Glen Chapple is hoping Lancashire's winning streak in the CB40 will kick-start their County Championship campaign after going past a milestone of his own in the longer form of the game.
The veteran seamer’s 2 for 50 and 14 runs against Worcestershire and 7.11 Most Valuable Player points he earned were enough to make him the highest point scorer in Championship cricket of all-time.
The Lancashire skipper then returned figures of 4 for 46 in a six wicket CB40 win over Leicestershire last weekend to claim his best return in the 40-over competition for six years.
It was the Lancashire’s fifth win in the CB40 and the Red Rose added a sixth victory on Monday against Gloucestershire to go top of their group - and on course for a semi-final place.
And Chapple is now confident they can replicate their run in the LV=CC. He said: “We have a clear focus of what we need to do in both the CB40 and the Championship.
“We’re right in it in the CB40 and have got a very good opportunity, but we need to start winning Championship games too, to avoid relegation and to move up the table.
“The Worcestershire defeat was very disappointing but I feel we’re improving. We went on a great run last year and gained an awful lot of confidence.
“In many respects we’re still searching for that confidence and are all looking forward to the rest of the season as there is a lot to play for still.”
With 1576.54 points to his name, Chapple has now gone past Durham’s Ian Blackwell in the FTI MVPs, twenty years ago this month since he made his first class debut for the Red Rose in a draw at Hove.
The statistical analysis provided by the rankings is not the only thing to have changed in the intervening years, according to Chapple.
He said: “Things have moved on a lot. Obviously the preparation, fitness and methods we use to train have all improved considerably. There’s also more professionalism around nutrition and bed times!
“What I would say though, is that players have to be careful not to be over-reliant on stats and analysis. Coaches do a great job and have a lot of tools at their finger tips, but players need to keep developing themselves.
“Resourceful cricketers are what we need – and what we’ll need at Old Trafford for the rest of the season.”
Chapple, 38, who has only once finished out of the top 20 of the County Championship MVPs is currently 14th in this year’s table, higher than any of his Old Trafford team-mates.
And he has no intention of calling it a day any time soon.
He added: “I have to accept that I’m quite old, if I’m being rational about it. I also accept that in wanting to play longer I need to commit to harder work, you can’t just maintain your form – you have to keep improving it.
“I’ll definitely be back next year and am already looking forward to it. I’m still enjoying the game and don’t want to finish thinking I could have had some more success.”
|Michael Di Venuto||Durham||1335|
For more information on the FTI MVP ranking system please visit www.thepca.co.uk.
Photo (c) Nigel French/EMPICS Sport