Wicketkeeper Gareth Cross has revealed that watching the Twenty20 Champions League in India from the comfort of his living room was hard to take.
Lancashire topped the North Division of the English Twenty20 Cup after losing only one of their ten matches, but they were bundled out of the competition at the quarter-final stage by Somerset after three days of rain forced a bowl-out.
On Saturday, Cross and co begin preparations for this season’s 20-over competition when they face a Barbados Select XI under lights at the Kensington Oval as part of the Barbados Cricket Cup (10pm UK).
Should they beat the home team, expected to feature West Indies international Ryan Hinds, they will advance to Finals Day on Sunday.
Cross said: “We did really well in Twenty20 last year, and it’s something we’re looking forward to. Last year left a bit of a sour taste – to lose on a bowl out having lost one game in ten.
“We were the best team in our group by a mile. The lads were all really disappointed to have to watch all that stuff in India on the TV.”
Yorkshire are up first tomorrow against a University of the West Indies XI before Essex face county opposition in Derbyshire. The best placed loser goes through to the semi-finals on Sunday, but the other two teams will play in a Plate game at the 3 Ws ground at Cave Hill.
Cross, who has been a regular in the 20-over side in recent seasons, added: “Everyone loves playing Twenty20. I don’t think anyone will want to miss out on any of the games even though we have the possibility of two in a day.”
Lancashire were having a day’s rest on Friday, and coach Peter Moores said: “We’ll have a chat about the way we want to go about Twenty20, then go out on the field to see to if we can make it work.”