Warwickshire batsman Matt Lamb has hit the ground running in Australia, helping Burleigh Bullsharks to win their first five games in the new Gold Coast League season.
Fresh from signing a two-year extension to his Bears contract last summer, Lamb is spending three months on the Gold Coast before returning to England in January.
"The wickets are tough to bat on because all the grounds have Australian Football League games played on them for six months a year so that makes life pretty difficult for the groundsmen."
He landed down under last month and has already contributed plenty to the Bullsharks’ 100 per cent start. The 22-year-old’s innings of 25, 56 and 27 not out might not appear match-changing but they were crucial in the context of low-scoring games on tricky pitches.
“The wickets are tough to bat on because all the grounds have Australian Football League games played on them for six months a year so that makes life pretty difficult for the groundsmen,” Lamb said. “We haven’t chased as many as 150 yet.
“There’s a bit of grass on the pitches and most of them have huge outfields which make it very hard to hit fours so, I’ve been pleased to contribute some runs.
“We’ve made a good start to the season and I’m really enjoying it. It’s a great club with a good set of lads and it’s great to be playing some cricket in the sunshine. I speak regularly to the lads back home and they tell me it’s getting cold back in Birmingham!”
Lamb’s game time in Australia is good preparation for his quest to nail down a regular first-team place in for Warwickshire in 2019. He did well in three championship appearances in 2018, scoring 151 runs at 50.33 and making important contributions with the bat in all three.
He scored 44 at Northampton, top-scored with 79 at home to Derbyshire and then supported century-maker Will Rhodes with an unbeaten 23 to see the Bears to a six-wicket win at home to Northamptonshire after they had plenty to do at 94 for four chasing 179.
“I was pleased with the way I played when my chances came early in the season,” he said. “It was a little bit disappointing not to get picked again after that but professional sport is competitive and you can’t complain when you’ve got Ian Bell, Jonathan Trott and Sam Hain in the batting order.
“Trotty has retired now so that opens up a space so I’ve just got to start the season well and try to force my way into the team in all formats.”