We think Liam Plunkett’s still worth watching. He’s 23 this week. It’s a little bit early to be discarding him.
Ordinarily a promising young English seam bowler could expect to spend the winter with what was the England A team and is now the England Lions. Plunkett did so, but before Christmas he did a little bit extra. He signed up to play for The Dolphins in South Africa. Assuming no bestial confusion arises in poor Plunkett’s mind, we think this was a great move.
Playing in South Africa was the making of Matthew Hoggard, who spent a couple of years with Free State in his youth. Hopefully it’ll have a similar effect on Plunkers. It’s not just the unfamiliar conditions, it’s the independence and the expectation that you have to prove your worth as an overseas signing. Plunkett took 12 wickets at 30.75, which is nowt special, but the experience might mean more than that.
Liam Plunkett’s had a bit of a go at international cricket and he appears to have liked it. He’s going out of his way to improve himself as a cricketer and that can never be bad, particularly when it’s allied to talent – which Plunkett does have. You don’t get picked for England at 20 without being half decent.