Brotherly rivalry as Parkinson spins to a fine Derbyshire debut

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Derbyshire boasts a proud history of nurturing quick bowlers and while that has been upheld this season, there has also been encouraging returns in the spin department.

Leg-spinner Matt Critchley delivered impressive spells in t20 cricket and last week there was a memorable debut at Leicester for the teenage slow-left armer Callum Parkinson.

The 19-year-old twin brother of Lancashire leg-spinner Matt claimed four wickets in the first innings, seven in the match, and also scored an unbeaten 48.

Although he did not quite equal the feat of his brother who took five on his debut earlier this season, it was still a highly promising entry into the first-class game for the Bolton-born Parkinson.

“We’ve had a friendly rivalry growing up with who’s further along with their career at certain points so obviously it was nice,” Parkinson said.

“I didn’t quite get the five wickets that he did but I beat his match total and I did let him know about that!”

Like his brother, he started out in the Lancashire Academy but joined Derbyshire’s following his release and earned his call-up to the senior side after consistent all-round performances for the seconds.

He said: “I was really surprised at getting a call up to the squad to start with. I didn’t think I would be playing, I thought I’d be 12th man and it would be a good experience for me. I only found out probably 50 minutes before play started on day one.

“Going into the match I didn’t think I would end up bowling 70 overs, but the way the pitch played it suited pace off the ball so it’s really pleasing that Billy (Godleman) had as much faith in me as he did and allowed me to settle into long spells.

“I’ve had a bit of experience captaining the academy which helped me in terms of my knowledge of the game and setting fields but Billy was really helpful as well to send me in the right direction and set a basic field that I could tinker with.”

Derbyshire’s captain was impressed with the confidence Parkinson displayed for such a young player on his debut.

“For someone so young, he bowled with great control and discipline in the first innings and really tied the Leicestershire batters down,” Godleman said.

“I’m obviously there to facilitate the field and guide the general plan, but if a bowler has a gut feeling on what he wants to do for a batsman in the given conditions, I’ll always support that.

“I was impressed with Callum as he was always very clear of what he wanted to do in each phase of the game.

“It’s a massive plus for us that we have a young left-arm spinner to go alongside Matt Critchley, a wrist spinner.”

Parkinson, who has also played for Staffordshire, helped MT Maverley win their championship last winter and will be returning to Victoria this winter to play for Dandenong.

By then, he could have several County Championship matches against his name and Derbyshire’s head coach John Sadler believes the club has a very exciting prospect.

Sadler said: “He’s a very fine cricketer, he’s got the attitude, he’s a good lad and he fits in really well with the other players.

“He’s matured beyond his years, he loves the game as well which I think is a must. He ticks every box and we’ve got a very good cricketer on our hands.”