Tag: Paul Horton

King Cricket’s county players to watch in 2012

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. Continue reading

2011 County Championship players to watch review

Suppose we should take a look at how our 2011 County Championship players to watch fared.

Adam Lyth, Yorkshire

553 runs at 26.33

Yeah, that’s pretty shoddy.

James Hildreth, Somerset

893 runs at 38.82

That’s okay.

Ben Stokes, Durham

628 runs at 48.30 and 17 wickets at 33.00

Three hundreds, five sixes in five balls against Hampshire and selection for England. We’ll have that one.

Adil Rashid, Yorkshire

556 runs at 24.17 and 39 wickets at 43.38

Less than amazing, but we’re not losing faith in him, even if we’ll have to ignore him next year because he’ll be in the second division. Life isn’t slow, steady progress, it’s fits and starts and going backwards and forgetting where your car keys are and having a pain in your knee and not knowing whether that hoummus is okay to eat or not – THAT’S what life is.

Adil Rashid is 23-years-old. Writing off leg-spinners or batsmen when they’re 23 is moronic. Shane Warne made his Test debut at 23 and took 1-150. Rashid still has a long career ahead of him.

Paul Horton, Lancashire

1,040 runs at 37.14

That doesn’t read all that impressively and nor did Horton hit any hundreds, but it’s worth looking at the context. Horton scored the most runs for Lancashire this season. Being as Lancashire won more games than anyone, clearly Horton was making runs that mattered, it was just that they were low-scoring games.

A run doesn’t have a set value, it varies depending on the match. Paul Horton had a good season, although that would be a bit more obvious if he’d managed to add a handful to any of his biggest innings. At various points this year, he hit 93, 94, 95, 96, 97 and 99.

Oliver Newby, Lancashire

Eight wickets at 32.50

Didn’t break either leg at any point this season.

County Championship players to watch in 2011

County Championship only. First division only.

We’re also lumping them all together in one post this year, because multiple posts feels like quite a big commitment.

Adam Lyth, Yorkshire

Our reasons for picking batsmen to watch are invariably the same: they’re young and we’ve got a general sense that they score runs when other people don’t, even though we haven’t really looked into it properly.

James Hildreth, Somerset

Hildreth is a rare exception. He just scores a lot of runs.

Ben Stokes, Durham

See Adam Lyth to a greater degree, but with less evidence.

Adil Rashid, Yorkshire

We watch him every year. We reckon he could take one million wickets this year. Probably no more than that though.

Paul Horton, Lancashire

We had him as one to watch in both 2009 and 2010, so we’re sticking with him through thin-and-thin. He also averaged 70 for Matabeleland Tuskers over the winter and we enjoyed writing the start of this sentence, whatever it meant.

Oliver Newby, Lancashire

This has ball-all to do with cricket and everything to do with the fact that we just fundamentally like Oliver Newby. He hasn’t got broken legs this year and we are hoping we can spur him to great feats through sheer force of will.

Paul Horton: first-class batsman to watch in 2010

Paul Horton in a rare 2009 bat-raisingLike Will Smith, Paul Horton’s another who had a 2009 season of less than unbridled success. He did hit 173 in one match, but didn’t do much else.

However, if there’s one thing we’ve learnt with these Ones To Watch, it’s that they’re devious bastards and always slip in a duff season just before they come good, thereby escaping from our one-watching claws at the crucial moment. Graeme Swann, we’re looking at you.

So let’s stick with Paul Horton through thin-and-thin, just like we did with that film that said it was going to be Knight Rider in the TV guide, but which didn’t feature a single car in it and was clearly a different film, but which the eight-year-old us watched anyway, hoping the whole of the first hour would turn out to be a Michael Knight dream.

Paul Horton masters one-day cricket

Horton's crackage is lauded by the crowdIn his first 23 one-day innings, Paul Horton passed 50 once. Now he’s got the format cracked. Take that The Friends Provident Trophy! Consider yourself and any other 50-over competitions CRACKED.

It seems like only last week we were writing about Paul Horton’s first one-day hundred and now here we are writing about his second.

