Parkinson looks back on his debut
Parkinsons are renowned for chat yet it would not have been surprising had Matthew of that ilk been lost for words on the second day of his Lancashire debut.
Having been told he was to play against Warwickshire the previous Sunday afternoon, the 19-year-old Boltonian leg-spinner had bowled only three balls of his first over when a loud, intermittent noise from the Emirates Old Trafford PA system had caused the players to leave the field for half an hour.
When cricket resumed, Parkinson had dismissed Jonathan Trott and Varun Chopra as Lancashire seized the advantage in a fluctuating contest. It was little wonder that the events of the day left the debutant a trifle stunned.
‘I don’t think it has all sunk in yet,’ said Parkinson, who first represented Lancashire when he played for the county’s Under 10 team.
‘This is my first time in the squad for championship cricket after I've been in the squad for six or seven one-day games so to play is a great feeling.’
‘I obviously have never had ‘noise stopped play’ before, but it is an over I will never forget! We would have carried on playing, but Trott didn’t want to be disturbed,’ said Parkinson. ‘It is one of those where I am not sure what we would have done if we were in his position.’
‘Then to get Trott out in the second over was amazing. When I got the wicket I didn’t know what to do. I just ran to the boundary like a madman and realised there were no fans there! I then just ran to the next player I saw. Obviously it was a proud moment.’
It was a moment that Lancashire supporters may not forget either but the praise for Parkinson’s performance was not confined to the Red Rose contingents at Old Trafford
‘Matt Parkinson bowled really well,’ said Dougie Brown, Warwickshire’s director of cricket. ‘He didn't bowl any bad balls, which is unusual for a young leg-spinner making their way in the game. It is a difficult art to master and he put a lot of pressure on us.’
Yet things were to get better for Parkinson. On the third day of the Warwickshire match he became only the second leg spinner since the war to take five wickets on his County Championship debut. and that was a performance which attracted warm praise from his skipper Steven Croft, who had kept wicket to Parkinson during the 23.1 overs in which he took five for 49.
‘I thought Parky bowled brilliantly and deserved his five wickets. He got some very good players out and there was hardly a bad ball in there. His accuracy was right up there with most leg spinners.
‘He works really hard, it’s been a close call on him a few times and he really deserves his rewards. It was a good game for him to play in and he stood up to the challenge really well.’