MATT Parkinson is more determined than ever to kick on with his international career.

Bolton’s rising leg spin star was the only player to stay with the England squads during their tours of Sri Lanka and India at the start of the year but, largely used a reserve, he did not play a a game.

Now having made a flying start to the summer with Lancashire in the County Championship, the 24-year-old wants to push on.

“I didn’t want to get a reputation of being a white-ball cricketer who managed to go on a few Test tours and carry drinks,” he said.

“I want to prove that I can actually play and perform, and that I’m not just this – I’d like to say – decent lad who is good on tour.

“I want to be someone who is really respected for what I can do.

“This format this year has enabled spinners to play a bit more – teams are producing better pitches and I think that will help me.

“I’ve made it clear that I enjoyed the winter and I wanted to use it as a time to improve.

“Obviously it would have been nice to have played at the back end, but starting the season like this almost justifies the winter that I’ve spent and the hours that I’ve put in.”

More used to sitting on the sidelines in the early weeks of the English summer, Parkinson has been right of the thick of it for the Red Rose.

He already has 19 wickets, the highest by a spinner, and just two more at Northamptonshire next week will make it the best four-day campaign of his career with plenty of time left to go.

Jack Leach would appear to be in pole position to be England’s frontline spinner against New Zealand which begins at the start of next month but with a series against India to come later in the summer, Parkinson knows there is plenty to play for.

And Heaton’s former Bolton School pupil believes he can take inspiration from his England team-mate.

“I thought it could be like a normal season for a legspinner – the sort I’ve had before – where you don’t play until June or July,” he told ESPN Cricinfo.

“I’ve made the point that I want to play a large part in red-ball cricket and I see that as my only way of getting a justified call-up for further honours.

“I don’t want to be in England squads off the back of potential. I want to do what Leachy (Jack Leach) does – play 14 games, and take loads of wickets.”

There have been comments about Parkinson’s bowling speed on the international stage but his focus is clear.

“If I do play Test cricket, I might have to go to the top end of the speed I can bowl to be successful, but I’d also like to be the only spinner that bowls at the pace I do who has done well – then I’d be breaking the mould,” he added.

“I’d love to say I’ve got some zooter or zinger that’s going to come out in the Blast but I’m just focusing on being a traditional leg spinner and being the best Matt Parkinson I can be. I don’t want to look to be anyone else.”