Horton pre Middx
LCCC Interviews

Foxes keen to get back into Championship action

Leicestershire CCC are back in Specsavers County Championship action on Tuesday (May 14th) after a month’s break which made way for the Royal London One-Day Cup campaign.

The Foxes have the pleasure of travelling down to London to Lord’s, the Home of Cricket, for the four-day fixture as they look to get their red ball campaign back underway.

Leicestershire CCC Club Captain Paul Horton says that the Foxes are ready and excited to face Middlesex.

He said: “Every time you get the chance to play at Lord’s is a special occasion, so it will be a special occasion for a lot of our lads who have never played there before.

“Even for myself as well, who has played there a couple of times, it is still a wonderful experience.

“It seems a long time since we played our last four-day game and we feel fresh and are ready to go into a big block of four-day cricket. It is exciting.”

The Foxes got off to an excellent start in the Specsavers County Championship with an impressive win away at Sussex in the first fixture of the season, and are looking to build on the positive start.

“To start with Sussex away and Worcestershire at home are two very good teams,” said Horton. “It was a tough start and for us to come away with a win from our opening two games, we are happy with that.

“Middlesex are a very tough team, having won the Championship a few years ago, so it will be a tough test for us and a game where we can pitch ourselves against a really talented team.”

The squad goes into the fixture off the back of a comfortable win against Warwickshire in the final game of the 2019 Royal London One-Day Cup campaign, and Horton says that the boys are in a confident mood.

He said: “It is always nice to get a win. To get a win at the end [of the One-Day Cup] leaves us with a better taste than a run of losses, so we were happy that we won that last game and it was nice that some of the boys stepped up and performed.

“It is a totally different competition with two different feels, and it has been a long time since we have played the four-day game.”

The Club Captain was not in the squad for the final two Royal London One-Day Cup fixtures, so has had a bit more time to prepare for the return of the red ball campaign.

He said: “I feel great – best when fresh really. It is nice to have a bit of a break away from the game and come back and have really good preparation going into Lord’s.

“At times we don’t have long to prepare so it is good for me to have that now, to be able to prepare well for red ball cricket.”

Muhammad Abbas has played twice for the Foxes since coming back into the fold following his break away with the Pakistan national team, and Hassan Azad and Will Davis will also come back into a 13-man squad:

“It is nice to have [Muhammad] Abbas back for selection,” said Horton. “To have an overseas player available is very good for us and gives us a boost.

 “Some guys miss out in certain competitions than others and we have got to try and balance our small squad to get through the demands of three competitions, and compete as best we can.

“At times we have to manage that, and we have tried to do that in and around winning games of cricket - which is never easy. But also, in giving some of the younger lads some exposure and making them better cricketers.”

The Foxes get their 2019 Specsavers County Championship back underway on Tuesday (14 May) with play due to start at 11 o’clock.

Leicestershire Foxes (from 13): Horton (capt), Abbas, Ackermann, Azad, Cosgrove, Davis, Dearden, Hill (wk), Javid, Mike, Parkinson, Taylor, Wright.