CRICKET: WARWICKSHIRE all-rounder Matt Lamb hopes to develop from a ‘part time’ bowler to a genuine fourth seamer by heading down under after Christmas.
The 21-year-old played seven Championship matches for the Bears last season, scoring 329 runs at an average of 23.50.
A graduate of the Bears Academy, Lamb did not look out of place at the crease in first-class cricket, while his bowling recorded 20 overs, conceding 66 runs for three wickets.
The Wolverhampton-born ace also targets more limited overs cricket during Bears’ 2018 campaign
He said: “Hopefully I’ll go to Australia after Christmas but for the next three months I’ll stay at Edgbaston and do some considerable work on my bowling – that’s a big priority for me.
“I want to develop from a part-time bowler to a genuine fourth seamer.
“If you bat and bowl to a reasonable level it gives you a better opportunity in all forms of the game so I’m going to work really hard on my white-ball bowling and hopefully play all three formats next year.
“Last season was great experience for me. It was a bit of a step up but thoroughly enjoyable.
“In the first year of my contract I thought I’d try to establish myself in the second team but I scored a few runs in mid-season and got into the first team for the back end.
“I got a lot of starts and the big thing now is to kick on next year and convert those 20s and 30s into 100s.”
During a difficult championship season for the team, Lamb impressed with his technique and composure at the crease as he settled into the senior side.
His championship debut, late the previous season, arrived in tough conditions on a turning wicket at Taunton. But the more he played in 2017, the more he learned about handling first-class cricket.
He said: “You just have to do the same mental preparations whether it’s 2nd XI or 1st.
“You do the same pre-ball routine as a batter and just transfer it and be consistent.
“There’s a bit more pressure in first-team cricket but you stick to that preparation and whatever will be will be.
“With the players we have there is no reason why we can’t come straight back up in the championship.
“This was a difficult year and a lot of people talk about momentum and when you lose it can be quite hard to get out of that losing cycle.
“But next year as soon as we put a couple of wins together that momentum will be back on our side.”
Picture: Manjit Narotra.