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Ex-skipper's East Lancs return was a Bolt from blue
MARK Bolton says he is relishing being the oldest swinger in the East Lancashire team – but admits his return to front-line first team duties were not exactly what he expected for the 2012 season.
The former captain planned to lead the East Lancs seconds this term as the club looked to develop the next crop of young talent at Alexandra Meadows as professional Ockert Erasmus took charge of first team skippering duties.
But Bolton’s time in the seconds was limited as he received the call back to the firsts to lead the attack with his nagging swing bowling.
“I didn’t expect it but I am really enjoying being in the first team,” said Bolton. “It is more out of necessity than choice but it is good to be involved.
“The plan this year was for Ockie to captain the firsts and me to bring the kids through. We have some good up and coming players at East Lancs and they just need pointing in the right direction.
“But after a couple of games Ockie had me back in the firsts – and I must admit that having spent the most part of my career as a batsman it is a little bit odd to be opening the bowling.”
Bolton has led the East Lancs attack with aplomb in recent weeks and prior to Sunday’s loss at Burnley they had won five games in all competitions.
That run included three wins over Ramsbottom and now they can look forward to Sunday’s Worsley Cup semi-final with Enfield as they bid to try and win the competition for the 19th time – and for the first time since Bolton’s first season as skipper in 2007.
The 18 cup crowns make the Blackburn side the most successful in the competition and Bolton would love to see the trophy back in the Alexandra Meadows cabinet.
“There is no expectation this year,” he added. “We are a team in transition and no-one fancies us.
“But as well as some of the young lads we have a fair bit of experience as well with the likes of Mark Lomas, John Turner, Dave Pearson, Paul Kelly and myself.
“I am 40 now and enjoying every minute of the games. I am a bit stiff the day after – but when you get to this age you take everything you can get and another shot at the Worsley Cup would be great.
“Enfield are a tremendous side, a top four side and have been up there since I have been in the league.
“But the cup is the cup – and anything can happen.”