Davies eager for return to Lancs' glory days
Wicketkeeper/batsman Alex Davies has heard the stories of great days out at a Lord's final, but now he wants to experience one for himself as Lancashire target Royal London One-Day Cup success.
Davies does not hide from the fact the county have underachieved in one-day cricket since the turn of the century.
They have only reached one Lord’s showpiece in that time, losing the 2006 C&G final to Sussex.
And the only major success with the white ball came in the 2015 Twenty20 Blast, which the 22-year-old played a key role in.
It is a far cry from the glory days of the 1970s, 80s and 90s when the Red Rose earned the nickname ‘the Kings of one-day cricket’ having won 11 Lord’s finals between 1970 and 1998.
Of course, Davies will not remember those successes given he was only four at the time of the ’98 NatWest Trophy win over Derbyshire.
But he knows all about the history having listened to his coach Glen Chapple, amongst others, relive the glory days.
“Lancashire has a strong reputation in one-day cricket,” said the in-form wicketkeeper batsman ahead of Friday’s floodlit opener against Leicestershire at Old Trafford.
“If you asked us have we underperformed in one-day cricket over the last 10 to 15 years, I think the answer is, ‘Yes’.
“Just one trophy, and none in the one-day competition specifically, we’re definitely better than that.
“When I was growing up and was just getting into cricket, it was coming to the end of the strong one-day side of the 1990s, the one-day kings.
“I’ve been fortunate enough whilst being at Lancs to work with a few of the players from that team, like Chappie and Warren Hegg.
“You listen to some of the stories from the Lord’s finals, and this competition is one thing I know as a squad we want to target this year. We want to win that trophy.
“We targeted Twenty20 a couple of years ago and won it, and now we want to win this.”
The Lightning failed to qualify for the knockout stages of both limited overs competitions last year.
They have been a consistent force in the T20 Blast for a number of years, but their failures in the One-Day Cup are more of a trend.
However, it is one Davies is confident of reversing.
“It will be easier this year with the schedule,” he said.
“At times the 50-over competition has come at awkward stages of the season – there’s been a lot of travelling in between games, for example.
“This year, it’s in a bit more of a block, and teams will be able to focus 100 percent on it rather than it being Championship game, 50-over, Twenty20.
“I think the schedule’s had a lot to do with it for us.”
Lancashire will be without injured captain Steven Croft (thumb) and Shivnarine Chanderpaul (thigh).
Croft’s absence will be something of a novelty for the Red Rose. He has not missed a competitive one-day match since being left out of that aforementioned 2006 C&G Trophy final.
England’s Jimmy Anderson is available, however.
He can play the first three RL50 matches, including Monday’s Roses clash at Headingley.
Friday will be his first List A appearance since the World Cup Pool A fixture between England and Afghanistan at Sydney in March 2015.
Davies has scored two County Championship centuries in Lancashire’s first three matches, including 130 in the second innings of the win over Somerset earlier this week.