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.