Fylde coast cricket: Akash's great start for Lytham about to get better

Akash Vashish admits it took him a little while to settle in at Lytham Cricket Club, but after three successive centuries it's fair to say the club's Indian professional has well and truly made himself at home

By Andy Moore
Friday, 24th June 2022, 8:00 am

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The 27-year-old left-hander goes into tomorrow's home game against Sefton Park with 459 runs to his name from his last four innings and has also taken 16 wickets in the last four Liverpool Competition matches with his leg-spin.

And life on Lytham is about to get even better for the all-rounder from the Himachal Pradesh club, whose wife is due to arrive next week.

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Lytham Cricket Club professional Akash Vashisht

Both had to wait on visas, which resulted in Akash missing the first month of the season, and the club pro is looking forward to their reunion.

He told The Gazette: “It's my first time in England and everyone has been really nice. I'm enjoying living in Lytham, close to the ground.

The captain Mat (Taaffe) is like my brother and is always asking what I need to help me feel comfortable.

“My wife will arrive next week and Matt has shown me all the good places to take her to.

“Sometimes I have felt and I have missed her. I was struggling at first but I have a lot of friends around me and I'm more comfortable now.”

That delayed arrival left little time for acclimatisation but Akash has already adapted his game to English conditions.

He added: “My first two matches were not so good and I thought about changing my technique a little and it is working well.

“The ball swings all the time in England and you have to be very choosy over your shots. In India, the ball will not swing after 15 or 20 overs.

“So my plan was to play each shot according to the ball and not play away from my body. I've learned a lot about English conditions.

“The UK is very good for seamers. I'm a natural left-arm spinner and my simple plan is to bowls to the right areas.

“ In India I get a lot of wickets from slip catches but in the UK a spinner has to bowl wicket to wicket and 15 of my 20 wickets have been lbws.”

Colwyn Bay clung on for a draw last Saturday (despite Akash's 113 and four wickets) to deny leaders Lytham a ninth straight win in the Liverpool Competition first division.

His top score to date of 141 came in an eight-wicket defeat by premier league Leigh in the Ray Digman Knockout, and in some ways that's the game which gave Akash most encouragement.

“Some teams have been good but others more mediocre,” he said. . We played a premier league team, who were very good. To score a hundred against them gave me confidence and that's the standard I really want every week.

“I'd struggled a bit in the cloudy weather and that hundred was a boost for me. Now I want to continue that form and help Lytham to be in the Premier League next season.“

TOMORROW'S CRICKET

Northern Premier League (12.30): St Annes v Garstang, Fulwood and Broughton v Blackpool

Liverpool Competition first division (12.0): Lytham v Sefton Park

Moore and Smalley Palace Shield premier division (1.0): Fleetwood v Penwortham, Great Eccleslton v Kirkham and Wesham, Barrow v Thornton Cleveleys

Division 1A (1.0): Fylde v New Longton

Division 1B (1.0): Blackpool 2 v Fulwood and Broughton 2, Thornton Cleveleys 2 v Netherfield 2, Penwortham 2 v Fleetwood 2, Garstang 2 v Great Eccleston 2.

Division 2 (1.0): Norcross v Longridge 3, Wrea Green v Penwortham 3, Ingol with Freckleton v St Annes 2

SUNDAY

Readers T20 (2.0): St Annes v Garstang

Meyler Cup quarter-final (1.30): Fleetwood v Kirkham and Wesham

Loxham Cup quarter-finals (1.30): Penwortham 2 v Blackpool 2, Netherfield 2 v Kirkham and Wesham 2

Blackpool Women v Ramsbottom (1.0)