Free-scoring Lumb aims for the top

Michael Lumb
Michael Lumb
Jonny Bairstow, right, thanks skipper Eoin Morgan. Picture: Neil Marshall

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Just 13 months ago, Michael Lumb was celebrating as a key figure in England’s ICC World t20 victory.

Today, he admitted: I’d love to do it again.

It’s been a tough spell for the Hampshire batsman following that memorable high in the West Indies.

He has seen first hand how cricket can be a cruel mistress.

Last summer he suffered a significant dip in form following his international exploits and injury then prematurely ended his season in August after playing himself back into form.

Stints for the Queensland Bulls in Australia and the Deccan Chargers in the IPL did not pan out as he had hoped.

A decent, if unspectacular, run with the Australian outfit in their Big Bash then gave way to a frustrating spell for the Chargers where he was selected for just one game.

But Lumb has already shown he is back in the Hampshire groove again in this year’s Friends Life t20 with 124 runs in three innings.

And if he continues to blast opposition bowlers out of the ground with such regularity, the next ICC World t20 in Sri Lanka next year could yet be on his agenda after coming through some tough times.

Lumb said: ‘England and the World t20 are a long way away.

‘The main thing is to get myself back and winning games for Hampshire.

‘England and those kinds of things take care of themselves.

‘I know I have to do well for myself personally and, if I can do that, Hampshire can win some games.

‘I feel I am a better player now, though. You never stop learning in this game.’

While Lumb has thrived upon his return, pace bowler Simon Jones is also looking for a resurgence.

And he is keen to play against his former county Glamorgan in the Royals’ latest t20 clash tonight, after his impressive impact in the win over Kent on Sunday.

Jones said: ‘Glamorgan are a good side and they have got some big hitters in Mark Cosgrove and Jim Allenby.

‘We will have to go hard at them and get in their faces again.

‘Hopefully, we can take advantage of the fact they have got a young attack and keep things going.

‘It’s always hard playing against your old county and maybe it would be the same if it was Worcestershire.

‘You make friends, loyalties – and being Welsh makes it hard to play against them.

‘But it’s a job. I play for Hampshire and you have to go out and almost forget who you are playing against.’

Jones added: Our batters are playing well.

‘And, hopefully, our bowlers can keep doing what they’re doing.

‘I want to be playing. It’s a great format and I feel I can be of use, so hopefully I might have made an impact on their minds to get a look-in.’