Middlesex star Dalrymple eyes showdown with former club Glamorgan

JAMIE Dalrymple is eager to repay Middlesex’s faith in him by helping to nurture the county’s young talent in his second spell at Lord’s.

Dalrymple, who rejoined Middlesex at the start of the season following his acrimonious departure from Glamorgan, is still only 30 years old but now ranks as one of the senior men in the squad.

Having returned to the side for Middlesex’s three-day clash with the Sri Lankan tourists earlier this week, the off-spinning all-rounder is already impressed by the quality of players around him.

“I’ve only seen a snapshot, but it seems there are some good young guys with good-looking attitudes and that’s a great building block,” said Dalrymple.

“What I’ve seen is an atmosphere of guys who are keen to learn and there seems to be a quiet confidence about them to do their stuff and back themselves, which is excellent.

“A lot of the Middlesex older heads aren’t around much any more and I learned a lot when I was here before, so it’s great to have the opportunity to give a little bit of that back as an older player.

“I’m not going to pretend I’ve got 500 of the best ideas in the world for everyone – sometimes, as a young player, the best thing you can be told is not to worry too much, keep working hard and things will come for you.

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“If you look at the senior players when I was first around, Angus [Fraser] was still playing, there was Richard Johnson, Mark Ramprakash, Micky Roseberry and Justin Langer and Stephen Fleming at times.

“It was the back end of a team that had included six or seven Test players, there were a lot of them to glean information from, and I think I probably learned most by sitting quietly in the corner, listening to them talk about cricket.”

Dalrymple was viewed as future captaincy material after emerging onto the scene at Middlesex, but he quit the club to join Glamorgan at the end of the 2007 season.

The former England one-day international was then appointed captain at Cardiff a year later, but decided to leave when the Welsh county replaced him with South African Alviro Petersen for the current campaign.

And, having scraped off some rust with two innings of 13 and a couple of wickets against Sri Lanka at Uxbridge – a match the tourists won by four wickets – Dalrymple could now be up against some familiar faces.

Glamorgan visit Lord’s for a County Championship match starting today but, if selected, the all-rounder insists there will be no personal element to the contest.

“The most satisfying thing I could get would be a strong Middlesex win, that’s the most important thing,” he said. “If I put in a match-winning performance and we won, that’d be sensational, but I’ll take the win.

“I had the odd phone call when I left Glamorgan, but there was very much an attraction to Middlesex, if it suited them. I’m delighted to have the chance to make sure I make it worth their while.

“The original plan was that I probably wasn’t going to feature yet and it’s a difficult situation when a guy’s not available until later on – you’ve got to be fair to the ones who are in possession.

“All I want is that my return does nothing but good and, if that means I’ve got to bide my time, so be it. I believe I’ve got plenty to offer and the sooner I can be offering that the better.

“I’m very much getting there – I loved getting a few overs under my belt at Uxbridge, but fielding sharpness is the absolute key. Once you brush that right up, you know you’re doing your job correctly.”

Middlesex, who remain unbeaten in Division Two, are also in County Championship action next Tuesday when they travel to Chelmsford to face Essex.