Davis: "We have healthy competition"

Leicestershire CCC fast bowler Will Davis has benefitted from seeing a few familiar faces as he settles into life at the Fischer County Ground.

The 22-year-old started his professional career at Derbyshire CCC before moving to the Foxes at the end of the 2018 season, so has previously worked with Assistant Coach John Sadler.

Davis has also played alongside Tom Taylor and Callum Parkinson, two fellow young cricketers that have made their mark at Leicestershire CCC following a move down the M1.

He said: “It’s been really enjoyable, we were thrown into things in the first week with fitness testing at the start of November, and then we had some cricket training too. Everybody has been really welcoming, and we’ve done various different things over the last few weeks.

“I already knew a few people from Derbyshire, including John Sadler, who was my coach there for a few years. I’ve always enjoyed working with him, and I also played alongside Tommy (Tom Taylor) and Cal (Callum Parkinson) at Derby too.

“The 2018 season was a frustrating one, but this is a really exciting move for me and I’m hoping to go on to big things in seasons to come.

“Most of the cricket training comes in the New Year, but sessions have been enjoyable and hard work, which is exactly what is required at this time of year. Everyone is already looking forward to the season, especially now the fixtures are out.

“Everybody wants to work hard and improve, but there is also a relaxed atmosphere, and everybody has a laugh at the right moments, so there is a nice balance. It’s a really good dressing room to be a part of.”

Davis noted the achievements of Leicestershire CCC during the 2018 campaign, both in terms of an upturn in team performances and the collective achievements of the bowling group.

“The results in 2018 improved a lot,” said Davis. “Leicestershire were bowling teams out regularly, and Muhammad Abbas has been regularly bowling international sides out, so that’s a good recipe for success all round.

“I’ve done a few sessions with Mase [Head Bowling Coach Matt Mason] and they have been fantastic. It’s been good to get to know people and I’m looking to deliver performances on the pitch.

“Muhammad Abbas and Chris Wright have got vast experience in first-class cricket and I’ll be able to learn off them, both in the nets but also on the field. I’ll be able to talk to them during spells, which is always important.”

Davis believes the competition for places will be strong across all formats, with a good number of young seam bowlers to go alongside the experience of Abbas and Wright.

“I know Tommy (Taylor) more than others, but there are a good number of bowlers trying to get into the team and offer something,” said Davis.

“It’s all healthy competition, and we’ll push each other on as a bowling group because everyone is more than capable of producing performances when called upon.

“Mase [Matt Mason] has spoken about managing workloads, and that, as an individual, you might have to miss one game to avoid missing a number of games.

“Having a good choice of bowlers allows you to do that, rather than have a unit that is battling through for the entire season. We have more than enough people who are able to come in and have a role.”

Davis is determined to follow in the footsteps of a number of Leicestershire CCC bowlers by also contributing with the bat.

During the 2018 season, Dieter Klein came close to scoring a century at Glamorgan CCC, Gavin Griffiths posted a number of career-bests, and Callum Parkinson also made valuable contributions.

Davis is clearly more than capable given his final innings for Derbyshire Second XI was a score of 99 against Durham Second XI at Burnopfield; even though it was in the north-east, it was in far warmer conditions than when he last played in Leicester!

“I’ve tried to work hard on my batting over the last couple of seasons, it’s getting there, and it’s something I’ve been working on with Sads [John Sadler] already,” said Davis. “It’s important that we get as many runs as possible down the order and contribute.

“It’s been good to get to know my new home ground. I have played a couple of games at Leicestershire in the past. The [Specsavers County] Championship game last year was heavily affected by the rain, and in the end I think that we had two days washed out.

“We started at some point on the third day, the Sunday, which had looked unlikely given the amount of rain. It may have been drier then, but it was the coldest day I have ever been on a cricket pitch!

“I also played a Second XI game at the Fischer County Ground a while ago, so I know the ground reasonably well. It will be good to play here more in 2019.”

* Keep in touch with what our players are doing over the winter on www.leicestershireccc.co.uk and through our social media channels @leicsccc on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.