By Neil Goulding
SIMON Marshall admits that his county career with Lancashire was
kick started by a three-season spell playing for Cheshire in the
The 24 year-old leg-spinner was something of a fixture in the
Lancashire Lightning one-day side that featured in last seasons
C&G Trophy, Twenty20 Cup and NatWest Pro40 League.
And he is now aiming to do something similar in 2007 in the face
of strong competition from Gary Keedy and Sri Lankan magician
Oh yeah, my time with Cheshire certainly helped me get to
where I am now. It was something of a stepping stone from league
cricket to county cricket, he explained.
I really, really enjoyed my time there, because it is the
nearest thing to preparing you for county cricket.
Marshall, from Birkenhead, played with in the minor counties competition
for three years, between 2001 and 2003, before making his Red
Rose debut in 2005.
The minor counties is something that is used for players
who are outstanding league players, but have either got too good
a job or are too old to chase the dream of a professional career,
I was quite lucky because I got into the Cheshire team with
a chance in front of me. Luckily I was able to take it.
I do have the University degree behind me (from Cambridge),
but I never really got to the stage where I was contemplating
Marshall played against the likes of former England bowler Martin
McCague (Hertfordshire) and current Nottinghamshire bowler Charlie
Shreck (Cornwall) in his time. He has since faced Shreck in the
I suppose he is a prime example of someone who has dominated
at league level, dominated at minor counties level and then moved
on to perform in county cricket, he said.
Marshall, who has also played grade cricket for Adelaide and West
Torrens in South Australia, admits that he is still behind Keedy
and Muralitharan in the Old Trafford pecking order at present.
But he is still determined to use it as a positive, and make sure
he learns from two quality performers.
These two guys are top-class. I work with Gary all the time
on various aspects of spin bowling. I only hope that working with
Murali can have a similar effect.