George Scrimshaw says the chance to learn from new signing, Suranga Lakmal, is one Derbyshire’s developing bowlers will relish, and quick believes the Sri Lanka international will raise competition in the attack.
Lakmal, who has 285 international wickets to his name, has joined Derbyshire on a two-year deal, as Mickey Arthur shapes his squad ahead of his first campaign in English cricket.
Scrimshaw himself signed a new two-year contract in November, with Arthur having been impressed with the promising bowler during his research of the squad, especially his 14 Vitality Blast wickets at an average of 16.85.
With the likes of Sam Conners and Ben Aitchison already excelling in the red ball game, Scrimshaw believes Lakmal’s influence will play a key role in the young attack’s development and says every bowler will be looking to compete for the most wickets this season.
“To have an experienced bowler like him, to learn from for two years, is brilliant,” he said.
“If he’s bowling up-front with Sam, that will be a great new ball partnership for us, and it will be really difficult for our opponents to face. Hopefully we can all have that competition for wickets with each other, because that will push us to do better all the time.
“Fitness is a big thing for the squad under Mickey, and as a group we’re smashing our fitness targets so far, so that competition between the players is already there. We’re all working hard in the nets too, we can’t wait to get out on the grass in Spain to get some outdoor practice.”
Scrimshaw signed for Derbyshire last season, having seen his time at Worcestershire hampered by back injuries which saw him limited to just four Twenty20 appearances.
However, he was able to display his fitness and durability throughout the 2021 campaign, making his first-class and List A debuts, while becoming a key part of the Vitality Blast attack.
While he acknowledges the bulk of his success so far has come in the shorter formats, Scrimshaw is determined to also showcase his full ability in first-class cricket as well this season.
“At the start of last season, my aim was simply to see if my body could go through bowling a lot of overs,” he added.
“Thankfully, I was able to show the coaches early on that I could do that, by bowling overs in the Second XI and then in the first team back-to-back, which helped me to play pretty much the full season, other than a foot injury towards the end.
“I was really happy to contribute across all formats, but I definitely want to improve my consistency, especially with the red ball, over the winter. White ball cricket has always been my strength, in my mind, but I want to be the best bowler I can across the board. For Mickey to come in and say he wants a bowler like me in the squad is a big boost.”
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