Lancashire Season Preview 2024

Lancashire Season Preview 2024

If Lancashire should lift a trophy in 2024, the reaction of the average Red Rose fan is likely to be: “…and about time too!”  There is a rumour that thieves broke into the Club’s trophy room and had to settle for stealing the carpet.  If you discount winning the second tier of the Championship in 2019, the last time a Lancashire man lifted silverware was in 2015 when they won the T20 Blast.  For a club of Lancashire’s stature, that borders on shameful.

2023 was another season of, at best, limited achievement.  Fifth place in the Championship may seem like an unfair return for a team that lost just a single match and inflicted one of only two defeats on champions Surrey, but the problem was that ten out of 14 matches were drawn.  No other team drew more than seven.  Skipper Keaton Jennings would have done well to recall the words of Sammy Woods, Somerset’s maverick Australian captain in Victorian times who was wont to observe: “Draw(er)s?  They are only for bathing in.”

In white ball cricket, Lancashire reached the quarter finals of both competitions, but fell frustratingly at that stage.  This was more of a disappointment in the Blast where the squad seemed one of the strongest in the country.  In the One-Day Cup, Lancashire fielded a weakened side because of the demands of The Hundred.

There were several individual successes for the fans to savour. Josh Bohannon’s 1257 runs at an average of almost 60 were the most by anyone in the top division.  Keaton Jennings and George Balderson also averaged over 50. With the ball, Tom Bailey took 50 wickets.  In the Blast, Daryl Mitchell excelled with 435 runs and a strike rate of 160.

Off the field, there have been changes to the coaching staff.  Glen Chapple has been replaced as head coach by Dale Benkenstein and Craig White comes in to take over from Graham Onions as bowling coach.  Ex-Ireland captain Will Porterfield replaces  Carl Crowe as assistant coach.  And former captain Steven Croft has also joined the coaching staff. 

Further away from day-to-day cricketing matters, last October a new Hilton Hotel opened on the ground which should generate valuable revenue.  And in an interesting appointment, Dame Sarah Storey DBE, Britain’s most decorated Paralympian, has become Club President.

Ins and Outs

Lancashire have added fast bowler Mitchell Stanley to their squad; and both Tom Bruce and Nathan Lyon have come in as overseas players.

Dane Vilas retired after a distinguished career and Richard Gleeson was released.  Rob Jones (Worcestershire), Danny Lamb (Sussex) and Matt Parkinson (Kent) have all moved to new counties.

Key player

With the signings of Tom Bruce and Nathan Lyon, Lancashire have acquired two overseas players who should be available  in all formats for the whole season.  It would be no surprise if one or two turning pitches are prepared at Old Trafford to suit Nathan Lyon’s off-spin that has brought him well over 500 Test wickets.  He could well help the four day side to win matches that they might last year have drawn; and he will also be a good man to have in white ball cricket.

Player to watch

All-rounder George Balderson did well in 2023; but there are those who believe that he still, at age 23, can develop further both as a left hand batter and as a (right arm) fast medium bowler and he can potentially do it in both red and white ball cricket.  Born in Cheadle Hulme, he has captained England under-19s and in 2023 was voted Lancashire’s Young Player of the Year.

Overseas signings

As already mentioned, Lancashire should have Tom Bruce and Nathan Lyon available for the whole season.

How will they fare

It is difficult to believe that  Lancashire will finish empty-handed again this year.  They must be at least a good outside bet for the Championship but possibly their best chance is in the Vitality Blast where they should be able to field a team bursting with players with international experience.  The likes of Phil Salt, Jos Buttler and Liam Livingstone can surely get the team to Finals Day and then inspire them to rise to the occasion on the big day.

Opening fixture

LV= County Championship: 5 April 2024 v Surrey at Emirates Old Trafford

Season odds (SkyBet):

County Championship – 13/2

T20 Blast – N/A

One-Day Cup – N/A


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