Lancashire kick-off their Twenty20 campaign with a match at Durham tonight with New Zealand fast-bowler Mitchell McClenaghan fresher than expected.
The 27-year-old left armer was due to play for New Zealand against England in a T20 international at the Oval last night but rain forced the game to be abandoned after just two balls.
McClenaghan, who has thrilled crowds with his exciting cricket in matches against England in 2013, has taken 24 wickets in his last eight limited overs internationals for the Black Caps, including 23 in seven one-day internationals.
He told the club website: “I play every game like it is my last, and I leave everything on the field,” said the Auckland quick, who had problems with his hips during the early stages of his career. ”And that’s what I will be doing for Lancashire.
“It will be a big achievement for me if I fly back to New Zealand with a Twenty20 title in the bag.”
“A lot of people say Twenty20 is a batsman’s game. But bowlers can win a match too. If you take three wickets in the first six overs, you tend to win 80 per cent of games.
“I know I am joining a team in red hot form, and I know there have been a few comments about me struggling to get into the side!
“But they can expect me to work my backside off to ensure I add to the competition for places because, as I have found out with New Zealand, that’s the best way to be successful.
“Being the overseas player won’t change the way I play my game, and it doesn’t add any extra pressure on me. I will give everything for Lancashire, just like I do for New Zealand and Auckland, and hopefully that will help us get over the line.
“Lancashire are obviously full of confidence at the moment, and that is the ideal situation going into a Twenty20 competition.”
The Lightening missed out on a quarter final place in last year’s competition but are hoping for a much better campaign this time after what has been a promising start to the cricket season.
The full squad is: Glen Chapple (captain), Kabir Ali, Karl Brown, Jordan Clark, Gareth Cross (wicketkeeper), Steven Croft, Kyle Hogg, Simon Katich, Simon Kerrigan, Mitchell McClenaghan, Stephen Moore, Stephen Parry, Ashwell Prince, Tom Smith.
Picture courtesy of NZCTV via YouTube, with thanks.