World Cup James Faulkner to make Lancashire Lightning debut against Derbyshire in Natwest T20 Blast

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Lancashire Lightning has confirmed that World Cup winner James Faulkner will be making his debut in the NatWest T20 Blast game against the Derbyshire Falcons at the County Ground.

Faulkner only arrived in England a week ago and having spent the four-day game at Southport acclimatising, he is now eager to begin his Lancashire career.

“Playing county cricket is always something I wanted to do,” he said. “To have the opportunity after the IPL is something I have been looking forward to and, hopefully, there will be plenty of runs and wickets.

“Playing in the T20 Blast on Friday is a good way for me to settle into life here, it will allow me a bit of freedom.

“I went to Southport to spend a few days with the lads even though I wasn’t playing in the game. I wanted to get to know them, to be around the group and understand how they operate.

“It is not great just walking out onto the ground with players you don’t really know, and I know Ashley was keen on me to get to meet the lads.”

Faulkner will be joining a side that has won one and lost one of its NatWest T20 Blast matches so far and the Australian is happy to slot into whichever role coach Ashley Giles and skipper Steven Croft believe is right for him.

“I will bowl wherever they want me to bowl, I am not too fussed,” he admitted.

“In T20 you can bowl well and get hit out of the attack, you can bowl poorly and take wickets. But if you are preparing well and training well, most times it will come out in your favour. I will play whatever role they want.”

Faulkner also revealed that being a World Cup winner has yet to affect his lifestyle back home.

“My life hasn’t really changed at all!” he said “I had a couple of days at home to celebrate with my team-mates and my family, but then I jumped on a plane to the IPL so I missed most of the celebrations which was a bit disappointing.

“But that’s the life of a professional sportsman and a professional cricketer on the road. When I get back to Australia I am sure there will still be a bit of a buzz.”

For his part, Lancashire coach Ashley Giles did not conceal his excitement as he looked forward to the game against the Falcons.

“It was disappointing to lose to Durham last Friday and this match at Derby is a big televised occasion,” he said. “We will be welcoming James who will be making his Lancashire debut. It should be a great spectacle and it will be great to have him in the side. I’m looking forward to seeing him operate on Friday.”