Parkinson relishing Australia trip

Left arm spinner Callum Parkinson is ready to make the most of an exciting opportunity over the next month.

Parkinson recently completed a three-day camp with the England Lions at Loughborough alongside Somerset duo Jack Leach and Dom Bess, and Lancashire spinner Simon Kerrigan. 

The quartet worked with ECB Spin Bowling Lead and former Leicestershire spinner Peter Such in preparation for a trip to Australia with the Lions.

The tour party flew out on Tuesday and although Parkinson will not play matches, he will spend time bowling in the nets at the batsmen in Brisbane, something that represents a great learning experience for the young bowler. 

“It’s a great honour to be asked to bowl at the Lions,” said Parkinson. “There are players who have already played international cricket, so it will be a brilliant test for me, I’m also really looking forward to working with some new coaches, picking their brains for useful tips.” 

An added perk of the trip away also means he will be able to catch up with twin brother Matthew, a leg-spinner plying his trade for Lancashire, who is in currently in Sydney on an ECB Overseas Placement. “Matt and I are really close, we’ve grown up always playing together and for the first time this season we faced one another,” he said. 

Unfortunately for Callum, Matthew dismissed his brother in a Second Eleven Championship game and Lancashire narrowly beat the Foxes at the FCG in the T20 Blast. 

But there were positive parallels in their season; the pair celebrated new contracts during the 2017 season after particularly strong second halves to the campaign, both picking up the Young Player of the Year awards for their respective counties.

When reflecting on his first season at Leicestershire, Parkinson said: “It was a slow start for me personally, but I worked hard during the middle part of the season and took my chance in the Blast, to go on and play the last few first-class games was amazing.” 

This inevitably brings us on to the Worcestershire fixture where Parkinson took eight wickets in the first innings and ten in the match. 

“It was a career highlight for me,” he said. “All of the talk pre-match was that it would turn considerably but it was a fresh pitch which surprised us. I just stuck to my guns and fortunately it went my way.” 

In a season where his bowling took the plaudits Parkinson showed he is more than capable with the bat. The number eleven batsman scored 75 against Kent, putting on 122 with wicket-keeper Lewis Hill.

He said: “I really enjoy my batting and I work really hard on it, I batted 11 most of the season but I see myself batting higher in the future and I’m determined to work my way up the order.”

When asked about who has influenced his batting, Parkinson immediately credits the senior players in the dressing room. 
“We have people who have played international cricket, Cozzie (Mark Cosgrove) is very fearless and watching him bat has rubbed off on me.

“Since Carbs (Michael Carberry) has come into the dressing room he’s been a great help, I did a session with him and he loves talking about batting with the lads. It will be of great benefit for the lads to spend time with him as he is someone who has played at the highest level.”

Finally, there is a discussion about his exuberant celebrations, something that clearly runs in the family when you see his brother take a wicket too. 

He said: “I’ve always loved taking wickets, whether it be in the garden playing with Matty or in a first-class game. Cricket can be a tough game and there will be times when wickets are few and far between so I say you have to enjoy it!” 

Our final question for Parkinson is who celebrates the best in the Leicestershire dressing room. “Obviously it’s a three way competition between me, Aadil [Ali] and Rainey [Ben Raine], all three of us are keen on a celebration!

“I’d say without doubt my celebrations are the best, but the other two aren’t too far behind, it’s just great to see how much it means to the lads.”

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