Test Match Sofa
Croft's winter plans inspired by Wright
By Graham Hardcastle
All-rounder Steven Croft is taking inspiration from Luke Wright's path into the England team having signed up to play Twenty20 cricket in New Zealand this winter.
The Lancashire all-rounder has penned a deal to play for the Northern Knights for approximately three months from November, and will play in the HRV Cup for the Knights alongside Essex wicketkeeper James Foster.
It is a move that Croft, Lancashire's reigning Player of the Year and one of a handful of county players to have signed up to play in New Zealand, believes will boost his chances of stepping up to the international arena.
Fellow all-rounder Wright was the shining light of England's disappointing ICC World Twenty20 campaign by scoring 99 not out and 76 during his five matches. Those performances came after 14 months out of England colours, spent playing Twenty20 cricket in New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and India as well as with Sussex.
Croft, who has played for Auckland in the past, has taken advantage of his friendship with Knights captain Scott Styris to seal the move.
"I am going to Northern Districts. It was initially for their Twenty20 competition, but I am now also going to play some first-class cricket with them too," explained Croft, who was named in England's provisional 30-man squad for the World Twenty20.
“It will be just over two-and-a-half months, which is just right. I can have a break before I go, and then return just in time for some pre-season jogging with the lads.
“It is something I have done in the past, and I am really looking forward to going down there. It is a nice carrot to try and get into the Champions League with them too. Hopefully it can help me break into the England squad.
“Luke Wright has gone (to play domestic cricket around the world) and done well, and he seems a much better player for it. England have recognised that as well, and he is back in the squad. Hopefully when I am over there, I can catch the eye."
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