Stephen Moore column

By Stephen Moore Lancashire and England Lions batsman
Lancashire celebrate during their win over Warwickshire
After four matches, Lancashire lead the County Championship by one point

In my last column I started by suggesting that April in Liverpool was going to be a far cry from the warm sunshine of the Arabian desert.

It would likely be a case of how many layers of thermals it is possible for a player to wear without hindering his ability to move with at least a modicum of athleticism. How wrong could I have been?

As I turned up at the 'Costa del Aigburth' on 8 April it was the frenetic ruffle of bags in search of the factor 30 that greeted me, followed by a warm up of squeezing the dregs of last year's sun cream from its congealed container.

Not that I am complaining, it was a fantastic start to the season.

One of the concerns voiced about the increasingly early start to the county season is not the temperature necessarily, but the likelihood of rain.

This can not only affect the preparation of the player during the course of the day, but it makes it increasingly difficult to force results when extensive periods of play are lost to bad weather.

This argument may soon cease should we continue to have Mediterranean-like spring weather.

With sunshine bathing the entire country, we were aware of the implications that this could have on the Championship season, as at some point the English summer would arrive and results might be harder to come by.

After a poor first session against Sussex, we fought our way back into the match with some disciplined cricket and finished with an innings victory to kick start our campaign.

With Championship matches ending in a result being the norm and not the exception across the country, we were very pleased to complete another innings victory, this time over Somerset two weeks later.

After a great start to the season we climbed on the bus for the first of our two road trips this summer.

It is the first time in my playing career that I have had to contend with two weeks away from home playing matches almost everyday while travelling across the country.

It also highlighted how much can happen in a fortnight. By the time that I had climbed into my own bed we were one quarter of the way through our Championship season, Prince William and Catherine Middleton were married, we had lost five seam bowlers to injuries, we were top of Division One and England were breaking new ground with three international captains. All this and it was only the first week in May.

The hectic nature of the county season seems to have already started to take its toll on squads around the country and we are no different.

For us it is a case of everyone taking the opportunities that they will inevitably get in the coming weeks and months to make telling contributions in our search for silverware this year.

Towards the end of this month we start our second road trip of the season, and who knows what might have materialised by the time we get home?

If I spend this time searching for the sun cream and not the waterproofs then not only will it make the cricket players and supporters very happy, but it will be imperative that we are playing winning cricket as the top teams will be looking to cement their positions at the top of the various tables.

By the end of May the Championship season will be close to half way through, and the picture will be clearer of who will be holding that coveted trophy in September.

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