County Championship players to watch in 2011

County Championship only. First division only.

We’re also lumping them all together in one post this year, because multiple posts feels like quite a big commitment.

Adam Lyth, Yorkshire

Our reasons for picking batsmen to watch are invariably the same: they’re young and we’ve got a general sense that they score runs when other people don’t, even though we haven’t really looked into it properly.

James Hildreth, Somerset

Hildreth is a rare exception. He just scores a lot of runs.

Ben Stokes, Durham

See Adam Lyth to a greater degree, but with less evidence.

Adil Rashid, Yorkshire

We watch him every year. We reckon he could take one million wickets this year. Probably no more than that though.

Paul Horton, Lancashire

We had him as one to watch in both 2009 and 2010, so we’re sticking with him through thin-and-thin. He also averaged 70 for Matabeleland Tuskers over the winter and we enjoyed writing the start of this sentence, whatever it meant.

Oliver Newby, Lancashire

This has ball-all to do with cricket and everything to do with the fact that we just fundamentally like Oliver Newby. He hasn’t got broken legs this year and we are hoping we can spur him to great feats through sheer force of will.

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28 Appeals

  1. yorkshire. yorkshire. lancashire. lancashire. durham.

    hows about looking a bit further south?

    there’s a chap called ramprakash who i reckon could be a decent player.

  2. Second division, is Ramps, Sam.

    That KC is a CC snob and there’s no mistaking that.

  3. Somerset is not proper south. It’s west.

    And Ramprakash is a first division player in a second division team.

    • Wrong again sam. It’s South-West.

      I’m guessing you’re not a Geography student?

    • King Cricket

      April 7, 2011 at 8:43 pm

      Somerset’s south of London. Do you want French players or something?

      Ramps is ace, but he should have moved to a decent county some time ago if he wanted to be watched.

    • We all know that France is the current Olympic Cricket silver medalists, so they must have some pretty handy players

  4. french players. yes. just imagine it.

    and not to labour a point, but what exactly is classed as the west of england?

    • Plymouth.

      I have a friend from Plymouth who, while in Warrington, responded to the question from his mother on the phone “Where are you at the moment?”, with the reply “Out east”, which apparently sufficed.

  5. Somerset! How on dog’s earth do you expect anybody to watch a player in Somerset? It’s bloody miles away.

    Get a grip, and get back to completely ignoring anyone from south of the north.

    • King Cricket

      April 7, 2011 at 9:21 pm

      Lancashire v Somerset, April 20, Aigburth, Liverpool.

      That’s how you- oh, wait… Liverpool?

    • Indeed, really irritating as I happen to be in Manchester then too!!

  6. will ian rush be playing?

  7. George Dockrell!! And, er Simon Jones (why not eh?)

    • King Cricket

      April 8, 2011 at 8:03 am

      Yes and yes (although not officially). Dockrell might not get too many matches is the only thing because he’s behind Karthik and then Mendis.

      We’ll be very interested to see how Jones goes in Division One, if he can get fit again.

    • I keep having to point out to my Aussie mates that while their team is the best they could conceivably field, ours is missing Simon Jones, Marcus Trescothick and Andrew Flintoff entirely because of injuries and illness.

      How about that for a team? – Strauss, Trescothick, Cook, Trott, Pietersen, Bell, Morgan, Prior, Flintoff, Swann, Broad, Tremlett, Anderson, and Jones. I can’t see anyone beating them.

    • They sure do bat deep, Bert.

    • They bat all the way down to 14 in fact.

  8. who cares about division one? The all time greats of the game, Key for example, will be honouring the glory of division 2 cricket.

  9. I don’t know if this is my perception or if this is really the case, but there does seem to be more interest in the Championship this year. I think it’s attributable to a few things:

    1 – Retaining the Ashes in Australia
    2 – The close finish to last year’s Championship
    3 – The proliferation of cricket writing (mainly blogs) that takes an interest in the County game.

    King, I know you’ve spent years banging the drum, but there is still too much media nationally and locally that ignores what happens at (per se) Lancs vs Somerset.

    The question I don’t know how to answer is how to turn this sudden surge in enthusiasm into revenue for the Counties. Surely we won’t have to endure Elton John concerts every summer at Hove??

    • King Cricket

      April 8, 2011 at 9:53 am

      We think we’re going to rationalise our county cricket coverage as well as our international cricket coverage, by the way.

      Just as one-day internationals don’t matter, so the 40-over league doesn’t really matter.

      We’re going to try and do a bit better with the County Championship this year.

      We *think* this is our hierarchy:

      1. Tests
      2. County Championship
      3. Twenty20 Cup
      4. One-day internationals
      5. 40-over league

    • 1. Match Reports
      2. Gloating When The Opportunity Presents Itself
      3. Animals Being Conspicuously Indifferent to Cricket
      4. Key Love
      5. Slagging Off Fatty Clarke
      6. Cricket Bats in Unusual Places
      7. Haydenwatch
      8. Pterodactyls
      9. Cricket

    • Preposterous. Where’s IPL?

    • King Cricket

      April 8, 2011 at 3:11 pm

      Haven’t formed a stance on that yet beyond that we’re not going this year.

  10. KC, I think you’ve done splendidly in your coverage of the County Championship in the last 4 years or so that I’ve been reading your missives, and I’m grateful for that. Also, I agree wholeheartedly with your hierarchy.

  11. I agree wholeheartedly with Bert’s hierarchy.

  12. Rob Key got a second ball duck to snag the first dismissal of the season. A vital role. Truly, he is a man for the headlines.

    • No doubt he was torn between aiming for the first dismissal or the first century, but saw the opportunity for an early lunch. Heroic stuff.

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