Former Blackpool speed king Gleeson eyes England call-up

Richard Gleeson in action during his time with Blackpool
Richard Gleeson in action during his time with Blackpool

He’s one of few bowlers in the country who can clock 90mph and speed king Richard Gleeson is hoping that can lead to England honours.

Gleeson was only plucked from Blackpool’s Stanley Park by Northamptonshire in 2016 but after featuring for the Lions the fast bowler is hoping to make the next step.

The 30-year-old is making up for lost time after his late entry into county cricket but hasn’t lost touch with his Blackpool roots.

He was back with his hometown club last Saturday, featuring in unbeaten leaders Blackpool’s latest Northern Premier League win over Leyland as he bids to shake off an elbow injury.

Although he doubts he will be fit for the next round of Lions fixtures, Gleeson says anything is possible as he eyes England honours.

He told The Gazette: “I’m still hopeful to get some involvement with the Lions. They have some games coming up

“I probably won’t be ready and fit for those but it would be nice to keep in the mix.

“It has gone pretty quick in the last few years, from club cricket to county, so you never know. I will hopefully get that one step further after the Lions. I think there is always room for people who bowl quick.

“There is not an abundance of bowlers out there that can hit 90 mph. I’m one of few in that category, so I do not give up hope just yet.”

But, to get into the national picture, Gleeson will need to get back in action for Northants.

Right now the bowler is nursing a bruised elbow and has been allowed to return to his old club to aid his recovery.

Gleeson will not feature for Blackpool at Preston tomorrow but says last weekend’s appearance at Stanley Park is not a one-off.

He said: “It is always nice to go back to my home club. I still pop down at weekends when I’m back.

“It is good to be back around the lads and my family go along as well, so it is a nice environment.

“I’ve got bone bruising on my elbow, so it’s a bit of rest and a bit of rehab. Hopefully I should not be out too much longer.

“It is just a case of building it up. We have not got any second team cricket at Northants for a few weeks, so they are happy for me to get any cricket in where I can.

“I won’t be playing this weekend after a little setback with the injury. But I might be able to get a game or two in in the next few weeks.”