Peter Moores has put his unfinished business in international cricket on the backburner for at least two more summers after concluding a new contract with Lancashire that runs until early 2014.
Moores has been contacted regarding several of the international vacancies that have cropped up since he was effectively driven out of the England job by Kevin Pietersen three years ago, and was even linked in the Australian press as a possible successor to Tim Nielsen before the appointment of Mickey Arthur late last year.
He is reluctant to discuss how tempted or otherwise he might have been, but does not deny that he still has ambitions at international level. However the Lancashire job, near his Macclesfield roots, has been a perfect fit at this stage of his life, with teenage children, and he is keen to build on the success of last year’s County Championship triumph.
“It’s a very exciting time for the club,” said the 49-year-old. “The squad is made up mainly of young players who are still hungry and feel they have things to prove even though they won the Championship last season.”
Moores and Lancashire’s director of cricket Mike Watkinson may yet look to more of those young players to fill the gap in the middle order left by the retirement of Mark Chilton, rather than signing an overseas batsman.
“We’ve got Luke Procter, Andrea Agathangelou and also Jordan Clark, who did very well when he came into the senior squad last summer,” added Moores. “We have lost a batter, but we also need depth in seam bowling. We’re just having a look at international schedules at the moment to see who may or may not be available.”
Finances remain almost as tight as they were this time last year, with the boost from the redevelopment of Old Trafford and the return of Test cricket in the 2013 Ashes series not making any significant difference until Lancashire can start selling tickets in September.
However Watkinson will be travelling out to the Middle East this week – primarily on a fact-finding trip ahead of the Champions’ County fixture against the MCC in Abu Dhabi in March, although he also plans to attend at least one of the days of England’s first Test against Pakistan in Dubai.
That might provide the chance for a chat with Pakistan’s Junaid Khan about a possible return to Old Trafford next season – when Lancashire would be especially keen to have him back for their Twenty20 campaign, as Moores aims to follow the long-awaited Championship by ending a wait for a major one-day trophy going back to 1999.