Matt Parkinson and Josh Poysden have returned to England after almost three weeks of work with the England Lions in Dubai which will have enhanced both their legspin, and their reputations.
That was the message from Peter Such, the ECB’s lead spin-bowling coach, who invited the pair to join the Lions on their warm-weather training camp at the ICC Academy.
“They’ve both put a really strong shift in,” said Such.
“They have been with the Lions since our camp at the Performance Centre in Loughborough in November, when they were able to bowl on grass in the marquee outside.
“It could have been a daunting experience for them, but they fitted straight in – testimony both to them, and to the Lions players.
“Both at Loughborough and especially in Dubai, they have benefited from the opportunity to get in a really high volume of practice overs, both in the nets and in the middle.
“The facilities at the ICC Academy are excellent, as both Josh and Matt knew already as they have been here with their counties. But for them to be around the Lions players and coaches has been a great experience for them. They’ve acquitted themselves fantastically well.
“They’ve proved themselves to be a handful with the ball, bowling consistently well. They both had specific areas of their game they wanted to improve coming out here, and they’ve both made excellent progress in those areas.”
Parkinson, who played in the same Bolton School team as Haseeb Hameed, has already claimed five-wicket hauls for both England Under-19s and Lancashire. “It’s been great,” he said.
Poysden, a 25-year-old from Sussex who arrived at Warwickshire via Cambridge MCCU and the Unicorns, said: “I’m a late developer compared to Parky, I didn’t play in any England age group sides, so to have this experience with the Lions coaches and players has been fantastic. The lads have been great in making us feel welcome, and we’ve both learned loads, as well as enjoying the experience.”
Parkinson and Poysden will now rejoin their counties to step up their preparations for the 2017 season – which they hope will include a return to the UAE in the spring, with both Warwickshire and Lancashire planning pre-season trips to the desert.