New overseas signing Simon Katich hopes his bowling can play a vital part in Lancashire's success in 2013 along with his batting.
The Australian, who has returned to Old Trafford from Hampshire, is currently preparing for a spell playing Twenty20 cricket in the KFC Big Bash Down Under with the Perch Scorchers, who he will captain.
But he has taken time out of his preparations to look ahead to his forthcoming spell with the Red Rose county, whose main aim for next year is to regain their top-flight status in the LV= County Championship.
Katich, 37-years-old, has built his career upon his prolific left-handed batting, scoring 19,829 first-class runs to date and nearly 9,000 in both forms of limited overs cricket combined. Yet his left-arm chinaman bowling is more than useful having taken 107 first-class wickets, including 21 in Tests, and 25 in List A cricket.
“I was disappointed with my performances in four-day cricket last season,” said the Western Australian, who is also gunning for silverware. “Although it was a tough summer with a lot of rain around, I didn’t want to bow out like that. I know I am better than that.
“So I want to make sure I play a bigger role in the Championship next season - not just with the bat, but with the ball as well. I know Old Trafford, and that it spins, even for a part-timer like me! I didn’t get the chance to bowl so much last year because it was such a wet summer.
“I am coming to try and win trophies. Before last season I hadn’t won any silverware in county cricket, and I was lucky enough to do that with Hampshire. Now I want to do it with Lancashire. I want to play on a winning team.
“I was surprised to see Lancashire relegated last season. Not being part of it, it is hard to know why it happened, but in cricket these things can just happen, especially in the County Championship because all the teams in Division One are good sides. And also, when you have won the title the previous year other sides often strengthen in a bid to catch you up. That’s cricket."
“But, having been relegated last season, I am sure the boys will be hungry to get out there and show people what they can do and will be desperate to get straight back up.”
“Sajid Mahmood and Gary Keedy have both been big players for Lancashire over the years, and both were key to them winning the title. Them leaving definitely leaves a big hole, but it also opens up a big opportunity for someone else in the squad to grab. That in itself can raise players’ games.
“As an experienced player, I am keen to help any of the young lads. But I think the best way I can help out is from the front by my performances.”
Katich has taken over the Perth captaincy from former Red Rose left-hander Marcus North, and their first Big Bash match is on Sunday against Adelaide Strikers (10am UK), televised on Sky Sports.
Photo (c) Simon Pendrigh
Article (c) Lancashire CCC Ltd