Parkinson aiming for Vitality Blast success
Lancashire’s Matthew Parkinson is aiming to banish the hurt of last year’s Finals Day failure in this summer’s Vitality Blast.
The Lightning reached their seventh Finals Day, but were under par and bundled out in the morning semi-final by eventual champions Worcestershire, who went on to win their maiden crown.
That upset leg-spinner Parkinson and company, who themselves are aiming for a second Blast title.
“Last year was disappointing. You come to Edgbaston and leave at 1pm. You almost feel unfulfilled. It was a low point,” he said.
“The lads did well to get to Finals Day. We had a good group stage and played well up until then. But that’s the thing with knockout cricket. You have one off-day, and it goes wrong.”
This year’s competition has taken on extra importance for the 22-year-old England Lions man, who has frustratingly been unable to force his way into Lancashire’s Specsavers County Championship team this season.
Last year, he was the second leading wicket-taker in the Blast with 25 wickets from 15 appearances in a form that he loves.
“I have played T20 in junior and club cricket from the age of eight, so it’s something I’ve grown up with,” he said. “For us, it’s not a novelty. It’s on a par with first-class and one-day cricket, and for me personally over the last few years it’s been a competition I’ve done well in.
“It’s probably been my main competition, and it’s true that the generation now probably take it a lot more seriously than they did in 2003 (when T20 cricket was introduced).
"The last two years have gone OK, and it’s nice to bowl leg-spin at Emirates Old Trafford because it’s a big ground and the wickets are normally conducive to spin bowling in the white-ball game.
“In T20 cricket, if you’re a spin bowler things tend to happen, and the middle or late overs are normally when things tend to happen.”
Needless to say, Parkinson and the Lightning are aiming for a second Blast title and are confident of achieving it with the addition of Australian overseas duo James Faulkner for a third campaign alongside star all-rounder Glenn Maxwell, who joined the squad recently after the ICC Cricket World Cup.
Maxwell played in the early-season Royal London One-Day Cup matches, and he is someone Parkinson is hoping to catch the eye of given his role as the captain of the Melbourne Stars.
“I was meant to play with him at the Stars in the winter, but I had a stress fracture in my back,” he said. “It was a big chance, but it’s something I’m keen to get again.
“Those opportunities don’t come unless you perform in the Blast.
“So my aim this summer, from a personal point of view, is to replicate last season and as a team go one better. if those performances for Lancashire lead to other opportunities, that’s even better.”
Buy your Vitality Blast tickets
Don’t forget to buy your tickets to watch Lancashire Lightning in the third home Vitality Blast fixture of the summer against Nottinghamshire Outlaws on Saturday 3 August.