Matt Parkinson ‘gutted’ at England omission for South Africa white-ball tour

Matt Parkinson admits he was “gutted” not to be included in England’s white-ball squad to face South Africa.

Having made his T20I and ODI debuts last winter, Lancashire spinner Parkinson looked set to play a part in England’s summer home series following the Covid-19 pandemic.

But he missed the series against Ireland after suffering an injury on the eve of a warm-up match and was then omitted from the squad to face South Africa this month.


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“I was gutted not to be selected,” Parkinson told Cricinfo. “It was an odd summer, really. I didn’t really know where I stood [with England] when I came back to play for Lancashire.

“I think if you spoke to a lot of the young lads on the fringes, [they’d say] it was quite a tough summer to see where you fitted in, just due to the lack of cricket we played.

“To be fit in the whole of lockdown and then get so close to the season…it was stinking timing. I think I played 11 T20 games. I started a bit slowly but I thought I might have pushed my case in them with a decent finish and I was hoping I could sneak on as back-up spinner to Rash [Adil Rashid] but obviously it wasn’t to be.

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“It was Ed Smith [England selector] who rang me. He didn’t really give too much feedback but he would have been making the same phone call to 10 or 15 lads.

“Obviously the squad that they’ve taken is fantastic and is a very tough one to break into, so all I can do is keep working. There are areas that I know I need to work on, and those are the things he stressed.”

Despite the disappointment, Parkinson, who is one of the slowest bowlers in the country, says he is not planning to overhaul his game to try and force his way back into the international set-up.

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“It’s not something I’m going to force,” he says. “It would be nice to have it in me to push it up to 51, 52mph – not every ball, but when I feel like it’s needed. What I’ve managed to achieve so far has been because of the way I bowl.

“The speed and the skills I’ve got currently are obviously doing well in the Blast. I like to think I’ve got decent control for a legspinner, and I get a little bit of drift and some spin as well.

“When you get a taste for international cricket it does show you the slight things in your game that you do need to tweak but I’m not going to change the whole package just to play for England – I have to stay true to what I do.”

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