King Cricket’s county players to watch in 2012

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3 minute read

Right, let’s get this over with.

First, let’s restate the qualification criteria:

  • Qualified to play for England
  • No established internationals
  • Youngish
  • Playing in the first division of the County Championship

Think that’s it. There might be other things. Who knows? Presumably us, but we don’t like to scrutinise the workings of our own mind in case we damage it. We reserve the right to apply further criteria later on if we feel like it.

Nick Compton, Somerset

Nick Compton was actually one to watch way back in 2007, but he didn’t really drink from the cup of runs quite as we’d predicted. We’re not entirely sure why he’s returned this year. Maybe because he’s a pretty dour batsman. In a side featuring Trescothick, Hildreth, Buttler and Kieswetter, we’re obviously going to watch the guy who inches along at 1.5 runs an over. It’s less distracting.

Steven Croft, Lancashire

We always pick at least one Lancashire player and it’s actually not because we’re biased. No, really, it isn’t. Even from an unbiased point of view we’d pick a Lancashire player each year. They just happen to have a lot of people who fit the criteria at the minute. Anyway, we’ve decided to drop Oliver Newby in the hope that this gets him back in the team and we’ve replaced him with Steven Croft who always seems to score 62 when Lancashire don’t make it to 200. This, to us, is a good sign.

Steven Davies, Surrey

Surrey like to import their players and frankly we were a bit irritated with them having kept England’s next wicketkeeper out of the first division for the last few years. Thankfully, they’ve been promoted, so we can start watching him again. Davies is a ‘one to watch’ veteran of 2008 and 2009. Both were mediocre vintages. They’ve all been mediocre vintages. That’s half the point.

Joe Denly, Middlesex

Sod it. Why not? It’s Denly or come up with someone new and you know how we feel about that kind of thing (we’ll go on the record and admit that ‘ones to watch’ selection has been a bit slapdash this year). Joe Denly’s nickname’s No Pants and he’s been one to watch before so we won’t have to remember another name. It’s good enough for us. Bit irritated about having to look for him in a different team now, but we’re sure we’ll be in the swing of things by August.

Paul Horton, Lancashire

2009, 2010 and 2011. He’s never quite made it worth our while, but our reasoning remains the same: surely someone in the Lancashire side has to score some runs sooner or later. We’re still pretty sure that Paul Horton’s most likely.

Simon Kerrigan, Lancashire

Yes, okay, it’s another Lancastrian, but come on – he’s worth watching. You know what? We don’t care anyway. It’s our website. You want to spend your time squinting to make out the stumpy figure of James Taylor along with everyone else, be our guest. Pretty sure there’ll be plenty of fawning articles peppered with the word ‘class’ to keep you occupied all summer long. We’ll be watching Simon Kerrigan taking stacks of wickets for the second XI while Gary Keedy whirdles away for another season. And yes, ‘whirdles’ is a word. Okay, maybe it isn’t. We’re just getting a bit snappy and defensive. Sorry, we don’t mean it. Well, we do a bit, but it’s not you specifically. We’re just a bit tired and irritable and we haven’t eaten for a few hours and we get tetchy when our blood sugar’s low.

Ben Stokes, Durham

Best crack on, eh? Nearly there. We said Ben Stokes would be fully amazing last year. And he was. Then he played for England and he wasn’t. We haven’t actually asked anyone about this, but we’re pretty sure everyone thinks he’s rubbish now. He isn’t. Watch. Unless he’s rubbish, in which case don’t.

The end. Thank God that’s over.


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  1. No-doubt these players are brilliant and one of my favorite and best time is Lancashire and my all wishes are always with Lancashire.

    1. See! livescore’s happy with the situation.

      Why can’t the rest of you be more like livescore?

    2. Because they’re not Lancashire fans, KC. They’re bitter Warwickshire fans. Not everyone can be as intelligent, charming and goddamned handsome as livescore clearly is.

    3. Few of us have access to up to date scores and fixtures for such a wide range of sports as he does, that is for sure.

  2. Seems more like a ‘Ones to Watch Greatest Non-Hits’ this year.

    Sorry, just felt like bringing the mood down after livescore’s bullish optimism.

    1. It’s always a ‘Ones to Watch Greatest Non-Hits’ – that’s the way it works. We picked a dozen players in 2006 and then gradually the majority of them were selected for England until we’re now left with Nick Compton and a handful of other no-marks.

      What? You want us to come up with something new?

      No way.

  3. Hang on, aren’t you just ‘subconsciously’ picking Compton because he’s got a couple of hundreds already this season? I’d say he’s shot his very slow bolt, and Hildreth is the one to watch in the cider county.

    1. We picked Hildreth last year and never really warmed to looking at his name on a scorecard. We’re going back to Compton.

      Is that an NWA track? Going Back to Compton?

  4. I do not and retroactively have never given a fuck about the first division. Yorkshire are simply ahead of the trend.

  5. AS many of you know, I campaigned long and hard (best part of 7 months) for The Connaught and Claridges to serve throdkin, so far to no avail:

    After Lancashire CCC’s feeble first match of the CC this year, I simply cannot justify continuing my throdkin campaign.

    I thought that KC would, similarly, dump one or two of the Lancastrian so-called-hopefuls from his watch list. No such luck.

    I think you should add one more criterion to your list, KC – possession of a double-barreled name. I believe that would make the list comprise:
    Toby Roland-Jones;
    Rory Hamilton-Brown.


    1. There is also Olly Hannon-Dalby, the first man with a double barreled name to take a five-for for Yorkshire CCC Club.

  6. I would like to nominate Moeen Ali of Worcestershire. He’s not particularly good with the bat or with the ball, but he has a tremendous beard, and that’s good enough for me.

    1. I fast run out of superlatives for Moeen Ali’s beard.

      Or, as KP would put it, I am literally speechless…

  7. If I can suggest, I think your criteria aren’t quite right. For maximum success, try these instead:

    •Qualified to play for England
    •No established internationals
    •Playing in the Currie Cup

  8. In five years time, which of these bright young things will have gone on to become the next James Benning? My money is on Kerrigan.

  9. Ya boo sucks, pish & tosh to this first division only rubbish!

    Happily ignoring that, I shall trumpet our double-barreled Daniel Bell-Drummond, recently returned from England U19 duty. In 5 games he scored 287 at 95.66.

    Distinct lack of beard, though in my eyes that is a not insubstantial plus.

    1. I would like to put the case forward for a young Warwickshire batsman by the name of Ian Ronald-Bell.

      Mark my words, he’s one to watch.

  10. You’re all wrong. You should be watching Ned Eckersley. Purely for the name. England’s next next wicket keeper.

  11. Laurence Elderbrook (Jnr)made his debut for Middlesex Under 15s last week. Could be one to watch. The game was cancelled for some reason.

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