Cricketers to watch in 2009

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We’ve named cricketers to watch in 2006, 2007 and 2008 and we’ve not been 100 percent wrong about all of them.

Of the 2006 vintage, Graeme Swann, Matt Prior and Sajid Mahmood went on to play Tests and Mark Davies is knocking around again after a couple of years of injuries.

In 2007, Swann and Prior were joined by Stuart Broad who’s been a qualified success for England and Adil Rashid, who’s not a million miles away from a chance with the national side.

Of the 2008 lot, only Rashid and Steven Davies have done much of note, but we’re generally a couple of years out with our predictions.

New rule for 2009

This year we’re doing things ever-so-slightly different. We’ve brought in a rule and it’s a harsh one. The rule is no players from the County Championship second division.

This rule has come in for a reason. Everyone knows that the first division is a far better standard, but everyone also seems to conveniently forget this fact whenever they’re talking about potential England players. We’re referring to the newspapers as much as the everyday cricket supporter here.

Cricket writers and supporters are prone to citing statistics as ‘proof’ of a player’s worth, without giving any thought to context. There was lots of talk about Simon Jones averaging 18 with the ball last year, compared to a higher figure for whoever he was being compared against from the first division. It wasn’t comparing like with like.

The fact that there are two divisions matters and people have to start acknowledging that fact. It would be hypocritical if we didn’t practise what we preach, hence the rule.

If we can be bothered writing about them, the first of this year’s ones to watch will appear later today. However, we know better than to promise something when ‘being bothered’ enters into the equation.


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  1. Guess that means you’ll have to ignore big Bob Key this season, KC. And the boy Denley. And Dawid Malan and Eoin Morgan and Steve Finn.

    That’s mighty harsh.

    Is this a covert attempt to shift the balance of power away from us soft southerners and up to yon gritty north?

  2. If Essex, Kent, Middlesex and Surrey all want to be shit at cricket, that’s their choice.

  3. If you Poms had any bottle you would pick Anil Rashid for The Ashes just to try and make the series competitive. Look, we have just entered a period of decline and yet we are back already to challenge and beat the best. It is simple- our domestic cricket produces top class players and will always do so, it is tough and competitive at all levels.

  4. Wouldn’t disagree with the point about domestic cricket structure, Brett, but don’t know quite why you think Adil Rashid’s ‘The Balls’.

    Have you seen him play? We think a lot of him, but he wouldn’t transform the England side.

    Also, several of us don’t pick the England side. In fact, the vast majority of us have no input whatsoever.

  5. You’ve only decided this because you’ve run out of Transformers to award Ramps, haven’t you?

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