Hurry quick to see Cobb's threat
Andy Hurry knows to his cost about Josh Cobb’s all-round talent but, happily for Hurry, he will be working in tandem with Cobb this weekend.
The Somerset head coach and Leicestershire limited-overs captain will be masterminding England’s pursuit of the Hong Kong Sixes title tomorrow and on Sunday.
Hurry could only watch last year as batting all-rounder Cobb’s bowling heroics saw the Foxes upset Somerset in the Friends Life t20 final at Edgbaston. The part-time off-spinner’s best senior figures of 4-22 aided an 18-run triumph.
Cobb, now 22, has been tasked with leading his country at Kowloon Cricket Club, having made two appearances as England reached last year’s final only to lose to Pakistan.
Hurry, speaking before he flew to Hong Kong on Wednesday, told ecb.co.uk: “It’s actually a very exciting opportunity for myself. I’ve never worked with any of the players before.
“I’m very much aware of Josh Cobb, who played for Leicester against us in the t20 final two seasons ago. And we (Somerset) regularly play against the Sussex boys Ben Brown and Chris Nash so I’ll get to reacquaint myself with them as well as Tom Smith from Lancashire.”
Of Cobb, Hurry added: “He’s a very good character and he’s had experience of being out in Hong Kong before. I’m very much looking forward to seeing how he operates and hopefully make a small impact on the development of his career.”
Like Cobb, Smith and Nash have experience of the Hong Kong Sixes, but it will be new to Adam Ball, Keith Barker, Brown and Ross Whiteley.
The UK-based members of the squad travelled to Hong Kong on Wednesday to be joined by Nash and Whiteley, who flew from South Africa and Australia respectively.
“The key thing for me about this Hong Kong Sixes is that the national selectors have identified seven exciting young talented players who have got the potential now to embark on the first rung of the international ladder by making a real impact in this high-profile competition,” Hurry said.
England will face Pool A opponents Australia, Hong Kong and South Africa tomorrow with the top two going into Sunday’s pool of four, which will yield the finalists. If England come third or fourth tomorrow, they will play in the plate competition on Sunday.
Australia are being led by Brad Hodge and a strong Proteas party by Colin Ingram while the hosts are most familiar with the small ground.
“We know the quality of the players on the international scene quite well, so there’ll be an opportunity for us in this very exiting competition, which is very fast moving, to make a real impact against the quality oppositions that we’ll be facing.” Hurry added.
The trip has extra significance for Hurry, a former Royal Marine who was based in Hong Kong during 1991 and 1992. He has since become the only first-class county coach without senior playing experience.
“I know Kowloon Cricket Club quite well, but that was in a previous employment when I was in the Royal Marines,” he said.
“So I’m looking forward to getting out there and seeing how it’s all changed because last time I was there it was owned by the British and now it’s been handed back over to the Chinese.”