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The Ashes
#61
As long as the ecb are happy with England winning home series and selling all the corporate hospitality which along with the T20 pantomime slog brings in the cash, nothing will change - all about greed, not cricket
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#62
(18-12-2017, 04:30 PM)Warleybear Wrote: Personally, I have believed for a long time that the championship needs pruning...  less teams playing across the whole Summer and not just April and September. It would also be good if some of the England batsmen spent more time with their counties.  However, I understand that I am in a minority on what is an emotive issue.

But having a 2 division system means there are only 9 teams playing each other. How small do you want the league?
LE - aka John
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narsty simon
#63
CC cricket must be played throughout the summer - it is simply THE game that was invented. The rest is just tinkering.
Football is played 11 a side/45 min each way - minor spin off being 5 a side. Likewise Rugby is 15 a side - the minor spin off being the 7s played at the top by a different set of players.
Cricket must learn from this and have just one format for the one day game - either 20, 40 or 50 over - and the one day game should be slotted in around the CC not the other way round
LE - aka John
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narsty simon, parkfield bear
#64
I think we're all pretty much on the same page as GD.

I felt - despite the Bears own decline - that the standard of 4 day cricket last year was pretty poor and the worst I'd seen in the last 5 years. It very much reflected the trends GD pinpoints. Trundlers bagging loads of wickets on damp, green pitches in spring and autumn, no spinners and batsmen playing millionaire shots knowing the next ball probably had their name on it.

The hollowing out of the CC has been a very depressing process.

Those of us that still value 4 day cricket and recognize it as the nursery for test players have been marginalised as nerdy, sad obsessives who are holding back the tides of progress.

The Ashes brings cricket into national view every 2 years and casual observers are not aware of the systemic failures underpinning these woeful performances. This means that Graves, Harrison and Strauss can continue to dismember the 4 day game at their leisure without being called to account.

As GD states - on every measure apart from financial performance the ECB can be deemed as failing badly.
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Leicester Exile, parkfield bear
#65
Yes it is all familiar stuff to those of us on here. I was already resigned to the idea that the importance of red ball cricket would decline relative to the white ball variety but, even so, it is depressing to see how quickly Mr Costcutter and his mates have dismantled first class cricket. I had posted before that I was probably going to give up one of my county memberships this year (Hampshire and Somerset). I have indeed ditched the Hampshire one and come close to ditching the other one too. There is no cricket other than the Blast scheduled at Taunton for nearly ten weeks between early June and mid-August. Unless there is a very sunny Spring and Somerset get out of their habit of producing wickets that only last two days, it is a triumph of hope over experience to believe that I will get value out of renewing my membership. I'll probably do it anyway for old times' sake, but it will be close.

Added to that is the realisation that, with no visits to Hampshire, Somerset, Gloucestershire or even Cardiff, the closest that Warwickshire will come to where I now live is, er, Birmingham. That's a two hour drive so the number of times I see my side play this year will be few, if any. The release of the fixture list used to be a trigger for excitement. This year my reaction is "meh". Is that what the ECB want?
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#66
Hard to dissagree with anything that has been said on here since my last post yesterday afternoon. However i am probably in the minority with this opinion, i do agree with blocks for the 2 one day competitions. The players can concentrate practicing for the three formats, so giving us fans the best quality of cricket to watch when that particular competition starts. I know the players prefer it that way.
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#67
(18-12-2017, 07:01 PM)Warleybear Wrote: Anderson did ok... but doesnt have too many tours left in him. Broad and Ali were terrible... The culture of going to pubs and bringing the team into disripute has to stop.

Moving forward... I would go for two leagues of six...  playing from May to September. England batsmen and some bowlers need to play more....  Those counties not up to first class cricket can either analgamate, focus on limited overs cricket or join the minor counties. I would also agree with Simon ... counties should be limited to a handful of T20 games..... the city franchises running with the bulk of T20.

Warley - I thought you might like this quote from Leicestershire Head Coach Paul Nixon (writing in Wisden Cricket Monthly):
"What we [Leicestershire] have done for English cricket over the last 25-30 years is more than a club like Warwickshire."
If ever you get the chance to debate that with him, let me know so that I can be a fly on the wall.
Keep up-to-date with County Cricket at http://deepextracover.com/
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rednalbear
#68
We can complain about county cricket but these things go in cycles. England have won 5 out of the last 8 series. Australia won the previous 8. They have more pace in their attack. its not just about spinners. Only last year Moeen took record breaking wickets against South Africa but came into this series injured so really why did they pick Crane as second spinner. Its all very reactive to me. Only as good as your last game stuff. Australia have a better bowling attack for the conditions over there its a s simple as that. We should have picked more pace. Overton was a terrible pick

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#69
RT
(20-12-2017, 03:17 PM)Terry Wrote:
(18-12-2017, 07:01 PM)Warleybear Wrote: Anderson did ok... but doesnt have too many tours left in him. Broad and Ali were terrible... The culture of going to pubs and bringing the team into disripute has to stop.

