Lancashire have named a 12-man squad for Wednesday's LV= County Championship opener, with Wayne White looking set to make his Red Rose debut.
Lancashire are “ready to get stuck in and have a go” as new domestic cricket season looms large, according to coach Peter Moores.
The Red Rose county open their LV= County Championship Division Two campaign against Worcestershire at Emirates Old Trafford tomorrow, a team who were relegated alongside them last September.
The vast majority of the talking about bouncing back to Division One at the first attempt has been done, and now it is time to get out there play.
Both teams choose from 12 players:
Lancashire squad: Glen Chapple (capt), Karl Brown, Steven Croft, Gareth Cross (wkt), Kyle Hogg, Paul Horton, Simon Katich, Simon Kerrigan, Luke Procter, Ashwell Prince, Tom Smith, Wayne White
Worcestershire squad: Daryl Mitchell (capt), Matt Pardoe, Moeen Ali, Tilan Samaraweera, Alexei Kervezee, Neil Pinner, Michael Johnson (wkt), Gareth Andrew, Richard Jones, Chris Russell, Alan Richardson, Shaaiq Choudhry
Lancashire will be hoping to secure their first win in four Championship matches against the Pears, who won last season’s fixture at Old Trafford by 205 runs thanks in the main to a century from Ben Scott (released over the winter) and 12 wickets in the match from Moeen Ali’s off-spin.
Moores, a former wicketkeeper with Worcestershire, said: “I think we all realise that losing stays with you a bit longer than winning maybe. You enjoy the winning, but the losing makes you look very hard at yourself. Everybody’s had to do that. I think we also understand that there’s not that big a difference, and the margins aren’t that big.
“We’ve had to try and look at areas in which we can get better. That’s a collective of all the players and coaches. There’s a real desire to go out and play. We know we’ve got a lot of good players, but we are judged by how well you deliver on the field.
“Last season was frustrating for us. We played good one-day cricket, but the four-day stuff we didn’t really play that well and were frustrated because it was the summer for everybody where if you didn’t get wins early then, from then on in, you just drew because you couldn’t get enough time on the field because of the weather.
“We make no bones about the fact that we think some of the cricket in the second division will be tough, but we’re ready to get stuck in and have a go.”
Worcestershire, who will be captained by Daryl Mitchell, may have lost Vikram Solanki to Surrey, but they have recruited the services of experienced Sri Lankan batsman Thilan Samaraweera as their overseas player for the whole season.
The 36-year-old retired from international cricket last month having scored 5,462 runs from 81 Test matches, the last of which came against Australia in January.
Lancashire have shown the importance of a good start to a Championship season during the last two seasons. They won five out of the first six matches in 2011 before losing three of the first four last summer.
This week’s clash is the first of six before the end of May, and Moores added: “Everybody targets that (a good start). If you play well or don’t play well, it’s down to partly how well you prepare in the winter. You need a few breaks sometimes early on - you hope you play.
“Historically we’ve been good at the starts, but last year we didn’t get off to that good a start. In my first two or three years, we really got out of the blocks well. We’ll try and do the same, and it gives you early momentum and gets everything moving. But, realistically, we know that our job will be to be as committed on the first day as it will be on the last day. That’s how we’ve had our success before.”
Preview: Graham Hardcastle
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