If we weren’t actually first off the mark in lauding Tom Smith, we were there or thereabouts. He elicited that laudery by taking 3-29 on the first day of the 2006 season. Fortunately for us, Smith actually made his debut a year before, so we’re still not yet at the point where this website has spanned a player’s entire career. Give it time.
Smith becomes the second Lancastrian 2014 county player to watch to be forced into premature retirement by chronic back knack after Kyle Hogg failed to even see out that season.
It is sad. Smith had an extremely good 2014 and people finally started to notice a man whose name had never really helped his cause. He played for England Lions. He did well. The following season: back knack – and he never really recovered.
If there’s a silver lining, it’s the wafer thin possibility that Glen Chapple might be forced into a 2017 cameo as a result of an unexpected injury crisis. Glen managed to evade injury to such an extent that he managed to take 985 first-class wickets – about half of which came on the same rock hard Old Trafford pitch which shuddered Hogg and Smith’s bodies to a standstill.
Do it, Glen. Just nip in for one match and take a cheeky 15-for. Round it up.
Photo by Sarah Ansell
So we’re calling him out on it.
For every Shivnarine Chanderpaul, trying to convince people he’s still got it at the age of 40, there’s a Glen Chapple, sidling into a coaching position and inexplicably trying to convince everyone that he hasn’t still got it.
Chapple’s not fooling anyone.
Playing against Gloucestershire, he’s not opened the bowling and he batted at eleven. He made 29 not out off 13 balls and we fully expect him to prove his worth with the ball later today.
Presumably, the thinking is some sort of misguided ‘give youth a chance’ thing. Bollocks. Youth has plenty of chances. The whole sport’s geared up towards youth. People are forever getting selected on promise and potential. Give middle-age a chance, we say.
None of this self-effacing last-into-bat, coming-on-second-change cobblers. Get stuck in. Whippersnappers are there to be spanked by wily old gnarldogs. That’s the natural order of things. Do what you are meant to do, Glen, and don’t stop doing it until you are either 100 per cent grey or 100 per cent bald.
You give youth a chance and you end up having to come to terms with names like Fynn Hudson-Prentice. What the hell is that? This is something worth fighting to hold at bay.
Both good teams. Both good teams who wait until six wickets are down before scoring any runs. So far Lancashire are having the better of things, bowling Nottinghamshire out for 169 before producing a staggeringly huge 48-run opening stand. Our man Paul Horton still stands a chance of top-scoring for Lancashire, even though he was out for 24.
Despite the presence of Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann, we expect the Nottinghamshire wickets column to be dominated by Andre Adams – because it almost always is. He and Lancashire’s Glen Chapple have much in common. They don’t have much international experience and seem better players the deeper they get into their thirties. They make county cricket seem like a ‘dads v lads’ match where the dads are going all-out for victory.
Hurray for wily old gnarl-dogs. James Taylor’s dismissal by Glen Chapple must rank as the most inevitable of the season.
1992. It was the year that Jimmy Nail would top the charts with Ain’t No Doubt. It was also the year that Glen Chapple made his debut for Lancashire.
While the halcyon days of Spender and Crocodile Shoes are gone for Nail, Chapple soldiers on. He’s 37 now, but seems increasingly impervious to both age and physical ailments, hobbling off the field one minute, storming in off his full run the next. His solitary cap, against Ireland, was cut short when he got injured in the field. You wonder why he didn’t play on. He normally does.
This year Glen Chapple delivered the County Championship to Old Trafford – something that could only have been achieved by a man with little regard for whether things are or aren’t possible. Shitter players than him have won more England caps, but they haven’t captained Lancashire to glory, so Glen wins.
Some of you might have Chapple down as a journeyman. He isn’t. He’s the man who takes the wickets when his county needs them and he frequently scores the runs that matter too (never those that don’t).
County cricket is an almighty slog, but here are Chapple’s bowling figures for the last few seasons.
- 2007 – 47 wickets at 21.85
- 2008 – 42 wickets at 20.50
- 2009 – 35 wickets at 25.25
- 2010 – 52 wickets at 19.75
- 2011 – 55 wickets at 19.81
Sometimes his team was poor; sometimes it was okay. Only this year was it good. Chapple got wickets regardless. Chapple ALWAYS gets wickets. No half-arsed second division wickets either – those were all proper first division dismissals.
We just wanted to laud a very good cricketer at an opportune time. However, we will write posts about every other member of the Lancashire squad, unless someone comes up with a superhero name for Glen Chapple that meets with our approval.
Don’t think for one minute that we don’t like the wisened pile of freckles that is Glen Chapple.
We always moan about Lancashire’s ageing medium-pace all-rounders, but the truth is we’ve nothing against either Chapple or Dominic Cork. It’s just that having both of them clogs the side for younger players a bit – not that that’ll be a problem next season.
Glen Chapple made up for Lancashire’s shocking batting this week, by taking 6-40 to bowl out Kent for 92. He’d just hit 45 as well. When a man’s played his whole career for Lancashire and he can do that, how could we not like him?
When Chapple first appeared (with a ‘bing’ sound and a faint puff of smoke), everyone at Lancashire was adamant he’d play for England. It was accepted as a fact. Back then he was a fast bowler and was considered an exciting prospect.
Like most quick bowlers, he slowed but got more skilful while his batting improved a huge amount. He’s managed to maintain the exact level of performance required to warrant an A-tour for his entire career, first as a fast-bowler, then as a reliable line and length bowler and now as an all-rounder. But he’s never quite gone further than that. He played a single one-day international against Ireland in 2006.
This season he averages 25 with the bat, which puts him RIGHT UP THERE for Lancashire. He’s taken 37 wickets at 21 with the ball. This is pretty much your standard Glen Chapple season.