Get in touch: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting YOGAZ to 80360 or send an email»
Yorkshire's Martin Moxon delighted with Liam Plunkett's progress
11:28am Thursday 8th August 2013 in Sport
Liam Plunkett has settled in at Yorkshire as well as he could have ever imagined after a rocky finish to his career with Durham.
A haul of 28 LV= County Championship wickets leaves him as the county’s second leading wicket-taker in 2013, behind only Steve Patterson with 33. He has also scored two half-centuries down the order with the bat to help secure a ten-point lead at the top of division one with five matches left.
Not only this, the 28-year-old Middlesbrough-born player also started his Yorkshire career with a first-class best haul of 6-33 against the students of Leeds/Bradford MCC Universities in April.
Last week, the former England man was awarded his county cap alongside fellow new signing Jack Brooks.
“He’s playing, which helps,” said director of professional cricket Martyn Moxon, who worked with Plunkett in his days as Durham coach.
“Liam is one of those players that needs to be bowling regularly. He’s obviously got that opportunity with us and has been fantastic – as has Jack Brooks since he arrived. They’ve really strengthened our bowling resources, and they are great assets to us.”
There has been a lot made of Plunkett’s difficulties during his last two seasons in the North-East.
He only played three Championship matches in 2011 and 2012 due to injury and a loss of form and confidence. But a link-up with former Australian fast bowler Jason Gillespie, who has urged the player to relax and bowl fast, has worked wonders.
“When you’ve got someone like Jason with the respect and record he has got, it does help when you are trying to bring players in,” added Moxon.
“That was a big factor with Liam, and we had worked together as well, so I think he was comfortable coming down here.”
Whether Plunkett can force his way back into England contention remains to be seen. It is not completely out of the question, although he is likely to have to produce similar form next season as well.
He played the last of his nine Tests in June 2007 and the last of his 29 one-day internationals in February 2011.
Former Yorkshire wicketkeeper Richard Blakey, who has watched Plunkett bowl on a number of occasions in limited overs cricket this season while commentating for BBC local radio, believes he can.
“I’ve always rated Liam Plunkett. I think he’s a tremendous bowler, I really do. He’s got everything – pace and bounce, and he’s a clever cricketer. Why not? If he can keep performing and taking wickets on a consistent basis, eventually the selectors will have to have another look at him.”
Yorkshire host a 50-over friendly against Bangladesh ‘A’ at Headingley tomorrow (10.45am start).
A strong 13-man squad includes the likes of Plunkett, Andrew Gale, Alex Lees, Adam Lyth, Rich Pyrah and Azeem Rafiq.
Also included is 19-year-old Oliver Robinson, a Kent-born all-rounder who has played second XI cricket for Leicestershire and Yorkshire this summer.
He is the son of Yorkshire coach Paul Farbrace’s partner Sandra and he scored 90 and 30 batting in the middle order in a three-day Championship draw against Warwickshire last week as well as taking match figures of 5-21 from 14 overs with his right-arm medium pace.
Yorkshire 13-man squad: Gale, Ashraf, Coad, R Gibson, Hodgson (w), Leaning, Lees, Lyth, Plunkett, Pyrah, Rafiq, Robinson, Wardlaw.
Comments are closed on this article.