Give me a chance to prove myself - Horton
David Jones - Thursday 12th April 2007

Paul Horton is confident he can help Lancashire achieve success this season – he just wants the chance to prove it. A fine century on the recent tour to South Africa gave the county’s selectors a pre-season nudge, but the Sydney born batsman is determined to make a name for himself at Old Trafford.

So far, he has managed fleeting appearances, and admitted: "It has been slightly frustrating after getting a taste of first team action. When your chances are limited you have to keep knocking on the door, but it’s hard to dislodge an established first class cricketer who has had a good record."

At 24 and approaching his fifth season, Horton feels he has proved himself but admitted: "I want the selectors to look at me as an option, not just through injuries or loss of form. I just hope they make comparisons on ability and give me an opportunity – perhaps a bigger opportunity than I have had in the past.

"We all have slight issues for not getting a run in the side. When you do well it's hard to deal with. As much as I love it here, and have no interest in moving clubs, you have to look at your own best interests. I can't hang around for years and never be given an opportunity. If I was not getting a chance here and someone else was willing to give me an opportunity, I would have to think about it.

"At times I have proved points. After 13 first class games, and never having played three in a row, I do average 40 and I hope to get it beyond 50."

Horton, a Liverpool Competition player for the past seven years, has quit Sefton Park for Cheshire County League side Oxton, but hopes his appearances for the Wirral club will be restricted by first team appearances for the county.

"I want a place in the team and get them to rely on me to win games. I think I did myself justice on the tour and showed improvements I have made over the winter."

He is confident he will be in the side for the Liverpool Victoria County Championship game against Warwickshire at Edgbaston, starting April 18th, but appreciates the rivalry among the younger guns is healthy.

"Steven Croft and Karl Brown also played well on tour, and to have a thriving young squad is great for the club and county."

Horton realises he faces a big year in his career, and added: "Looking to the established cricketers to bring success is tempting. They are taking a chance on a youngster to do that. It's make or break for me at the club, but not for me as a cricketer."

(previously published in the Liverpool Echo)