Fraser: Middlesex can overcome injuries in pursuit of four-day and T20 titles

Angus Fraser

It is 23 years since Middlesex last won the County Championship and eight years since they won any major trophy.

In both cases, this is a long time for a club based at the game’s HQ, even if Lord’s is owned by MCC rather than the county.

This season, however, is pregnant with promise despite an unfortunate rain-affected exit from the Royal London One-Day Cup.

As the season enters the sharp end, Middlesex lead the County Championship and are in the quarter-finals of the T20 Blast – the last competition they won, in 2008. The injuries, however, are mounting.

Angus Fraser was leading the bowling attack the last time Middlesex won the Championship. Now managing director of cricket, he hopes the squad-building embarked upon during the winter is sufficient to withstand the test.

“For some time now every game has been an important one – which is where you want to be – but it is a hard period with the injuries,” he said.

James Fuller, Dawid Malan and James Franklin have all had injuries

“We have had almost a season’s worth in the last two weeks with Eoin Morgan breaking his hand, [James] Fuller going in the side, [Sam] Robson injured in the side, [Dawid] Malan a groin strain, [James] Franklin a damaged finger and [Paul] Stirling his shoulder.

“It does challenge us and it means you have to keep going back to the same two or three who are playing a lot more cricket than ideally you would want.”

Winning matches, and competing for silverware, tend to dull pain and Malan and Franklin are playing through their injuries, during the current Championship match with Surrey.

There is also help on the horizon, with Fraser hopeful Brendon McCullum will be back for Tuesday’s T20 tie at Northampton.

As a traditionalist, Fraser would live to see his team regain the four-day title, but wants a tilt at T20 too.

23 Jun 1999:  Angus Fraser of Middlesex in action during the NatWest Trophy match against Nottinghamshire played at Trent Bridge in Nottingham, England.  Mandatory Credit: Ross Kinnaird /Allsport
Angus Fraser won the title with Middlesex in 1993

He said: “The best team in the country wins the County Championship, that is our aim, but we have put a lot of emphasis on white-ball cricket in the last year or so because we have not been good enough at it.

“We have played pretty well in it this year. We are through to a quarter-final, which was one of our goals, and hopefully will have a good side to go to Northampton with [on Tuesday]. We’re looking forward to it.”