Matt Parkinson praises influence of Glen Chapple
The Lancashire pair will both travel to the Ageas Bowl next week for England's pre-Test training camp
If Matthew Parkinson is chosen to make his Test debut against the West Indies next month, not only will it be a special moment for him but also for an onlooker in the England changing room - Lancashire’s head coach Glen Chapple.
The former all-rounder has been appointed as England’s bowling coach for the three-match series at the Ageas Bowl and Emirates Old Trafford.
Leg-spinner Parkinson is in a 30-man training group, which will convene in Southampton on Tuesday ahead of a two-week “lockdown” training camp, as the Boltonian describes it.
That camp will include intense training and a three-day intra-squad match before the squad is trimmed ahead of the start of the series on 8 July.
Parkinson, 23, is hopeful of making the cut having been part of England’s winter plans across all formats in New Zealand, South Africa and Sri Lanka.
And his upward progression is thanks in no small part to Chapple, who was appointed Lancashire full-time head coach in early 2017 having previously been caretaker for a summer in 2014 and then assistant coach under Ashley Giles.
“Chappie’s been fantastic with me,” said Parkinson. “He’s given me the opportunity that has led to England selection.
“He’s been a fantastic mentor, and I know the boys loved him when he went on the 2018 Lions trip to the West Indies (as a bowling coach). He did some good work there. This is just reward for him.
“He’s a fantastic bowling coach, never mind a head coach. He brings a wealth of experience. He’s just short of 1,000 first-class wickets.
“(Nearly) five years as head coach now, 20-odd years of playing, he’s seen it all.”
Parkinson agrees with the suggestion that the former seamer’s influence on the development of a spinner shows just how rounded a coach the 46-year-old is.
“It does, yes,” he continued. “Chappie has helped me a lot through the two stress fractures of my back I’ve had. Him and Chris Benbow (Lancashire’s second-team coach) have worked well with me.
“I’m quite lucky as a spinner that my mechanics are quite similar to a fast bowlers. I’m not your typical Warne-esque spinner. So, for Chappie, I think he sees a bit of that, and it probably makes it easier for him.
“It doesn’t have to be a spin coach to point out a decent change.”
Parkinson debuted for England in T20s and One-Day Internationals over the winter, but he has yet to make his Test bow.
He would have had an excellent chance of playing in the two-Test series in Sri Lanka in late March, although that series was postponed due to Coronavirus, had taken five wickets in two warm-up games, and is hoping to catch the the hierarchy’s eye.
One of five spinners in the 30, he added: “I’ll be looking to train hard and perform well. If I do get selected, then brilliant.
“I’m very excited. It’s been a long lockdown since Sri Lanka.
“The first couple of weeks with no cricket, I enjoyed to be honest with you having had a long winter. But it’s been nice to have been back training for the last three weeks, firstly at Emirates Old Trafford and then Chester Boughton Hall.
“We’ve been in three times a week, and I’m looking forward to Southampton.