Mark Chilton: "Pre-season tour creates opportunities"
Mark Chilton looking forward to pre-season tour
Lancashire's pre-season tour, which sees them travel to Dubai tomorrow without 10 first-team regulars, offers some young up and comers the chance to press their claim, according to Assistant Coach Mark Chilton.
The Red Rose county are returning to their usual base at the impressive ICC Academy, a venue used by a number of international teams as they prepare for various tours.
But they do so without captain Liam Livingstone, who is on Test duty in New Zealand, and Alex Davies, Keaton Jennings, Saqib Mahmood and Matt Parkinson, who are all involved in the ECB's North v South one-day series in Barbados.
Jimmy Anderson and Jos Buttler will also miss the fortnight long trip due to England Test and Indian Premier League duty respectively.
Overseas bowler Joe Mennie, Dane Vilas and Shivnarine Chanderpaul will link up with the county closer to the first Championship match at home to Nottinghamshire next month.
They are currently playing competitive cricket for South Australia, the Dolphins and Guyana respectively.
"It’s not ideal," said Chilton of the absentees. "But it does create opportunity.
“It allows us to see some lads who haven’t played a great deal of cricket.
"With the guys we have missing, it will be a real opportunity for those going to press their case and let us know where they’re at. It’s a case of 'Show us what you've got'."
Schedule wise, this will also be different to Lancashire's previous stays in the Gulf region.
They will not take part in the Emirates Airline T20 competition, allowing them to concentrate more on the other two formats, which begin much earlier in the summer.
They have a pair of two-day matches scheduled against Glamorgan and the United Arab Emirates national side as well as a trio of 50-over matches against Surrey, the UAE Blues and a UAE XI.
“For me, the 50-over stuff is very important," said Chilton. "I know it’s hard work and hot for the players, but you get more volume in there.
“We’re not playing T20 for a while anyway, and the reason we go over there is to get as much cricket in as we possibly can. 100 overs as opposed to 40 is far better.
“As the 50-over games we'll play are the only ones before the Royal London One-Day Cup starts, they aren’t just warm-up games for us."
Upon returning home, Lancashire have three-day friendlies against Glamorgan in Cardiff, starting on Thursday April 5, and Loughborough MCC Universities at the Haslegrave ground two days later.
Given the overlap of the two fixtures, the squad will be split in two so everybody gets match action.
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