Gary Keedy has unfinished business when it comes to Lancashire and Lord's finals.
The veteran left-arm spinner has more reason than most to ensure the Lightning win tomorrow’s semi-final against Warwickshire at Old Trafford having missed out on their last showpiece appearance at the home of cricket in 2006 due to injury.
Keedy made the bold decision to make way for Indian Kartik Murali ahead of the C&G Trophy final against Sussex due to a minor knee problem, which he could have played through had push come to shove.
Now, with his county just one game away from a return to Lord’s, the 37-year-old has admitted it is a decision he looks back on with a tinge of regret.
“I'd played in all the group stages in 2006, but I picked up an injury and wasn't 100 percent fit,” he explained, having taken 18 wickets in the competition, more than any other spinner in the country. “Had Karts not been with us, I'd have probably played. To leave myself out of the final is maybe something I regret.
“If we win the semi-final, I won't be leaving myself out even if I've only got one leg.
“We had Murali come in for the second half of the season as an overseas. Just the kind of person I am, I knew I wasn't fully fit even though I could have got through. I just thought 'we've got an overseas bloke here who does the same job, it would be crazy for me to not make way'.
“I think Winker (Mike Watkinson) had said at the time that we'd be going in with the team that got us there. I was in that team.
“It was the right thing to do at the time, but when I look back on it you wonder how many opportunities you'll get. But we're one game away now. I can put all that right.”
Meanwhile, in-form opener Stephen Moore is hoping that home comforts will work wonders for the Lightning on Saturday, as they have done all season in this competition. The hosts have won all of their six group matches at Old Trafford this season.
Moore is the competition’s leading run-scorer with 564 from 12 matches, including six half-centuries and one hundred.
“I think any team likes to play at home, where you feel most comfortable,” added the right-hander, who hit 113 against his former county Worcestershire at New Road at the start of the week.
“We know the pitches that we've played on this year, and we've had everything from 290 to 60. We've got a good understanding of our ground, and hopefully we'll have a good home crowd to support us.
“It's been a good competition. We've played well to get here. We go into the semi-final with a lot of confidence. But Saturday is a one-off. We have to bring our A-game. It will be exciting.”
Lancashire squad: Glen Chapple (capt), Karl Brown, Jordan Clark, Steven Croft, Gareth Cross, Paul Horton, Gary Keedy, Simon Kerrigan, Stephen Moore, Oliver Newby, Stephen Parry, Ashwell Prince, Ajmal Shahzad, Tom Smith.
Article (c) Lancashire CCC Ltd
Photo (c) Simon Pendrigh