Lancashire head coach Glen Chapple praises Steven Croft's drive to be a Red Rose mainstay

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Lancashire head coach Glen Chapple has praised Steven Croft’s drive to be a key figure for the Red Rose this season.

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Lancashire head coach Glen Chapple

Lancashire head coach Glen Chapple

The all-rounder, from Blackpool, has been replaced as captain for the 2018 season by Liam Livingstone after two years in the top job at Old Trafford.

A frustrating season last year saw Croft drop himself at one point but after a strong end to the campaign the 33-year-old has also had an impressive winter, including an unbeaten 148 in the final warm-up game against Loughborough.

“His form is another sign of strength in the squad,” Chapple said of his former skipper.

“The truth in all honesty is that Crofty would have liked to have scored more runs last year.

Blackpool-born all-rounder Steven Croft

Blackpool-born all-rounder Steven Croft

“He finished the season well and has had an excellent pre-season.

“What you expect from Crofty is that he will commit to working hard and doing everything he can to get in the team and he’s certainly done that.”

The Red Rose get the new County Championship season under way at home to Nottinghamshire on Friday with Chapple having plenty of decisions to make.

“Players might miss out at the start but they are still remain integral parts of the team,” the head coach said.

“We’ll have players missing for various reasons at different points of the season but the first team will be a difficult one to pick.”