Barry Chambers (Strabane Chronicle)
LAZARS INSPIRES BREADY TO ANOTHER WIN
Few players in the North West have made such an immediate impact at a new club as Bready all-rounder Steve Lazars, who helped the Magheramason side maintain their unbeaten start to the campaign with a five-wicket haul in their win against Fox Lodge in the Tyrone derby.
Lazars has been a central figure in that success, taking wickets at will, as well as scoring vital runs in a side that is pushing for major honours, currently top of the league and into the T20 Cup semi-finals.
“Heading up into this season, I had a clear goal to win the league, represent the Warriors and the Irish national side, which I now call home for the last 15 years,” Lazars told the Chronicle.
“I am delighted the way my season has started with Bready as I am one of the leading all-rounders and wicket takers. Becoming a father has surely had a positive effect on me. Skipper David Scanlon, David Rankin and Irosh Samarasooriya have set high standards and a great culture for the team. This is certainly reflecting on the results as we aim to win the league. I am glad to be a part of this welcoming unit.”
Lazars success is no accident, having worked hard on and off the field to ensure the former IPL player is in the best condition possible as he targets trophies and representative selection.
“In order to maintain my peak fitness and recovery, I have been working with a cricket trainer since 2019, and am following a strict diet plan. I believe I have another six more years of top tier competitive cricket in me. I feel my body is at the best condition for all formats of the game. With the lifestyle changes I have made, I have amplified my game to the next level.”
He has also worked with some of the most respected coaches in the game, and believes a recent stint in Australia has reinvigorated his game.
“Finishing a successful premier grade season in Australia during 2019, I had the privilege to be coached by Murray Goodwin, the Zimbabwean test player. He worked on my batting skills and mental game which has really helped me. During the same season, I topped the all-rounder and batting aggregates with a century three fifties before the pandemic meant I had to fly back home.
“Since 2019 I have also worked closely with former Indian Test player Bobby Rao. He has really helped me to take my bowling to another level. To effectively bowl spin on home soil and sub-continent conditions, I had to make changes to my action and technique. I am glad it is paying off. I feel I am bowling at my best at the moment, also working on my chinaman and other variations.
“I have made myself available for selection for NW Warriors through a formal email to the selectors this month. I hope that my performances will secure me a place in the team. Each week, I will be looking to perform and keep building a solid case for my selection into the provincial side.”
Bready have a tough challenge this weekend when they take on Ardmore, who are second in the group having beaten Strabane on Saturday.
NW FIXTURES Saturday (12pm)