FOR a batsman who managed to score 52 on his first class debut under floodlights against South African pace bowler Morne Morkel with a pink ball, nerves are not something you readily associate with Lancashire's Josh Bohannon.

But as he faces the start of a new season with the Red Rose, the Bolton-born 24-year-old admits looks can be deceptive.

"I'm someone who gets very nervous before games but I try not to show it," said Bohannon. "The good thing is this season I've got those 'good nerves' and I'm really looking forward to getting going."

Bohannon's batting was one of the highlights of last year's truncated season with the former Harper Green student coming close to scoring his second First-Class century in September, grafting for 216 balls against Derbyshire at Aigburth before falling six short.

"It wasn't quite as good as my 2019 season but given the circumstances we were in it was more about just playing cricket," he said. "I picked up more experience as a First-Class player and I can take pride in some positive scores. If I had got that century in Liverpool it would have changed the whole dimension of the season but really it was just nice to be out there."

With an average north of 41, Bohannon can be content with his career stats so far but that failure to convert his six half-centuries is something he is acutely aware of.

"I would like to have had three or four centuries by now because I think that's a reasonable expectation based on the scores I've had," he said. "It's a chat I've had with the coaches and although I'm averaging over 40 there's still a lot more to improve on so I see it as quite an exciting thing."

Starting out at Farnworth Social Circle, Bohannon was selected for the Lancashire under 11 team back in 2008 and has made his way through the age group sides alongside a number of the county's current crop of starlets.

"The squad has a great feel to it at the moment," he said. "It's as good a feeling I've felt since 2019 which is the year we all speak about in the dressing room when we won Division Two and felt like we were in a great environment.

"The senior players are starting to become younger and it's exciting because it also feels like it did in 2011 when eight or nine of the squad that won the Championship were born and bred Lancastrians.

"It's nice to be out there with people that have had the same upbringing as you and understand Lancashire's history."

If things go well for Lancashire this season, Bohannon will find himself batting for long periods alongside his skipper Dane Vilas and the younger man has plenty of praise for the former Test batsman.

"I've always enjoyed playing with Dane," he said. "His captaincy and leadership speaks for itself and we've had a lot of good partnerships together. Over the winter we've been doing a lot of running together and I love the way he goes about his cricket and the way he has so much respect from the squad. If he gets going again like he did in 2019 it will hopefully mean we have an opportunity to win some silver wear."

Josh Bohannon celebrates with Glenn Maxwell

Josh Bohannon celebrates with Glenn Maxwell

The skipper will still have to do a lot to replace Australian star Glenn Maxwell in Bohannon's affections after the pair struck up a close friendship during 'The Big Show's' stint at Emirates Old Trafford.

"It's never nice when you get close to someone and then you don't seem them for a long time," said Bohannon. "Obviously we should have got him back this season but we are in regular contact. "Thankfully we both have girlfriends who can take our minds off it!

"We just instantly clicked and both liked the same things on and off the pitch but was so brilliant was how much he wanted to talk about cricket and how much he offered. He would take time out of his net session to help someone else if he saw something and for someone who is such an icon of the modern game he was so easy to speak to."

For someone so sociable, Bohannon has understandably found lockdown difficult, but he is still aware that he remains in a privileged position.

"Not being able to put a smile on people's faces at Emirates Old Trafford and not enjoying a beer with your friends after a Championship win has been difficult," he added. "But individually I've been very lucky to be able to work and see people rather than being stuck within those four walls.

"It will be lovely to pop into Farnworth again, have a few drinks and chat about some good old times."