Adam Lord talks to Preston-born Lancashire all-rounder Danny Lamb about his breakthrough 2017 with the Red Rose and looking to kick on this summer at Old Trafford
Danny Lamb is under no illusions about how tough it will be to make a breakthrough at Old Trafford,
The 22-year-old Preston-born all-rounder is a long way from the Northern League, where he played for both Chorley and Leyland.
Having made his first-team debut last summer in the Royal London One Day Cup and T20 Blast, Lamb is now looking to make his mark further with Lancashire.
But in a dressing room full of star names, the middle or lower order batsman and seam bowler is ready to take the rough with the smooth that comes with being in such a competitive environment.
“It’s like trying to get into an international team,” said Lamb, who has come through the Red Rose system having first represented his county at Under- 13s level.
“As a young lad it’s hard but if you do get in then you reap the rewards.
“If you look at what we’ve got it’s international player after international player.
“From the learning point of view you can’t beat it. You’re always training against the best.
“There’s a bit of disappointment when you’re not in a squad but the competition stands you in good stead.
“Hopefully the team can come together and have a really strong season.”
Last season saw the fulfilment of an ambition Lamb has held since he young.
He made his List A debut for the Red Rose in a 50-over defeat to Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge on May 14, taking 2-57.
Two days later he played in a 28-run win at Durham in the same one-day competition, returning figures of 2-51.
A solitary T20 outing against Leicestershire followed at Liverpool in July and that was a game that saw Lamb really catch the eye, hitting a quickfire 22 with the bat which included a six, before being the pick of the bowlers with 3-30. “Breaking through to the first team was a childhood dream,” he said.
“I remember coming and watching all the Pro 40s and the Twenty20s when I was younger and I just knew that Old Trafford was where I wanted to play. I was lucky enough to do that last year.
“This year is now about kicking on and trying to get myself in that team at bit more. If I do get in then I’ve got to make sure I stay there and keep getting picked.”
After last year’s experience the all-rounder believes his chance is more likely to come in the shorter format but like all players at this stage of their career, is keen to make a first-class bow in the County Championship.
“We want to compete in three formats and you’ve got to think about the workloads of bowlers and things like that,” he said.
“That’s where I might squeeze myself in.
“The team is so strong I’ll probably start in the seconds and I just need to try and perform there to push for the first team.
“I think at the moment I’m targeting the white ball more than red ball but obviously I want to play first-class cricket.
“I want to make my debut this year and I’m confident I can do that, I just need an opportunity.
“When I was younger and playing for the Under 15s and training in the indoor centre just before training I’d watch the four-day competition. There was nothing more I wanted to do than get that first-class cap.”
Glen Chapple’s men, now led by new captain Liam Livingstone, were runners-up in Division One of the County Championship last summer.
They did not fare so well in white-ball cricket, failing to get out of the groups in both the Royal London One-Day Cup and the T20 Blast.
Lamb believes the strength in depth means Lancashire can mix it with the best in the shorter and longer formats in 2018, however.
“I’m really excited, I can’t wait for the season,” he said.
“It should be an exciting one for the lads – we’ve got a strong squad. I can’t see a stronger outfit out there to be honest and that’s in all three formats.
“We’ve got to aim to win the County Championship, that’s the key goal.
“Also we’ve got to challenging in the 50-over competition and in the T20 as well.
“We’ve got James Faulkner coming in for that as well and we’re just such a strong team on paper.
“We’ve just got to make sure that when it comes to the start of the season that we’re ready to go and fire.”
Lamb is not the only Lancashire player in the family, sister Emma playing for both the Red Rose and England, the opening batter currently with the Three Lions Academy in South Africa.
Their hectic schedules mean there has not really been chance for sibling chat about the summer ahead.
“To be honest I haven’t seen her much recently,” Lamb said.
“I went from playing in Tasmania, Australia, which was my first time away and an unbelievable experience, straight to Dubai and now she’s in South Africa with England.
“I haven’t really seen her but I think she’s doing all right.
“Hopefully she has a good Super League and we both do well this summer.”