders.

“It’s hard for spinners at the moment because usually you only play one spinner in a Test Match and Graeme Swann is head and shoulders above everyone else in the country.

“But Kerrigan’s a young bowler, he has an awful lot of time on his side and has got a good skill set already, which will only improve.”

Image courtesy of CricketWorldMedia, via YouTube, with thanks

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