Moving forward... I would go for two leagues of six...  playing from May to September. England batsmen and some bowlers need to play more....  Those counties not up to first class cricket can either analgamate, focus on limited overs cricket or join the minor counties. I would also agree with Simon ... counties should be limited to a handful of T20 games..... the city franchises running with the bulk of T20.

Warley - I thought you might like this quote from Leicestershire Head Coach Paul Nixon (writing in Wisden Cricket Monthly):
"What we [Leicestershire] have done for English cricket over the last 25-30 years is more than a club like Warwickshire."
If ever you get the chance to debate that with him, let me know so that I can be a fly on the wall.

He actually said this at a Cricket Society meeting at Edgbaston about a month ago. He was picked up almost immediately and told that most Leicestershire youngsters are actually produced by a couple of Independent schools! There were also several comments about the youngsters coming through at Edgbaston in various age groups at the moment. It was also suggested to him that Warwickshire had produced 2 of the current full England team.
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#70
(20-12-2017, 08:10 PM)Malc Wrote: RT
(20-12-2017, 03:17 PM)Terry Wrote:
(18-12-2017, 07:01 PM)Warleybear Wrote: Anderson did ok... but doesnt have too many tours left in him. Broad and Ali were terrible... The culture of going to pubs and bringing the team into disripute has to stop.

Moving forward... I would go for two leagues of six...  playing from May to September. England batsmen and some bowlers need to play more....  Those counties not up to first class cricket can either analgamate, focus on limited overs cricket or join the minor counties. I would also agree with Simon ... counties should be limited to a handful of T20 games..... the city franchises running with the bulk of T20.

Warley - I thought you might like this quote from Leicestershire Head Coach Paul Nixon (writing in Wisden Cricket Monthly):
"What we [Leicestershire] have done for English cricket over the last 25-30 years is more than a club like Warwickshire."
If ever you get the chance to debate that with him, let me know so that I can be a fly on the wall.

He actually said this at a Cricket Society meeting at Edgbaston about a month ago. He was picked up almost immediately and told that most Leicestershire youngsters are actually produced by a couple of Independent schools! There were also several comments about the youngsters coming through at Edgbaston in various age groups at the moment. It was also suggested to him that Warwickshire had produced 2 of the current full England team.

At least he's consistent in the rubbish he comes out with.
Keep up-to-date with County Cricket at http://deepextracover.com/
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#71
This puts winning and losing cricket matches into perspective:
http://www.espncricinfo.com/story/_/id/2...e-incident
My daughter was just 5 minutes away when it happened.
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#72
Pleased to hear that about your daughter - these pointless attacks really are a worry around the world.
LE - aka John
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#73
George Dobell, proving once again (As if he needed to) that he really is a brilliant journalist; as long as the ECB continue to see the Championship as an annoyance and an irrelevance rather than the proving ground for the next generation of Test players (As well as an interesting competition in its own right) then we are going to be slaughtered away from home by Australia, India, SA etc.

Regarding Loudmouth Nixon's argument, how does one define doing more? Obviously the current touring party looks like this:

Player - County
Root - Yorkshire
Cook - Essex
Stoneman - Durham
Vince - Hampshire
Malan - Middlesex
Bairstow - Yorkshire
Ali - Worcestershire for 7 years before England, but early years and fc debut at Warwickshire
Woakes - Warwickshire
Broad - Notts, but development & England debut whilst at Leicestershire
Ball - Notts
Anderson - Lancs
Overton - Somerset
Ballance - Yorkshire, but development in Zimbabwe and Derbyshire
Curran - Surrey
Crane - Hampshire

I had a quiet hour at work yesterday so I looked at each England Test debutant since 1985 (The year of my birth) and note the following:

Test debuts since 1985 - County on debut
Derbyshire 4
Durham  9
Essex  11
Glamorgan 7
Gloucester 5
Hampshire 7
Kent  10
Lancs  13
Leicester 10
Middlesex 14
Northants 5
Notts  8
Somerset 7
Surrey  13
Sussex  6
Warwickshire 10
Worcestershire 10
Yorkshire 20

I found this table quite interesting; given the fact that we are a "bigger" county (Whatever that means) we have only produced the same number of Test players as Worcestershire and Leicestershire since 1985; not a ringing endorsement for our development program.

