SHOULD he get the nod from his skipper, Netherfield run-machine Ben Barrow is targeting a summer of big scores at the top of the club’s batting line-up.
More often than not the 22-year-old faced the new ball alongside captain Marc Brown during 2013, averaging 32.57 after posting 456 runs from 18 innings.
While a three-figure score proved elusive, right-hander Barrow did manage to chalk up four half-centuries with a greater conversion rate now the aim.
“I had quite a good year last season and had to wait my turn but for the first time I was at the top of the order on a regular basis,” he said.
“I want to try and perhaps turn some of the fifties into hundreds and score bigger runs and try and keep up that year on year improvement.
“We have got a very powerful batting line-up, particularly in the middle-order, so hopefully that will shine this year.
“I haven’t really spoken to Marc about any specific details yet but he and I ended the back end of last year opening together.
“We put on some good partnerships and are a good foil for each other in many respects so we’ll just have to see how things shape up.”
Netherfield finished a disappointing tenth in the Northern Premier League standings last season but fared better but in domestic cup competitions.
The Parkside Road club reached the latter stages of the Readers Cup only to be denied a silverware bid by a controversial two-wicket semi-final defeat to Blackpool.
And after being crowned TWP Wealth Twenty20 champions in July, Netherfield lost to star-studded Ormskirk in the ECB Area National Club Twenty20, a game which still resonates with Barrow.
“We didn’t end last season particularly well,” he added. “After that Readers Cup game our results were pretty poor – we didn’t win a game so it did affect us.
“We just want to play some good cricket this year and ensure everyone contributes. That’s the main thing and then results will take care of themselves.
“But I think the club as a whole is on the up and can use the twenty20 success as motivation. We had some good days last season which generated a lot of interest.
“And we can build on that. By playing Ormskirk a lot of us realised how good some teams are and that’s something to aim for, to be at that level.
“They are one of the best amateur sides in England and that in itself can act as inspiration.”
Netherfield have reinforced their squad during the close season with Sri Lankan Saliya Saman joining from Carlisle as the club’s professional, replacing Colin Ackermann.
Promising Australian Ben Phillips has also been added to the ranks as have Bolton le Sands all-rounder Mark Clarkson and Lancashire Colt Tom Williamson.
“We know quite a lot about Sammy and what he will bring to the party,” said Barrow.
“Hopefully he can take the new ball and get early wickets while adding runs with the bat.
“Ben is a young lad who has shown some form playing for Northern District in the Sydney Grade Competition and is essentially looking to gain experience – similar to John Huck Down Under.
“Tom is a left-arm spinner and useful bat from Lancaster Grammar School – he will probably feature later in the year.
“Mark has scored a lot of runs in the Westmorland League and should stiffen the middle order while also bowling fairly quick.”