Dominic Cork names five players to watch in county cricket

06 April 2017 12:09

County cricket returns on Friday, with a revised calendar and plenty to play for in what could be one of the most competitive seasons in years.

As well as competing on three domestic fronts there are England places to play for too, with tours from South Africa and the West Indies and a Champions Trophy on home soil on the horizon.

Press Association Sport tracked down former England all-rounder Dominic Cork, who is supporting Jeff Stelling's March for Men, 15 marathons in 15 days for Prostate Cancer UK, to look at five English prospects eyeing a breakthrough season.

LIAM LIVINGSTONE (23, Lancashire batsman)

Cork's view: "He's got the X factor that you want and is a guy who can come in and deliver under pressure. A lot of sport is about coping with hype and he showed he could do that this winter with England Lions. To score big centuries in front of people like Andy Flower will have done his cause no harm at all and the challenge is to keep going now. He can field and he can bowl too, and you can never have too many all-rounders."

MASON CRANE (20, Hampshire leg-spinner)

Cork's view: "He should be a private investigator with a name like that but I think Mason is going to be an England spinner in all three forms of the game. The art of leg-spin needs consistency, just ask Shane Warne, and Mason is getting that but he is learning his trade to some extent. He spins the ball, he can turn it both ways and he's proved by going to play Australian grade cricket and forcing his way into the New South Wales team that he has serious ability."

TOM CURRAN (22, Surrey seamer)

Cork's view: "I played against his late father Kevin and they share lots of attributes, lots of aggression and lots of ability. I enjoy his desire to get into the game, you want your bowlers to have a never-give-up attitude and he has that. He looks like he's getting stronger and stronger and if you can bowl at the Oval and make a success of it you must have something about you because it's one of the flattest tracks in the country."

JOE CLARKE (20, Worcestershire batsman/wicketkeeper)

Cork's view: "I love the fact he's a younger player who is not at a big club but wants to be a big fish there. He's not big-headed, not arrogant but he wants to be the best and you can see in his performances that he sets his sights really high. He'll want to play for England and it may be he has to move on to do that. I hope he stays at Worcestershire but he may be the kind of player who is looking to win the first division title."

HARVEY HOSEIN (20, Derbyshire wicketkeeper)

"It may not be as soon as the others, maybe four or five years, but I see Harvey has the quality to go all the way. You can always tell a good keeper by the noise when the ball hits his gloves - there isn't one. I played with two of the best, Jack Russell and Karl Krikken, and he reminds me of them. I like the fact he can stand up to quick bowlers in one-dayers and T20s, that's about courage as well as ability."

:: Dominic Cork will be joining presenter Jeff Stelling's March for Men in aid of Prostate Cancer UK. Stelling is walking 15 marathons in 15 days in June and Cork is taking part on day 5. Full details at prostatecanceruk.org/jeffsmarch or visit marchformen.org.

Source: PA