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Watching Twenty20 after wear and tear

Posted in Domestic Cricket

The Friends Life t20 has come at the right time as I have been struggling with my back. After four injections in my spine, I have had the chance to rest it for a couple of weeks and will see how it goes this weekend when I finally have a bowl.

It just got to the stage where it was getting quite sore after nursing it through LV= County Championship games. For the two four-day games before the break for the t20s, it was just a case of getting through them and having these injections at the end of the Nottinghamshire match. Our championship outing is against Surrey and I will be fine for that.

This weekend I will be playing club cricket as I’ve not bowled since the four-dayer at Trent Bridge. Hopefully I can get through that, without the pressures that first-class cricket brings, and then I am ready to go again.

I actually play in the Huddersfield League for Delph and Dobcross. We are the only team from ‘over the boarder’ who play in that league. When they find out you play for Lancashire there is quite a bit of sledging going on but it is all quite funny.

With any club cricket, once you start playing on certain wickets it brings everything to a level playing field. It is not as easy as it should be, going out and scoring runs on muddy wickets or getting people out when they should be blocking it and they are slogging you out of the ground for six.

The past couple of weeks have given me a chance to see the lads at Lancashire really hit form in t20. We have always had our bowling covered with the two spinners - Gary Keedy and Stephen Parry - and now Glen Chapple has come back into the team and bowled well.

But to see the lads chasing down massive scores like 180 for two against Leicestershire and knocking the runs off with six overs left against Durham is brilliant. Twenty20 is that type of game - once you get on a role of winning, you become very hard to stop.

It has also been great to welcome Yasir Arafat into the squad. Any time you have specialist one-day bowlers, especially from the sub-continent, they all know how to bowl a yorker and all know how to bowl a slower ball. They seem to do it better than the majority of English bowlers or those from rest of the world.

You look as far back as Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis and now you’ve got Rana Naved-ul-Hasan at Derby bowling his slower balls and hitting you on the boot with the yorker. Yasir is no different. He knows his game inside out and it is all geared up to t20 cricket.

Tomorrow is the first of two Roses matches in seven days against Yorkshire. You always look forward to those games. Even in second team cricket, players look forward to playing Yorkshire.

They are always big spectacles and I think the fact we only play them twice in t20 this year after them being relegated in the championship will make it even bigger.

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