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Josh Bohannon relishing Red Rose opportunity

Josh Bohannon relishing Red Rose opportunity

Interview with Lancashire all-rounder Josh Bohannon

Josh Bohannon is hoping he can provide the spark for Lancashire’s promotion bid in 2019. Pardon the pun, but the fledgling all-rounder, fresh from a superb end to the most recent summer, is branching out this winter. Not only will he be working on improving his skills with bat and ball, he is also undertaking an electrician’s course.

Bohannon was - pun alert - a shining light during the latter stages of the Red Rose’s difficult season. He played the last five County Championship matches and scored two half-centuries in a haul of 255 runs and claimed five wickets.

The 21-year-old scored a debut 52 in the first innings of the narrow defeat against Surrey at the Oval in late August when he was thrust into action against Morne Morkel under lights against the pink ball. He then hit a brilliant unbeaten 78 the following week as Lancashire chased down 314 to beat Worcestershire at Southport, sharing an unbroken 139 for the seventh wicket with stand-in captain and centurion Dane Vilas. Bohannon hit the winning runs.

Reflecting on the Surrey game first, he said: “It was just a bit of surreal. To play first-class cricket for Lancashire is a dream, and I always envisaged it would come against the red ball. So for it to come under lights with a pink ball against Morne Morkel was a bit different! But I wouldn’t change it at all. Absolutely not. I loved it.

Bohannon, the 681st player to debut in first-class cricket for the county, then went one better against the Pears.

“What made it more special was to do it with Dane as stand-in captain due to Livvy’s injury and to do it at Southport, where I’d play a bit of league cricket and had people I knew cheering me on,” he continued.

“I had quite a few family members there too. They had missed the Surrey game and had watched it on the live stream, but they were able to get to Southport. It was only the next day that it all sunk in when I watched the highlights back, hitting the winning runs.”

The season had started on a frustrating note for the Boltonian, a product of the Farnworth Social Circle club. He had spent a productive winter in Sydney playing for Randwick Petersham and working and living with Nick Warren, a former Warwickshire player in the same age group as Ian Bell now coaching Down Under. But he suffered a side injury late on and missed the start of the summer.

“It wasn’t an ideal start coming back from Sydney injured, but once I was fit I started pretty well in the second team in all formats,” he said. “I managed to get a hundred at Emirates Old Trafford in front of the management, which always helps - a T20.

“It was still a surprise to debut in the red ball stuff because I’d done well, but I hadn’t scored the hundreds I would have liked. I’d got a few scores but had found ways to get out.

“It was funny. Before I made my debut, I was speaking to my girlfriend’s dad. We were sat having tea one night and he said ‘How far do you think you’re off the red ball team?’. I said ‘Nowhere near’.”

Bohannon is now in a great position to start the 2019 season in the first team, when he hopes to get an opportunity to showcase the more expansive side of his game.

“It seems that every game I’ve played so far, we’ve been in a tough situation, which has required me to bat time, coming in at 50-4 or when we’ve had a big partnership and then lost three quick wickets,” he said. “I can be attacking, which is probably more of my natural game. Ideally, I want to try and put the bowler under pressure.”

So, if Bohannon can harness that attacking flair with the grit and determination he has already shown, maybe he can supercharge that promotion push. Beforehand, however, he has a few circuits to attend to.

He added: “I’m actually doing an electrician’s course. My brother Jamie is an electrician, and it’s what I did before I turned professional. It’s something I enjoyed, and it’s also a way of taking my mind away from cricket, which I believe is really important.”

WATCH: Find out what Josh Bohannon had to say after signing a new contract with the Club.

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