Cobb expects Foxes to bite again
Josh Cobb is adamant Leicestershire can cope with the loss of a quartet of influential players as they start their defence of the Friends Life t20.
Matthew Hoggard’s side defied all expectations in the shortest form last season, dominating the North Group with Nottinghamshire before going on to finals day at Edgbaston where they dramatically defeated Lancashire in a one-over eliminator and defended 141 against Somerset to be crowned champions.
But asked about whether they can claim back-to-back trophies, a confident Cobb told ecb.co.uk: “Yes, we have won it three times. There is something about the club with Twenty20 that we win trophies and hopefully that can continue.
“Last year, especially as a Leicester lad, was something I will never forget. To win a trophy with your home county and the way we went about it for the whole tournament was pretty special. Hopefully that can give us some confidence going into this year.
“They are big losses; Andrew McDonald was the player of the tournament last year so he will be hard to replace. As with any game people move on and hopefully, with the XI we put on the park, someone will put their hand up and try and take us over the line.”
Despite struggling in LV= County Championship Division Two, Leicestershire have been boosted by the return of hard-hitting Pakistan all-rounder Abdul Razzaq who according to Cobb has given the side a real lift.
“We have got great confidence going into the year,” he said.
“Abdul Razzaq has just arrived and you saw what he did for the team when he arrived last year, so hopefully that can continue and we will have a good chance.
“The experience that he has in the game is second to none. When he comes in, opposition are scared of him. To have him on your side and know he can win the match from any position gives the side great belief.”
Leicestershire start their campaign by welcoming former team-mates Taylor and Gurney back to Grace Road tomorrow following their close-season moves to Nottinghamshire.
“(Playing against) local rivals is always a good match,” Cobb added.
“There will be a bit more behind it with Harry Gurney and James Taylor there so we will look forward to it. It’s always key to start off well.”
Cobb had a huge part to play in the 18-run triumph over Somerset in the 2011 final, hitting 18 off just 10 balls before taking 4-22 from four overs, with all of his victims caught on the deep midwicket boundary by substitute fielder Matthew Boyce.
Reliving his heroics, Cobb said: “I wasn’t expecting to bowl because we had two other spinners but, when I had the opportunity, they just kept hitting my long-hops down Boycey’s throat. It was amazing to be a part of the final and do something for the team.
“The atmosphere at the ground that day, everyone had enjoyed the day and had a few drinks, and as underdogs we might have had a few of the other counties supporting us. I did think half way through the final ‘wow this is a good atmosphere and this is something I would like to play in front of more often'.
“It wasn’t until the third over that I just took it all in for a minute, and other than that I was pretty switched on for the whole game. In the final you are in a bubble, in the moment and that took us all through.”