World Twenty20, West Indies, 2010 April 1, 2010

Hampshire coach praises Lumb selection

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Michael Lumb probably couldn't have picked a better moment to make an impression. Playing for England Lions against the full side in Dubai he hit the final two balls of the match for four to secure victory with an unbeaten 58. Andy Flower clearly liked what he saw; six weeks later and Lumb has been selected for the World Twenty20 in the Caribbean.

Until Lumb was included for the Lions tour he hadn't been involved with the England set-up during the winter having not been handed an Academy place. However, the selectors remembered his outstanding 2009 Twenty20 Cup record where he scored 442 runs at 44.20 including an unbeaten 124. Shane Warne, who Lumb credits with much of his development, didn't forget either and helped him secured an IPL deal with Rajasthan Royals.

At the age of 30, he can fall into the category of late developer but Giles White, the Hampshire cricket manager, believes it's that time in the domestic game that has allowed him to develop his skills.

"His confidence has soared in the last few years, partly through experience and also becoming more senior within the team and getting more responsibility," White told Cricinfo. "He understands his role at the top of the order and has a gift that others don't, in that he hits the ball so hard and cleanly.

"It's a talent that comes naturally to him, he's a natural striker of a cricket ball. Twenty20 suits his style of play; he can hit the bad ball but also find the gaps. He has worked very hard in one-day cricket over the last couple of the years and this call-up is reward for that effort. I think the selectors have got it right with this decision."

Lumb isn't actually the first to have benefited from that warm-up game in Abu Dhabi. Craig Kieswetter, Lumb's opening partner, hit 81 and was immediately promoted to the full squad for Bangladesh where he responded with two hundreds - 143 in the practice match and 107 in the final one-dayer at Chittagong.

Now there is a chance the pair will join forces again for England's opening World Twenty20 match against West Indies, at Providence, on May 3 - although Ravi Bopara could also open - and, either way, it will be the team's 16th opening combination in 26 Twenty20 internationals. White, who has allowed Lumb to develop his game at the top of the order, knows it is vital that players are given a chance to settle into a role.

"It's very important guys are given a run, continuity is the key in any form of the game," he said. "It's hard at times with form and injury, but if a person is allowed to settle into a role they are generally more successful. The most successful sides in history have shown that and it gives the player confidence to know he'll be there for a while."

It has been a pleasing winter for White, who has seen two of his chargers progress into the England set-up with Michael Carberry having earned his Test debut in Bangladesh. "My role as a coach is a dual one to produce England cricketers and to win trophies with Hampshire," he said. "As a club we are very proud when we have players at the highest level. It's credit to the support staff we have, but it's also down to the efforts that the players themselves put in."

Andrew McGlashan is assistant editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • JGG32 on April 7, 2010, 11:20 GMT

    I am struggling to really understand why such a fuss is being made about the current England team being made up of 'South Africans' (I only see KP and Trott as true SA's, Strauss and Prior cannot be considered true SA's just because they happened to be born there, just like I wouldnt consider Nasser 'England till I die' Hussain an Indian!), when the Engand team of the late 80's/early 90's was just as multi cultural! (See the birth place of Messers Hick, Hussain, Malcom and Smith).

    So long as the England team is playing competetive cricket (which they have been doing for the past 18 months or so) does it really matter who is playing or where they come from, so long as entertainment is provided for the masses? I think not...

  • dhchdh on April 4, 2010, 4:42 GMT

    Lumb was just another good player till he played IPL, its his IPL stint which has propelled him.

  • scritty on April 3, 2010, 21:54 GMT

    You're missing the point. In the row of houses I live in there are Iranians, Irish, Jamaican, Danish, Australian and a German bloke married to an Austrian woman. That's just the 5 houses in a row down from mine.On the other side is a Welsh lady then family from Poland, a Student bedsit another Iranian family (my girlfriends house), a Croatian family, a paper shop owned and run by a Pakistani family,a Chinese restaurant ( Chinese family) then Greek run bookmakers. in that order We spend our whole life with people from all over the world. They have 1001 reasons to come here. So several of the English team are from South Africa SO WHAT? I would have had Davies insread of Keiswetter and and Lumb doesn't seem that good. Pietersen, Kieswetter etc - that sounds very Dutch to me. Smith sounds English. Why do South African pack a side full of European players? Or is it just a matter of "time" or "generations". Don't you know that you're not allowed to think like that any more?

  • peter_brent on April 3, 2010, 11:14 GMT

    Interestingly this week Geoff Boycotts criticised Durham for non British players like Kyle Coetzer when it was pointed out that he was born in Arberdeen and plays for Scotland, Boycotts said "You can't tell me Coetzer is a Scottish name," he said. "I have a house in South Africa and that is a South African name.

    So his family orginates from South African so does that make him British or South African ?

    Actually it's proabably Dutch if we want to pedantic.

    Lumb on the othehand was born in RSA but his Dad was born in Doncaster so on Mr Boycott's theory Lumb junior is a yorkshire man.

  • 3spires on April 3, 2010, 1:38 GMT

    @zoomie: You're enititled to your opinion about English-born players missing out at the hands of South African-born players, but if you consider Michael Lumb a 'South African' then Matt Prior, born and raised in Johannesburg, is surely just as much a South African if not more so than Lumb, whose father has a background in county cricket.

  • zoomie on April 2, 2010, 18:01 GMT

    Too many South African accents being spoken in the English dressing rooms.Imagine the furore is Adil Rashid had decided to play for Pakistan.These SA "English" players are a buch of mercernaries! Feel sorry for all the local lads who work their socks off through the youth system only to find these mercernaries given an immediate entry into the England team.Feel sorry for Prior,Rashid,and countless others.

  • bigwindy on April 2, 2010, 13:42 GMT

    Everyone, the point is that Engalnd cannot produce their own cricketing stock. Lumb was fully brought up in RSA...who cares who is Dad is ! most exports from SA move to England becuase they feel for whatever reason they cannot make the RSA side, be it straight after school or when they feel marginalised playing first class cricket in South Africa. Lumb is as South African as Graeme Smith!

  • scritty on April 2, 2010, 13:13 GMT

    He's barely South African. I remember his dad in County cricket for years. He's never played any serious cricket in SA. And if he did I wouldn't care a less. About time you bigots understood what a "multicultural" society meant. Integrating is hard work for any society anywhere. Different beliefs and expectations in life cause problems. IN the UK we have masses of that. If the upside is we get soome good sportmen and women from abroad, then I for one couldn't care a less. We take the rough..we'll have the smooth as well thank you very much If anything you should be saying "Come on South Africa"..and asking why so many good players don't want to play there. It's an SA problem, not an English one.

  • SettingSun on April 2, 2010, 7:52 GMT

    I don't have a problem with England calling up Lumb - he's been in England for years, his dad played for Yorkshire for years, but this South African thing is a nice convenient way for people to take more shots at English cricket. I still don't think he should have been called up though in terms of his abilities as a player though - he's not the new Marcus Trescothick, as has been suggested, as you will quickly see when any spinner comes on to bowl to him. I'd have liked to have seen England blood a completely fresh rookie like Ben Stokes, James Taylor or Alex Hales - we don't do that nearly enough.

  • Foddy on April 2, 2010, 4:11 GMT

    This is a bit silly - his father was Richard Lumb who played 245 first class games for Yorkshire, so he's hardly a "South African" in the mould of Pietersen or Trott (despite spending a lot of his young life there). He never played any first class cricket in South Africa.

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