Professional approach is helping Staffordshire mission, says Matthew Morris

Staffordshire County Cricket Club batsman Matthew Morris.

Matthew Morris is a happy chap in the Staffordshire camp – and he’ll be the county’s Mr Versatile to help them to more success.

Morris was part of the Staffs side which won the NCCA Twenty20 Cup last month, although he often found opportunities hard to come by, batting just twice in the group stages.

His 50-over campaign started off in unfortunate circumstances when he was run out in the win at Wales, but he finally got the chance to spend time at the crease in last week’s defeat by Wiltshire at Smethwick.

The Westhoughton left-hander made 71 not out as he joined forces with Michael Hill (63) to help Staffs recover from 24-3 to 214 all out.

Morris has slotted in at number five in the white-ball format, but he says he’s happy to bat anywhere as long as he’s part of Staffordshire’s new dawn.

The county made changes over the winter. Andy Carr was appointed as head coach and James Kettleborough was named as Staffs’ new captain.

And Morris says there’s a feel-good factor about the squad at the moment.

‘Good vibes’

“I’ve played for Staffordshire for four years and love it. The great thing at the moment is the communication with Ketts (James Kettleborough) and Carri (Andy Carr),” said Morris.

“My role in the T20s and 50-over format is clear and I know what they want me to do. I know my strengths and weaknesses and what is needed in certain situations.

“Last Sunday was a case of ‘stopping the bleeding’ as we call it and it was massive to spend some time in the middle.

“As long as I am part of the team, I’m happy. It’s great to be around and the atmosphere is first-class.

“It’s very professional and the vibes, to some degree, remind me of life under Kadeer (Ali, former Staffs captain).

Staffordshire County Cricket Club were crowned NCCA Twenty20 Cup winners.
Staffordshire County Cricket Club celebrate winning the NCCA Twenty20 Cup

“There’s that togetherness we had then and Kaddy is probably the best captain I’ve ever played under. Not just his cricket knowledge, but also his people skills.

“We’re now experiencing the same thing with Ketts and Carri. They’re big reasons why everyone has committed to playing and we’d run through brick walls for them.”

Staffordshire have so far failed to truly fire with the bat in their 50-over Group Four campaign.

They were bowled out for 188 by Wales, although they won, before last weekend’s below-par batting effort at Smethwick.

However, Morris, part of the squad for this weekend’s trip to Dorset, says he’s confident that Staffordshire’s talent will come to the fore.

‘We will click’

“We talked about how we performed after the game and were scratching our heads a little bit. It was just one of those days,” added Morris.

“But I fear for the side that is on the receiving end when it does click… and the batting will click.

“You have Callum Hawkins and Pete Wilshaw up top and then Ketts is just a class player and you can tell he’s played first-class cricket.

“Then there’s Hilly. He’s just a quality player and me and my dad often say that we can’t believe someone of his ability hasn’t been given an opportunity in first-class cricket.

‘I let my team-mates down last week. I want to put that right’

“We have so much depth hand talent. And there’s lads in the development side knocking on the door of the first team, which is healthy.”
Morris has featured throughout the Staffs order since joining the county.

‘I’ll do any job’

And he says he will slot in anywhere – as long as the team wins matches.

“Everyone wants to do well and wants each other to do well. I’ve not really played in this type of environment before,” explained Morris.

“I played a handful of first-class county seconds games and it can be quite toxic at times. Lads want you to fail so they get a better chance. But at Staffs we all just want to win every game and don’t mind who gets the runs and wickets.

“Ideally, I’d like to bat as high as I can. I want the biggest opportunity to get the most runs, but I’m happy to do whatever role needs to be played.

“If we get off to a flier and are 200 off 30 overs, send the whackers in ahead of me. It’s what is best for the team.”

Main image: Staffordshire County Cricket Club batsman Matthew Morris in action in the T20 win at Cheshire. Picture: Alfie Shenton

Matthew Morris is being kindly sponsored by Creditas Financial Solutions for the 2023 season.