By Paddy von Behr
IT IS six years since Brenton Parchment played Test cricket but, with the help of Haslingden, the jet-setting all-rounder still holds the faintest of hopes for a return to the top.
Parchment was in devastating form last weekend as Haslingden closed out a 13-run win against Nelson to go fifth in the Lancashire Cricket League. After his 103 took the hosts to 251-3, the 31-year-old spun his side to victory, taking the last four wickets to finish with figures of 7-73.
After splitting his time between Melbourne and Jamaica during the winter, Parchment is back in Lancashire for the second season. It is a long way removed from his two Test appearances for West Indies back in 2008 – opening the batting against Dale Steyn, Makhaya Ntini, Brett Lee and Mitchell Johnson – but the all-rounder is still enjoying his cricket.
And, though he knows the chance is likely long gone, Parchment’s best years may still be ahead of him.
“I still haven’t given up hope yet,” he said. “Who knows? I am always working hard and training hard.
“It does feel a long while ago. It was all good fun and at no time I felt out of place. When I am facing a difficult situation I tend to rise to it. It is what you dreamed of all your life.
“It was more anxiety really – I just couldn’t wait to get out there – but once I walked out it was gone.
“I always thought I would have got the chance to play again. I did think I deserved another run at the team but I played one game here and another there – it was a bit random.
“A back-to-back game would have been nice but that is just life and that is how sport is sometimes.”
The only downside of Saturday’s maverick display was its timing. Parchment is a ‘massive’ Arsenal fan and while the Gunners were winning their first piece of silverware in nine years, he was out in the middle.
“I wasn’t too pleased about it but then we won and I missed a bit of the heartache with the two early goals so it probably was a good thing,” he confessed.
“It was a good day all-round and I had a couple of drinks to celebrate the result. The fact that I managed to do so well helped – it wasn’t so bad missing out and I watched the game afterwards.”
And, after narrowly missing out on cup glory with Haslingden last summer and with Doutta Stars Down Under over the winter, he is hoping to match Arsenal’s triumph this summer.
“We managed to get to the cup final (last year). We had a good cup run and we did fairly well in the league,” he added.