International cricketers in county cricket

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We want to make the 'you are rum' joke again

International cricket matches are now so frequent that you can forget that those involved are in any way exceptional. We like the early part of the season because it generally provides a reminder.

In general, we don’t like reminders. We like to leave things indefinitely. BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN THAT WE’VE FORGOTTEN ABOUT THEM. Yes, we are going to do that important thing at some point. No, we don’t know when.

This kind of reminder is different. It’s a reminder that assures you all is as it should be. Later in the season, someone will hit a hundred or take five wickets and be spoken of as being in the running for a Test spot. Look back at these early matches and you’ll see what it really takes to be in the running for a Test spot. England players are remarkably reliable when they drop down a level.

We alluded to this at the weekend when referring to Graham Onions’ habit of collecting huge numbers of wickets while he can – before he has to spend his summer driving to England matches only to be told that he’s not needed on the morning of the game. Steven Finn also reappeared this week and promptly took 4-51. Even Jade Dernbach took wickets, for crying out loud. One of them was Nick Compton, who made a duck, but let’s gloss over that.

The point is, England’s selectors generally have a pretty good idea who the best players are. If a batsman doesn’t make runs for England, it doesn’t always mean he was the wrong selection. It might just mean that the best option isn’t necessarily a world-beater.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


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  1. Where are all those Australian batsmen, like Stuart Law, Michael Di Venuto, Brad Hodge, the Hussey brothers et al, who dominate the county championship, performing a cut or three above our county players and reminding us of questions such as, “how come we can’t produce cricketers of that quality and these b*ggers can’t even get a gig for the Aussies?”

    Oh, I’d forgotten, it’s not the 1990s/early 2000s any more.

    We need more reminders, KC.

    1. To be fair, if those players were in the championship now they could probably do a decent job.
      But many of them have opted for the bright lights of the IPL. I wonder why?

    2. We don’t come here “to be fair”, Sam – what’s got into you?

      If I wanted to be fair, I’d go to the stylist’s parlor and ask for full tilt highlights.

  2. My new favourite county player is Ollie Freckingham because his name sounds like you’re trying to avoid swearing

  3. hahaha… yr second para… i haven’t hyperlinked my blog as it’s decidedly off-topic (here and indeed practically everywhere else), but i could have written that… gorblimey guv’na…

    think i’m denial over english cricket right now. just sort of taking the approach that if i don’t really think about it, the ashes will be upon us in no time and it’ll all just take care of itself without my having to get stressed and chomp off any fingernails.

  4. ‘England’s selectors generally have a pretty good idea who the best players are’. No argument with that, but a review of recent selections of batsmen for first caps shows they fall into two camps: weight of runs picks or hunches. Looking at their eventual Test career performance, there’s little to choose between the two types – the Root route or the Compton climb as I characterise them

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