Giles praises young players in Lancashire squad
Lancashire's Cricket Director and Head Coach Ashley Giles has praised the Club's young players after the Red Rose narrowly avoided relegation on the final day of the Specsavers County Championship last week.
Giles and his coaching staff have blooded and developed a handful of young players including Rob Jones, Liam Livingstone, Saqib Mahmood and Matthew Parkinson who all made their First Class debuts this summer.
Haseeb Hameed has also impressed in his first full season of First Class cricket smashing a number of records in scoring over 1,000 Championship runs, earning an England Test call-up for next month’s series in Bangladesh in the process.
He became the first ever teenage opener in the history of the County Championship to score four hundreds in a season, two of which came in the home draw with Yorkshire.
He also became the youngest Lancastrian to post two hundreds in the same match against any opponent, he became the first to do it against Yorkshire and only the third for either side in that particular fixture.
The right-hander also became the youngest ever to post two hundreds in a first-class match played in England.
“You can’t question the way Haseeb and Livingstone have come on this summer. Rob Jones and Tom Bailey too.
“What we’ve got is a young squad, and the focus on them developing must continue. That is the long-term plan.
“We know what some supporters want. We have supporters who come here every week and see this and say ‘this is really good to see young lads playing with the Red Rose on their shirts’.
“I could have replaced Paul Horton with someone else last year and got a senior batsman, and Haseeb would still be lingering around playing second-team cricket. Now he’s on an England tour.
Giles, reflecting on the season as a whole, looked back at the Durham defeat at Southport as a key defeat this summer.
“We should have beaten Durham at Southport. We didn’t bowl as well as we could have. That was the key game because it would have put us safe.
“We’re going to get together this week with the players because they’ll be disappearing for their winters. They’re a good bunch of lads. I’m quite hard on them at times, but it’s for the right reasons.
“We’ve got to be more disciplined. We knew it would be a struggle.
“We outperformed expectations up front, and suddenly everyone’s going ‘we’re going to win the Championship’. That’s why I started the season saying ‘we need to stay up’. I didn’t mean that negatively. It’s because of where we are.
“I knew that if we consolidated our position in Division One, we’d be better for it next year. And I stand by that".