New signing Stephen Moore has set his sights on reaching the top after arriving from Worcestershire.
“I’ve always been the type of person that when I do something I will try to do it to the best of my ability. I don’t see any point in doing something unless you are trying to be the best you can be,” said the 29 year-old.
“I want to play for England, and I want to test myself against the best players in the world.
“It doesn’t come any bigger than playing for a county the size of Lancashire with the pressure that’s put on you as player. If I don’t play for England I want to be able to say that I ended my career having played for one of the best county teams in country.”
Moore left New Road, the place he has spent all his professional career, when Worcestershire were relegated from the top tier of the County Championship at the end of last summer. He had a release clause in his contract triggered by the Pears’ drop in divisions.
He continued: “Halfway through last summer I started hearing that people knew about the clause in my contract. I had spoken to a few counties the previous year, and they knew of my ambition to play for England and in Division One (of the Championship).
“So, about halfway through last summer, I heard that there were teams interested if I wanted a change of scenery. I would have stayed at Worcester had we not have got relegated.
“I had a good, hard think about things for a week or two at the end of the season, and then I had some good chats to Peter (Moores) and Mike (Watkinson) here.
“They were open and honest about the ambition of the club. While this club’s got a great tradition and history, equally it’s got a huge foresight. They want to be one of the premier clubs in England.”
Due to his involvement in the ECB Performance Programme camp in South Africa prior to Christmas, Moore only arrived in Manchester at the start of January to coincide with the squad’s return to pre-season training.
He has been working on his game in the nets, and he has also been put through his fitness paces during some gruelling workouts on the hills of Rivington Pike and Abbey Village.
“It’s been fantastic,” he continued. “They are a great bunch of guys, the support staff is fantastic, and they’ve made things very easy for me. I couldn’t have asked for any more support.”
Despite being born in South Africa – he moved to England eleven years ago – the ex-Sussex and Surrey trialist has always held a UK passport due to his mother and father both being British.
He studied at Exeter University, and is a qualified Engineer – maybe he could even advise on the redevelopment in a quiet moment or two!
“My parents aren’t quite sure why they took me through University if I wanted to be a cricketer,” he smiled.
Not only was last season a disappointing one for his former county, but it was also a sketchy one for Moore on a personal note. He only scored 738 runs in the Championship.
But his highlights of 2009 were a hundred in a warm-up game against the Australians and an important ton in the Championship against the Red Rose at Old Trafford.
“I guess it does help if you’re looking to move somewhere that you happen to score runs against them,” he said. “But both were nice innings. To score runs against the Australians was a proud moment.”
He admitted to being surprised at Lancashire’s lack of silverware in recent years: “I can honestly say that since starting to play cricket I’m amazed that Lancashire haven’t won anything.
“But the one thing I’ve always noticed is that Lancashire tends to put themselves in a position to win trophies. That’s a fantastic position to be in because some people only get that chance once in a blue moon. Lancashire are there and there abouts in every competition.
“The differences between being almost men and holding the trophy are tiny, but there is a lot of hunger at this club.”
Moore will make his Lancashire debut on the pre-season tour of Barbados next month.
Photos: Simon Pendrigh
(c) Lancashire CCC Ltd