5 Questions with Cricket World: I know I’m on the radar for International cricket - Richard Gleeson
32-year-old Richard Gleeson, who made his First-Class debut at 27 and is now among the probables to be picked for the West Indies series, talks to Cricket World about the possibilities of an England debut and the chances for the T20 Blast to go ahead.
Richard Gleeson had his first proper experience with the Dukes ball when he was about 22 as he played his first Minor Counties game for Cumberland. He made his First-Class debut for Northants against the touring Australians in 2015, and impressed with his serious pace, dismissing the Marsh brothers.
He hadn’t even started his career at 26 and in 2019, he bagged a £60,000 signing in the Hundred draft for Northern Superchargers. Having done a decent job for Melbourne Renegades in BBL 2019-20 and being Lancashire's top wicket-taker in the County Championship last year with 47 scalps from just 9 matches at 20.17, Gleeson knows that he is on the radar for an international call-up.
Gleeson's hope was only boosted after he became one of the seven Lancashire players to be named in England's 55-strong back-to-training group alongside James Anderson, Saqib Mahmood, Matt Parkinson, Keaton Jennings, Liam Livingstone and Jos Buttler.
Richard may have started late, but with the workload of fast bowlers particularly under scrutiny for the planned series against West Indies and Pakistan, he is still pretty much in England's scheme of things.
Here's what Richard Gleeson had to say as we caught up with him for our new series, 5 Questions with Cricket World:
Q: What's the first thing you'd like to do once normalcy returns?
A: Let my family meet my new born son Rory and then he can have a sleepover with his brother at one of his grandparents houses so me and my fiancée can have a night to ourselves and a full night's sleep.
Q: Do you still believe that the Blast can go ahead because realistically speaking, the chances of crowds seem grim and the competition is not really feasible without gate receipts.
Which Richard Gleeson wicket is your favourite? pic.twitter.com/rR7NB3SRHd— County Championship (@CountyChamp) May 31, 2020
A: Yes. It won’t be the same without the fans there to watch and it may need to be modified with no overseas to cut costs and potential streaming services online to allow the fans to be able to watch but if it can be done safely, I think the Blast can go ahead. I think most players will want to play some form of cricket if we can as it’s what we love doing, and for players who are unsure, I’m sure that will be respected by counties and the ECB.
T20 cricket is probably one of the easiest formats logistically to be able to play and get organised quickly to fit in the reduced time there will be to play games and there will be less contact time for players to be able to get in and out of grounds safely and quickly. So, I think it is probably the most likely option to be able to play. As well as the financial gain through TV deals that the game will need to be filtered down to all levels.
Q: With a bigger squad to be selected for the West Indies and Pakistan series, and the workload of fast bowlers particularly under scrutiny, do you see a chance for yourself to squeeze in?
A: I’m always hopeful to maybe get an opportunity and having been involved with the Lions in the winter, I know I’m on the radar. I’ll just have to keep working hard to make sure I’m ready if something does arise.
Q: What are the positives, if any, you see out of this forced suspension of cricket?
A: There aren’t many positives but probably as a professional, it’s the extra time at home with family during the summer. Normally we are on the road a lot in the summer months so for me it’s been really good to have the time with my fiancée, 2-year-old and 8-week-old and spend some extra time with them.
Q: You were very close to an England call-up in 2017. How do you motivate yourself to keep going?
A: I love playing cricket and the competition of playing against the best players I can as well as the dressing room bonds that you build with teammates, so I find staying motivated quite easy. Maybe coming into the professional game later, it’s probably a bit easier for me to stay motivated as I know I’ve not got that long at the top level and I just want to do as much as I can.
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