Test Match Sofa
Hannon-Dalby relishing Bears' challenge
By Paul Bolton, County News Correspondent
Oliver Hannon-Dalby departed for Warwickshire’s pre-season tour to Barbados today relishing the challenge of trying to force his way into the county champions’ side.
The tall seamer from Halifax joined Warwickshire on a one-year deal last month after being released by Yorkshire who told him that he would be unlikely to play any first team cricket in the forthcoming season if he stayed with his native county.
The recruitment of Liam Plunkett from Durham and Jack Brooks from Northamptonshire increased competition for places in Yorkshire’s already well-stocked seam bowling department and made Hannon-Dalby surplus to requirements.
There are no obvious openings in Warwickshire’s seam bowling with Chris Woakes, Keith Barker, Boyd Rankin, Rikki Clarke and Chris Wright ahead of Hannon-Dalby and Tom Milnes, Tom Allin and Recordo Gordon waiting in the wings.
But Hannon-Dalby, who has already played 24 first-class matches, is hopeful that international calls and injuries as well his own performances will create openings.
“There is massive competition for places at Warwickshire but that is only a good thing,” Hannon-Dalby said.
“The lads who played last season did amazingly well and most of them are now involved in the England set-up.
“There is always an injury or two as well so I have got to make it my job to make sure that I am next in line if someone gets called up by England or the Lions or is unlucky enough to get injured. I’m chomping at the bit at that challenge.”
Hannon-Dalby, who also had trials with Hampshire before Warwickshire invited him to join them for pre-season nets in January, has made a favourable impression in his short time at Edgbaston and he has enjoyed working with assistant coach Graeme Welch.
“Obviously Graeme has got a great reputation for rehabilitating pace bowlers and it’s a reputation that is well-deserved which is one of the reasons that I wanted to come here,” Hannon-Dalby said.
“You only need to see what Graeme did for Chris Wright who was someone who was also told that he was not required by another county.
“But has worked with Wrighty and he is now playing for England Lions.”
Having played all his professional and youth cricket for Yorkshire leaving Headingley was not a difficult move for Hannon-Dalby.
“It wasn’t tough at all,” he said. “They sat me down in December and said that I wasn’t going to play any form of first-class cricket this year and they were happy for me to talk to other clubs.”
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