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Team Talk STORY
Mark Chilton Profile

Earlier this year batsman Mark Chilton was shown on TV strumming out the Oasis hit ‘Don't Look Back in Anger' on the team bus while returning from a match on the pre-season tour to Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.

The song title would seem the perfect sentiment for the 32 year-old former county captain, who has been one of the form players for the Red Rose this season after a disappointing run last summer.

After giving up the captaincy following three solid seasons in charge to concentrate on his form with the bat, Chilton found himself stuck in the second team for large parts.

So the Sheffield born, but Sale raised, right-hander decided to take the opportunity to spend the most recent winter playing grade cricket for Melbourne University in the Victorian Premier League in Australia.

“It was good to go away, take the family away and spend some quality time with them. I enjoyed a different lifestyle for six months,” said Chilton, whose wife Hayley gave birth to their second child down under.

Chilton played just six Championship matches last season, showing signs of an upturn in form with a ton against Kent at Canterbury and a sparkling 97 in the final game against Somerset at Taunton.

And he is determined, for want of a better phrase, not to look back in anger.

“I try not to dwell on it to be honest with you, I don’t see any point in worrying about what happened last year,” he said in the process of reflecting on a start to this year, which has included two first-class centuries, three fifties, and 101 not out in the Friends Provident Trophy against Derbyshire at Old Trafford, along with a string of solid contributions to help propel Lancashire into the FPT semi-finals and Twenty20 quarters.
 
“With things freshening up at the club, it has given me a new challenge. But I am not the only one because we have all been set a new challenge. I have had a bit of confidence shown in me from the start, and it’s been nice to repay that.”

 

 Mark Chilton photographed outside Salford Lads Club by Phil Garlington

Chilton is one of three current Lancashire players who were born in Yorkshire, Glen Chapple and Gary Keedy being the others. But that is Chilton’s only tie with the White Rose county.

“I am a local lad to here, I was brought up down the road in Sale,” continued the former Manchester Grammar School pupil. “I got involved with Lancs under 13’s, and I have loved every minute of playing for this club.

“I am proud and privileged to have been able to play for this county for as long as I have. The club have been good to me. It’s been a good relationship, and long may it continue. “The summer is going well for me at the moment, I have just got to stay positive,” he said.

“Whenever I have come out to bat I have tried to bat with a bit of intent, no matter what the situation.”

Chilton had a number of the Lancashire players singing along to his rendition of the Manchester group’s famous song. He will be hoping the opposition bowlers are singing and dancing to his tune for most of this summer.

Graham Hardcastle
Photo: Phil Garlington

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