Search

Middlesex bowler targets county title after signing new deal at Lord’s

12:10 23 January 2014

Tim Murtagh successfully appeals for the wicket of Billy Godleman of Derbyshire

Tim Murtagh successfully appeals for the wicket of Billy Godleman of Derbyshire

© Sarah Williams 2013

Tim Murtagh says landing the County Championship trophy is his top priority after signing a new three-year deal to stay with Middlesex.

Murtagh, Middlesex’s leading wicket-taker in each of the last three seasons, has committed himself to the club until the end of the 2016 campaign and is keen to finish his career at Lord’s.

And the 32-year-old seamer, a fringe member of the Surrey squad that won the title back in 2002, is determined to repeat that achievement with their cross-town rivals before he retires.

Murtagh’s wickets helped Middlesex to take third place in the County Championship in 2012 and, despite another spirited challenge for the crown last season, they eventually dropped to fifth.

“My number one goal is to bring the championship back to Lord’s,” said Murtagh. “I tasted that feeling at Surrey, although it was more a case of giving the youngsters a go at the end of the season and I played a few games here and there.

“It’s a feeling I’m desperate to experience again at Middlesex and I think we’re closer to doing it now than at any time since I joined the club.

“Last season, we were up there at various points during the year and faded a bit towards the end. But we’ve no-one to blame but ourselves for where we did finish.

“It was disappointing and it left a bitter taste in my mouth, as well as the mouths of the rest of the team and the management. We’ll be doing our best to put that right this year.

“I’ve had a great time at Middlesex since I joined the club from Surrey – everyone made me feel really welcome and now I feel like I’m part of the furniture.

“To get the opportunity of signing for another three years was one I jumped at. I don’t want to play my cricket anywhere else and I see myself hopefully finishing my career at Middlesex.”

It is seven years since Murtagh opted to quit Surrey and cross the Thames and, following the departure of ex-West Indies Test paceman Corey Collymore at the end of last season, he is now very much the senior man in Middlesex’s seam bowling department.

Collymore had been helping to mentor the clutch of young pace prospects emerging through the ranks at Middlesex, and Murtagh says he is happy to act in a similar role when required.

“I guess it’s something that comes with age,” Murtagh admitted. “I’ve taken that on board the last couple of years, watching the way Corey has been with the younger bowlers. He set a great example.

“Primarily Middlesex are paying me to take wickets and help the club challenge for honours, but part of my job is passing on any advice I can and I’d be happy to do that.

“Toby [Roland-Jones] has made good strides and we’ve got James Harris as well as some good young fast bowlers coming through, like Tom Helm and Harry Podmore.

“I’d like to think any of them would feel they can come and talk to me about bowling, dealing with the day-to-day stresses of cricket or anything else.”

While Murtagh has mainly focused on four-day cricket with Middlesex in recent years, he has also found a new lease of life in the shorter forms of the game at international level.

Despite growing up in London, Murtagh qualifies for Ireland through his grandfather and has been a regular member of their national squad since 2012.

Along with Middlesex team-mate Paul Stirling, he heads to the Caribbean this week, where Ireland will play in the regional 50-over tournament in Trinidad before taking on the West Indies in a one-day international series.

The Middlesex pair are also hoping to feature in the Twenty20 World Cup, which takes place in Bangladesh just before the start of the new domestic season.

“I’ve really enjoyed the time I’ve been involved with Ireland,” added Murtagh. “It’s been great for me, it’s given me some cricket during the winter and keeps me ticking over.

“We won three trophies last year, which was magnificent, and we keep proving that we’re the top associate team. This West Indies tour will be great exposure for us and, the more of that we can get, the better.

“Hopefully it’s also taken my one-day skills to a new level and improved a side of my game that has maybe been neglected a little bit in recent years.”

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

Danny Rose (right) celebrates his leveller at White Hart Lane. Pic: Steve Paston/PA Wire

Danny Rose cancelled out James Milner’s first-half penalty with a second-half equaliser as Spurs drew 1-1 with Liverpool at White Hart Lane. Here are five talking points.

Fri, 11:38
Gary McCann has played for and managed Hendon in memorable FA Cup ties. Pic: Andrew Aleksiejczuk

In the latest of a series of features casting the spotlight on local football fans, David Ballheimer reveals his favourite players and his most memorable matches during his time following Hendon.

Fri, 07:30
Middlesex bowler Tim Murtagh

With just a month of the season remaining, Middlesex appear better-placed to become county champions than at any time since their last title 23 years ago.

Thu, 22:30
Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha (right) could soon be lining up alongside Tottenham's Victor Wanyama (left) after Spurs made a move to sign the 23-year-old today

Mauricio Pochettino admits he would like to sign a pacy attacking midfielder before the end of the transfer window as Tottenham seek to bring Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha to White Hart Lane.

Thu, 14:02
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino admits he is frustrated that a host of his players will be departing for international duty again after this weekend’s round of fixtures.

Thu, 10:15
Laura Hirai in action for the Great Britain Under-19 team at the ESF Junior Womens European Softball Championship in Barcelona

Like most 16-year-olds, Laura Hirai’s primary concern today (Thursday) is her GCSE results. But four days after the end of the Rio 2016 Olympics, when the baton was passed to Tokyo and a new four-cycle began, the teenager is also dreaming about being involved in the 2020 Games.

Thu, 09:40
Wingate & Finchley goalkeeper Shane Gore. Pic: Martin Addison

Filling the well-worn boots of Bobby Smith doesn’t faze Shane Gore – it’s actually a case of déjà vu for Wingate & Finchley’s new No1.

Thu, 09:11
Hendon midfielder Sam Murphy

Hendon duo Scott Cousins and Sam Murphy are aiming to guide England to their best ever performance at the European Six-a-side Championships later this week.

PROMOTED CONTENT

The showroom is located in Hayes

After 25 years as a trade-only business, family-run door manufacturers Composite Door Master are set to open their first public showroom in Hayes this weekend.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

You could win £15,000 to spend on either their mortgage or a deposit towards the home of their dreams

Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a period of time when you simply don’t have to worry about finding the money each month to pay your mortgage? When you don’t have to put money aside from your monthly income, or worry about having to afford other essential outgoings?

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate that one lucky winner will receive four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All runners up will get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now