Successive one-day hundreds. Will we cover this second one more comprehensively in honour of the achievement?

Will we balls.

Paul Horton hit another one-day hundred.

That’s all you’re getting.

Paul Horton’s first one-day hundred

Paul Horton hit a hundredPakistan v Australia? The England Test squad? The IPL?

No, we’re going to cover an early season one-day match between Lancashire and Northamptonshire that happened at the weekend and we’re going to cover it by saying ‘Paul Horton hit a hundred’ and nothing more.

Paul Horton hit a hundred.

Join us tomorrow to hear how Mike Gatting hit 15 not out in a second eleven game back in 1984 when he was coming back from injury.

Paul Horton, Lancashire – one to watch in 2009

Paul Horton from a bit back because we can't be bothered saving down a new imageLancashire’s batsmen were full-on toss last year. Pretty much the sole exception was Paul Horton.

Paul Horton is an opening batsman and that’s a position where Lancashire have been short of class for a while now. He’s also 26, which is pretty reassuring in a side which has had a mild-drinking, slipper-wearing batting line-up in recent years.

Last year Paul Horton hit a hundred that stood out like a sore thumb in a mini skirt at a black tie event for undamaged fingers. No other player got going in the whole match. Maybe that’s not what’s needed in Test cricket these days. Maybe you need batsmen who consistently cash in on flat pitches.

We reckon Horton could do that too. He averages 47 in first-class cricket and in our eyes he’s a very real contender for an England place. However, a one-day average of 18 and a Twenty20 average half that seem to block his most likely avenues.

Sod avenues, Paul. Walk right down the middle of the main road. Ignore the horns. Ignore the glares. Ignore the fat man shouting ‘get off the road, you dickhead’. You take your own route, regardless of any possible intervention from a police officer.

Lancashire batsmen who are good

Paul Horton.

That is all.

Put it this way, Iain Sutcliffe has been keeping Mark Chilton out of the side and Sutcliffe’s been batting so unbelievably wretchedly that he’s actually gone so far as to retire from cricket. His season average of 14 is superior to Chilton’s 12.

However, both can look down on the man we’d have said was Lancashire’s best batsman at the start of the season. Mal Loye has hit 103 runs in 12 innings.

Overseas locum, Lou Vincent, averages 25 this year. Francois du Plessis has done well enough to be awarded a contract extension – he’s averaging 26.5 (although he does seem pretty good).

Stuart Law has somehow found a way of conquering statistics. He’s managing to average 40, even though he’s only hit one hundred and three fifties in 16 innings.

Lancashire have been heading this way since 2003 and they’ve done sod all about it. There’s nobody to replace these non-achievers. When Lancashire drop a batsman all that happens is everyone below moves up a spot and the new player comes in at eight.

How they were in with the faintest chance of winning the title after being 100-4 or worse in every single match is beyond comprehension.

Paul Horton scores while bigger names don’t

Paul Horton from ages agoLancashire 143 (thanks to Mark Davies), Durham 114 (thanks to James Anderson and Andrew Flintoff), Lancashire 293 and Durham 28-3 (Flintoff again).

As it stands, that 293 looks out of place. What happened?

It was Paul Horton, Lancashire’s opener. No-one else in the match has passed 40. Horton made 108 before being run out.

For pace bowlers, all-rounders and depending on the overseas pro, spinners, Lancashire have been disgustingly rich for years, but their openers have been mediocre.

We like Mark Chilton and we like Iain Sutcliffe, even if we can’t bear to watch the latter bat, but neither is exceptional. Mark Chilton’s career average is 32. Sutcliffe’s is nearly 35. After 30 matches, Paul Horton averages 50.

Unsurprisingly, Horton was born in Sydney. He went to school in Liverpool though and yes, he’s aiming to play for England.

Cue comments from Australia about England not producing its own cricketers and retaliation from England about Australians not really doing so either, when you think about it – as well as something about dingos.

Who cares? The important thing is that we’re taking sides and arguing with each other and really, at the end of the day, isn’t that what it’s all about?

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