Spin twins set for FCG reunion

Not only is tomorrow night’s NatWest T20 Blast game at the Fischer County Ground a big one for Leicestershire Foxes and Lancashire Lightning, it is also a special occasion for the Parkinson spin twins.

The Bolton-born duo came through the Lancashire system but while leg-spinner Matthew still represents the Red Rose, left arm orthodox spinner Callum moved away in the pursuit of regular first team cricket and now plies his trade for the Foxes.

Given the county circuit is a small world, their career paths could cross once again in Leicester tomorrow (6.30pm start). It will be an interesting experience for the 20-year-olds more used to facing one another in the back garden in Greater Manchester or on the beach.

Their respective figures in the 2017 competition are impressive; Callum has picked up ten wickets at 19.40 with an economy of 7.18 while Matthew’s seven scalps have come at 12.57 apiece at a rate of 6.28 runs per over.

Both will be hoping to add that tally tomorrow evening – although Callum is naturally hoping he is not among Matthew’s victims for the second time in 2017!

“It’s great that Matt has got a go in the Lancashire side and is doing well. He got me out earlier in the year in the Second XI match earlier this season, so hopefully that doesn’t happen again!” said Callum.

“It would be interesting to play against Matt if we are both selected. I am pleased he is doing well and we enjoy each other’s success.

“He’s a right arm leg-spinner, so we are different in aspects of what we do, but there are a lot of similarities in the different forms of slow bowling so we have helped each other along the way in our careers. 

“It will be a proud moment for the family if we face each other in a professional match. They won’t place too much emphasis on the result because they will be cheering us both on to do well.”

Both have had a long run in their respective sides. Callum has been an ever-present for the Foxes after making his debut against Lancashire at Liverpool CC while Matthew, who was in the Lightning squad for that fixture, has played the last four games.

The slow left armer was given the opportunity to open the bowling in Aigburth and would go on to collect the key wickets of England T20 internationals Jos Buttler and Liam Livingstone. Callum has relished the responsibility handed to him in NatWest T20 Blast and is grateful for the opportunity.

“It’s been good knowing going out to bowl knowing that I have the backing of [Head Coach] Pierre [de Bruyn], [captain] Clint [McKay] and [vice-captain] Colin [Ackermann],” he said. 

“I’ve enjoyed every minute of playing in the Blast and have learnt from each game as I look to improve.

“I’ve been pleased with my own form but naturally I’d have liked to have been part of a few more wins and for us to be in a better position at the top of the league given our great start.

“But I’m just trying to enjoy the experience. T20 is a fun game and the players are right behind each other and supporting one another to do well.

"It’s a great changing room to be a part of and we’re looking forward to facing Lancashire, which will be another big game for both sides.”

Leicestershire were frustrated by the weather and had to settle for one point following an abandonment after 20 overs against Notts Outlaws last night while Lancashire lost to Birmingham Bears in their last outing on Sunday.

But the Foxes and the Lightning are still very much in qualification contention. At the time of writing, both teams were a point outside the top four having banked nine points from nine games – but Lancashire are in action against Northants Steelbacks tonight.

Lightning could arrive at the FCG in the final qualification place as they would leapfrog the Steelbacks and the Outlaws, who have ten points apiece, if they land a victory at Wantage Road this evening.

Parkinson is part of an unchanged 14-man squad for the visit of Lancashire with Gavin Griffiths, Ned Eckersley and Rob Sayer included alongside the XI that faced the Outlaws.

Foxes (from): McKay (capt), Aadil, Ackermann, Cosgrove, Delport, Eckersley, Griffiths, Hill, Klein, Parkinson, Pillans, Ronchi, Sayer, Wells.