James Faulkner reflects on 2015 T20 triumph
Australian all-rounder on 2015 triumph
James Faulkner is returning to Lancashire hoping that Lightning can strike twice when it comes to the NatWest T20 Blast - and, as he prepares for his second spell with the county, he has reflected on his first.
The 27-year-old Australian all-rounder was a key component of the county's maiden 20-over success back in 2015 with a competition high 25 wickets, the joint best alongside Stephen Parry, and 302 runs.
He was in the thick of it at many a crucial moment during that campaign - most notably hitting the winning runs in the quarter and semi-finals against South Group duo Kent and Hampshire and bowling superbly at the death in the final against Northamptonshire.
And he loved it!
No surprise really, that is the kind of all action cricketer the one-day World Cup winner - also in 2015 - is.
"The T20 was the perfect storm," he reflected. "If you asked the whole group, we had a lot of fun along the way. We really enjoyed our cricket.
"That was one of things I wanted during my time there. I wanted to enjoy my cricket. I didn't want to be stressed about doing well personally, I wanted to have fun.
"We had some very skilful players, and looking at moments in games, key aspects, we always had somebody who stood up and got the job done for the boys. They might only have been three, four or five-ball periods, but it all just clicked for us.
"Once we won the quarter-final off the last ball, I felt we were in a really good position to win Finals Day. The rest is history I suppose."
One of those key moments came in the quarter-final win over Kent at Canterbury when, with two needed off the last ball, Faulkner smoked a straight drive which deflected off the stumps and down to long-on: "That was certainly a bit of luck," he said before reflecting further on the campaign.
"Favourite moments; Finals Day. It doesn't get any better than that. I'd never experienced that, and everyone who has played in England says how great it is. To get the opportunity in my first year or county cricket, it was more than I expected really.
"The crowds and the way they love cricket over there, it's different to any other place in the world, whether it's Australia, India or South Africa. I really enjoyed their banter.
"It's also different cricket. There was a lot of travel between games, which is something I wasn't used to. Obviously this time around, it will be different only play T20s and not the Championship.
"There are plenty of fond memories, but definitely Finals Day was the key."
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