Walker is a frustrated man.
Walker is a frustrated man.

After steering his side to fourth place in the Championship last summer on the back of a Lord’s Final in 2018, many, Matt Walker included, had high hopes for the summer of 2020.

Sadly because of events that no-one could have predicted that hope is now dwindling fast.

“It’s frustration that I’m not going to get me too carried away” Walker told us.

“We’ve made such good progress after the last two seasons – in 2018 we got promoted from Division Two and got to a Lord’s Final for the first time in a long time, we put a lot of hard work into things behind the scenes, culture, good recruitment and we built good foundations of what a good team looked like, how we should behave and how we work and it paid off very quickly that year which I was surprised at – I didn’t expect it to happen that quickly on the pitch as I was more interested in getting it right off the pitch.”

“But funnily enough – and sometimes these things do work in tandem and you get the results as well – we just had a good run before last season, we has a good run in Division One which was a new world to a degree, but I felt that we had a chance to compete very strongly – maybe not necessarily win it – but certainly to give it a crack and put ourselves among the big boys and hopefully rattle a few cages, and we did!”

“Going into the last game of the season still with a chance of third place was really, really pleasing – obviously sadly in the end it was fourth – but if people had said to me at the start of the season that that was where we would finish, I think I would have said “OK – that’s great – we’ll take that!” and we would have taken it and I don’t think that that’s not under selling the team that I’ve got because I will always back their ability hugely.”

“I think what I’m trying to say is that you don’t know quite what to expect – you’ll always back your boys, you know what they can do but you haven’t seen them do it in Division One yet.”

“You know the problems, the challenges that you’re going to face but you haven’t had the chance to experience it yet. In hindsight looking back on it, we dealt with it really well actually – we learned on the job pretty quickly; we made some mistakes that we knew we were going to make; mistakes that we highlighted at the start of the year that could happen happened but we learned – and we learned quick!”

“We played well enough to win enough games to get us in a really good position come the end of the year. So, we were on a bit of a roll – we feel that we’re growing as a team; we’re improving all the time; we’ve got a nice age of squad with young players getting a chance and developing.”

“It would have been nice to keep that roll going and to see what would happen this year. Sadly it’s not going to happen the way we wanted it to happen – we’ll get some cricket I hope, but it won’t be that meaningful I would have thought certainly in four-day cricket, there won’t be a Championship as we know it.”

“There will be some sort of meaningful competition in terms of the T20 but it’s going to be very different.”

“So, in that sense, it’s a season that’s been wiped out of our lives in a way and for me, the old coach who’s had his playing career, it’s not the end of the world!”

“But for any players to take a season off of your career is tough and unusual no matter what stage your career is at, it’s an important year missed. But it’s happened and it’s one of those freak things that no-one has ever experienced before; we’ll talk about it and look back on it in years to come and hopefully next season we’ll have a full season to really get our teeth stuck into it!”