Stuart Meaker and England selection

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No, we aren't bothered Stuart Meaker was born in Pietermaritzburg, if that's what you're wondering

In years gone by, you wouldn’t have trusted the England selectors to identify the best cricketer on an episode of A Question Of Sport, but this batch, led by Geoff Miller, has earned respect. Even so, it doesn’t pay to get too clever.

Earlier this year, we said that Stuart Meaker was the only Surrey player we were interested in. We still are interested, but that doesn’t mean he’s England material right now this minute.

Meaker has been on England’s fast bowling programme for the last couple of years, so presumably the selectors feel they know him well enough. However, just as players shouldn’t be selected based on averages that can be skewed by a multitude factors, nor should they be identified based solely on their performances under lab conditions.

Meaker took 44 wickets at 22 in first-class cricket this season. Very good, but not exceptional and with that familiar proviso that he was bowling in the second division. However, he’s been selected for a one-day squad and he has taken just 19 one-day wickets in his entire career.

England’s selectors usually know what they’re doing, but we only hope they aren’t getting ahead of themselves. It might not seem like it with there being a match every other day, but international experience is a valuable commodity. It shouldn’t be spread around too liberally. Matt Dawson shouldn’t get a game, for example and Bill Beaumont DEFINITELY shouldn’t.


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


Why risk it when it's so easy to sign up?


  1. And marvellously, he’s South African, so we can look forward to another round of hilarious jokes on the subject.

    1. No I’m done, it’s more or less expected that naturally born Englishmen are the exception rather than the rule in the English team.
      I wouldn’t want to boer you with any more jokes.

  2. Slingy and pacey – sounds just the ticket for Indian conditions.

    Jimmy is now proven as ineffective with the white ball on those surfaces, so why not blood a young player who looks suitable for same?

    I can’t believe I am bigging up a Surrey player, but there you go. The alternatives just don’t seem, to me, to be horses for those particular courses.

    Surprising but perhaps wise selection.

    1. This is true. Any fast bowler with promise has to be sent to India to bowl to Sehwag. We know the game of cricket is bowler friendly – we don’t want the bastards to get too cocky.

  3. It’s what he brings to the squad that matters, and clearly what he brings to the squad is access via his dad’s firm to Timothy Claypole, Hazel MacWitch, Dobbin and Nadia Popov. When a team is getting away a bit, 120 for 0 after 15 overs, Claypole can just turn the bats into fish or something – see them try to score quickly with a fish in their hands, they won’t be able to that’s for sure. The grass won’t be good for Nadia Popov, though.

    1. The grass is perfect for Dobbin, Bert. Not sure how he’d go down with the Indian fans mind you, after Nasser’s comments a few weeks back.

  4. Just WHY can’t Bill Beaumont play for England? He was good enough to win 34 caps playing that strange game with the squashed ball.

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