IT may not always make him Mr Nice Guy, but Kendal CC skipper Stu Parkin insists the selection headache caused by the squad’s strength in depth is a price worth paying.
Parkin was absent as his side coasted to victory against Morecambe on Monday, while others who have made positive contributions this season found themselves out the team.
And the 33-year-old believes the additional competition for a spot in the starting line-up can only push standards in the right direction and benefit the club as a whole.
“In years gone by we’ve been struggling for 11 quality cricketers at times but this year we’ve probably 13 or 14 who can easily hold down a place in the first team,” he said.
“It breeds rivalry in the team, with the squad having the mentality that when an opportunity comes it has to be taken, as it will count for or against you at selection.
“It’s good to have that strength in depth and it isn’t something we’ve had in the past but something we do have this year.
“As captain, it probably makes me quite an unpopular person because I have to have that rather awkward conversion and explain why someone is going to be playing in the seconds.
“Everyone has understood although I can imagine I’m making myself rather unpopular. But everyone knows their position at the club now and there is that level of competition."
Kendal are not renowned for making fast starts to a season but their seven-wicket victory over Morecambe made it two wins from three Northern League fixtures.
And while keen to remain grounded, Parkin is adamant his charges can make an impact at the table summit, but only if current form is maintained.
“It was a strange game against Morecambe by all accounts,” he added. “It didn’t look as though they offered much resistance.
“I asked Chris Miller what the pitch was like, thinking there may have been some demons in it, but it was fine apparently and flat.
“We’ve talked about getting off to a good start and the importance of being in touch with the leaders after five games, which is paramount to mounting a title charge towards the end.
“I’m still being realistic and certainly not getting beyond my station and thinking we’re going to win the league.
“But the way the team is playing at the moment and the way the lads have gelled together, playing some good cricket, there is no reason why we can’t have aspirations to win the league.”