Obviously the list includes players who only played 1 or 2 Tests and so can be skewed, but I also found a number of players who had spent a few years at a county but then moved to another before making their Test debut (This obviously favoured the count of "bigger" counties, as players with England aspirations don't tend to move to Derbyshire or Northants when their contract is up)

Regardless of the numbers above, as George rightly points out, "England will not win Test matches on anything other than archetypal English pitches" if we continue to play at the time of year where rank medium pacers can roll over the opposition on a green deck underneath a grey sky.
Bears fan, Wolves fan, blood red Socialist, a not so vital statistician...
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#74
Randombear I suspect you had more than a quiet hour at work (!) but very interesting figures
LE - aka John
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randombear
#75
Explains why from the mid 80s to early 2000s England were a shambles.... even the current championship structure isnt fit for purpose... some teams in the second division have gone two decades virtually winless and in the case of two counties, hold the wooden spoon 80 percent of the time. The whole thing is too cosey, in many cases uncompetative and certainly needs a shake up.

Theres also this thought http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/42462760
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#76
(23-12-2017, 11:45 AM)randombear Wrote: George Dobell, proving once again (As if he needed to) that he really is a brilliant journalist; as long as the ECB continue to see the Championship as an annoyance and an irrelevance rather than the proving ground for the next generation of Test players (As well as an interesting competition in its own right) then we are going to be slaughtered away from home by Australia, India, SA etc.

Regarding Loudmouth Nixon's argument, how does one define doing more? Obviously the current touring party looks like this:

Player - County
Root - Yorkshire
Cook - Essex
Stoneman - Durham
Vince - Hampshire
Malan - Middlesex
Bairstow - Yorkshire
Ali - Worcestershire for 7 years before England, but early years and fc debut at Warwickshire
Woakes - Warwickshire
Broad - Notts, but development & England debut whilst at Leicestershire
Ball - Notts
Anderson - Lancs
Overton - Somerset
Ballance - Yorkshire, but development in Zimbabwe and Derbyshire
Curran - Surrey
Crane - Hampshire

I had a quiet hour at work yesterday so I looked at each England Test debutant since 1985 (The year of my birth) and note the following:

Test debuts since 1985 - County on debut
Derbyshire 4
Durham  9
Essex  11
Glamorgan 7
Gloucester 5
Hampshire 7
Kent  10
Lancs  13
Leicester 10
Middlesex 14
Northants 5
Notts  8
Somerset 7
Surrey  13
Sussex  6
Warwickshire 10
Worcestershire 10
Yorkshire 20

I found this table quite interesting; given the fact that we are a "bigger" county (Whatever that means) we have only produced the same number of Test players as Worcestershire and Leicestershire since 1985; not a ringing endorsement for our development program.

Obviously the list includes players who only played 1 or 2 Tests and so can be skewed, but I also found a number of players who had spent a few years at a county but then moved to another before making their Test debut (This obviously favoured the count of "bigger" counties, as players with England aspirations don't tend to move to Derbyshire or Northants when their contract is up)

Regardless of the numbers above, as George rightly points out, "England will not win Test matches on anything other than archetypal English pitches" if we continue to play at the time of year where rank medium pacers can roll over the opposition on a green deck underneath a grey sky.

Really interesting - thanks for this.
Keep up-to-date with County Cricket at http://deepextracover.com/
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randombear
#77
WB - that was the captain that put England in t bat at Edgbaston in 05 - proving no-one's perfect
LE - aka John
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#78
(23-12-2017, 12:50 PM)Leicester Exile Wrote: Randombear I suspect you had more than a quiet hour at work (!) 


Well, maybe! I had to do something other than gorge myself on sausage rolls and Quality Street waiting for my Christmas break to start Smile
Bears fan, Wolves fan, blood red Socialist, a not so vital statistician...
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Leicester Exile
#79
The numbers surprised me a little too, especially that Notts have produced so few Test players for a club of their size; I know they had a few lean years in the 90s and early 2000s but that number really is low.


It is telling that, by and large, the teams that tend to congregate towards the bottom of the Championship each year, produce the fewest Test players; the last Derbyshire player to make his England debut was Dominic Cork in 1995! I can't really think of any Derbyshire players who could say they were unlucky not to get a call either (With the possible exception of Kevin Dean)

So, if certain teams (Not naming names) finish near the bottom year after year, don't challenge for cups and don't produce England players, just what purpose do they serve? I don't want to argue for a cull of counties, but I feel it needs looking at (And lets face it the ECB are never shy when it comes to buggering about with the Championship!)

My own idea would be for a promotion / relegation slot between division 2 and the Minor Counties Championship (Subject to the promotion candidate having sufficient facilities etc.) If the relegated team are so deserving of first-class cricket they would be able to prove it on the field by winning promotion back to division 2.
Bears fan, Wolves fan, blood red Socialist, a not so vital statistician...
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Warleybear
#80
Random bear... I could buy into that thinking.... perhaps sex it up and bring in a points system .. 18 points for winning the chanpionship and 1 for finishing bottom. An extra point for each England player in a season who plays two tests. After 5 years, the team with the lowest points is relegated to the minor counties....

Something has to change... the championship is not a warm cosey house of failure ... it needs to produce winners on fair pitches.
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