F&B proud to see spinner Simon Kerrigan emerge from the wilderness

Fulwood and Broughton like to think they have played a significant part in the rejuvenation of Simon Kerrigan as a top-class spin bowler.

Thursday, 20th May 2021, 4:45 pm

The former Lancashire ace was once billed as potentially the future for England in the slow-bowling department.

Having helped Red Rose win the County Championship for the first time in 77 years in 2011, Kerrigan was called up by his country for an Ashes Test against Australia in 2013.

Unfortunately, his debut in the fifth Test at the Oval did not go as he would have liked.

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Simon Kerrigan in action for Northants (photo:GettyImages)

He appeared to be racked with nerves and he failed to take a wicket, with his eight overs particularly expensive, going for 53 runs. The Preston-born bowler did not bowl in the second innings as the match ended in a draw.

It would prove to be Kerrigan’s only flirtation with Test cricket and in the years afterwards, it could be said he lost his way.

His bowling action appeared to break down with many expert judges concluding that he was suffering from a case of the yips, which is a term used to describe a sudden and unexplained loss of skills in experienced athletes.

Kerrigan was released by Lancashire in 2018 and was signed by his boyhood club F&B in the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield. In his first season at Highfield, he barely bowled and played virtually as a batsman but gradually he started to rediscover his mojo with the ball.

By the time F&B won promotion to the Northern League, he had become a key member of their attack.

His form with the ball began to alert clubs higher up the food chain and he signed a deal with Northants in August last year – three years after his last professional match for Lancashire.

His career came full circle last month when he took 4-60, albeit in a losing cause, for Northants against his old county at Old Trafford.

F&B are hoping to still be able to call upon his services this season when his county commitments allow and captain Dominic Jackson admitted the former England player – who is still only 32 – has had a huge influence on the club over the past three years.

“Since Simon came back, he’s been brilliant for us,” said Jackson, whose side travel to Netherfield this weekend.

“It’s been great to watch him get back to where he needs to be as a cricketer and we like to think we have helped. But he has brought us all on so much. He dragged us up from being a

Palace Shield team to getting us to where we need to be in the Northern League.

“Hopefully we’ll be competing for things at the end of this year and a lot of credit goes to him and the previous captain Mark Smith. Simon showed us just what we needed to do in terms of the grit and determination to win games in the Northern League.”

Saturday's fixtures

NORTHERN LEAGUE DIVISION ONE: Fleetwood v Morecambe, Garstang v Chorley, Lancaster v Blackpool, Leyland v Kendal, Longridge v St Annes, Netherfield v Fulwood and Broughton

PALACE SHIELD PREMIER DIVISION: Eccleston v Fylde, Great Eccleston v Croston, Penrith v South Shore, Penwortham v Barrow, Preston v Kirkham and Wesham, Thornton Cleveleys v Vernon Carus

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