Lightning hoping for repeat of T20 glory

Liam Livingstone is hoping for more T20 glory with Lancashire this summer
Liam Livingstone is hoping for more T20 glory with Lancashire this summer

Lancashire are hoping to recapture the spirit of 2015 as they search to be crowned county cricket’s T20 champions for the second time.

Lightning enjoyed a golden day at Edgbaston almost three years ago when they beat Hampshire in the semi-finals and then Northamptonshire in the final.

It was their sixth Finals Day appearance, yet their first title.

New captain Liam Livingstone was an ever-present during that campaign, his first year in the Red Rose’s first team, and he said: “I think it’s still probably the best day of my cricketing 
career up to now.”

Unfortunately for Livingstone and Co, they have suffered back-to-back group stage exits since, but the signs are good for an upturn in fortunes in the renamed Vitality Blast this summer. After all, talismanic all-rounder James Faulkner is back as overseas.

“It brings back that feel-good factor we had that year,” he added ahead of Thursday’s North Group opener against Worcestershire Rapids at Old Trafford (6.30pm).

“To bring James back into the side will be great for us to have that quality.

“All we’ve done over the last couple of years is add quality to the side, so hopefully we can mirror 2015.

“Everyone plays the game to win trophies, and that’s what it’s all about. From the start of the T20, it will be about doing all we can to win the tournament. We’ll have a good go at it.”

Australian Faulkner (above) returns to Lightning colours for the first of a two-year deal. In 2015, he claimed a competition high 25 wickets – alongside team-mate Stephen Parry – and hit 302 runs from 13 appearances.

“James was always our 
go-to man,” said Livingstone.

“Hopefully this year we’ll be able to use him in a similar way. I’m confident we have a few more we can go to at certain times as well. The white-ball cricket we’ve played has been good in parts.”