Ottis Gibson likes what he’s seen of Conor McKerr – even if Yorkshire fans didn’t get to see it from the big Surrey quick on debut at Edgbaston last night.

Loanee McKerr bowled only one over for 14 in the Vitality Blast defeat against Birmingham Bears. Yorkshire were defending a 146 total on a hybrid pitch which proved more spin-friendly than perhaps anyone initially expected.  

It would no doubt have been a frustration for the 26-year-old, as it was for coach Gibson himself.

But the former West Indies fast bowler insists McKerr, who he rates very highly, will get his chance to shine.

And he has even admitted that his stay at Headingley could very well extend beyond the initial five-game spell through the ongoing Blast.

McKerr was signed before last Sunday’s win over Derbyshire at Headingley but didn’t play in that. Fellow seamer Ben Cliff played instead.  

Cliff then made way against the Bears.

Conor McKerr

Picture by Steve Bardens/Getty Images. Conor McKerr in action for Surrey.

“With Conor, we didn’t see anything,” said Gibson. “There’s nothing that you tell from one over. So we’ll see how we go (against Leicestershire) and whether he plays.

“I’m certainly not going to judge him on one over.

“He’s a big strong guy who has got some pace. I think he’s probably got a bit more pace than anybody else we’ve got in the squad at the moment who is fit. 

“Therefore, there’s an opportunity for him to use that pace.

“Last night, they weren’t the right circumstances for him.

“The reason why I’ve pushed for a loan is because I’ve seen enough of him already to think that he’s a good bowler and there’s a lot there to work with. 

“He’s at Surrey where there’s a lot of competition. But when he goes away, he plays one game here, two games there. He’s not had a settled home if you like where he can play some cricket instead of worrying about being on loan – new environment, new people all the time.

Donovan Ferreira

Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com. Jordan Thompson and Joe Root, either side of Donovan  Ferreira. Thompson claimed four wickets at Edgbaston last night, while Root top-scored with 39.

“But he’s settled in nicely and practiced well with us.

“We’ve got him for a few more games, and hopefully we’ll give him more opportunities.”

Asked whether the loan could be extended, Gibson said: “For sure. 

“The loan is initially for the five games. But I’m sure if I went back to Surrey and said, ‘Can we keep him for longer’, they would be accommodating if they don’t need him.

“Championship cricket is also a possibility with him given the injuries we have.”

It seemed a good time for Gibson to give a fitness update on Ben Coad and Matthew Fisher, who have been sidelined since mid and early May respectively with back and ankle issues. 

“Coady’s back bowling,” said the coach. “We have a three-day second-team game in Durham on Monday that he’s pencilled in to play.

Ben Coad

Picture by John Heald. Ben Coad is on course to be back in action at Scarborough next weekend.

“Fisher looked like he was getting better but has had a minor setback. He’s had a scan on his ankle (yesterday). If the results are positive, we’ll carry on pushing him and try to get him ready for Scarborough next week. At the moment, we have to wait and see.”

First things first, though, and Leicestershire in the Blast at Headingley tomorrow (3pm). It’s part of a T20 double header with the Northern Diamonds women, who face Western Storm in the Charlotte Edwards Cup at 11am.

Yorkshire are aiming to bounce back from their four-wicket defeat at Birmingham last night, where they suffered a damaging batting collapse to fall from 77-1 to 145 all out.

“The games come thick and fast in this competition, and in whatever game we play we try and move on quickly and pick up any learnings you can,” said Gibson.

“We’re not going to dwell on it, but quite often you think, ‘What could have been’.

“To only get 145 was disappointing. We should have got more runs. 

“Yes, we made them work really hard for it – our bowling unit has worked well for us in the last couple of games – but I don’t think we gave Birmingham enough to do.

Ottis Gibson

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com. Ottis Gibson is aiming for a fourth Blast win of the season tomorrow.

“We talk all the time about the top order laying the foundations, and we did that. We just needed one of our top four or five batters to be there at the end. Then we get up to 175-180 and it’s a different game altogether.”

But victory over Leicestershire tomorrow – avenging the recent defeat at Grace Road – will give Yorkshire a fourth win from their first six North Group games. That would represent a very healthy start to the competition. 

“That’s our aim,” added Gibson. 

“Leicestershire did a number on us down there – we were completely outplayed. We just need to show them we’re a much better team than the one who they played that night.

“At Headingley, we know the conditions. I’m sure Robbo (Richard Robinson, head of grounds) will produce another belting pitch for us. And we look forward to that game.”

Leicestershire have already played six, winning three and losing three. They were beaten at home by Lancashire last night, by 25 runs as they failed to chase 163. 

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