Tag: Rikki Clarke

How did Warwickshire win the 2012 County Championship?

By being better than everyone else. They’ve won a few matches and when they haven’t won, they’ve generally drawn. They’ve only lost once. That’s easily enough to win the County Championship in a wet summer.

Batting

One thing Warwickshire players have been particularly good at this year is hitting the ball using their cricket bats. When no other side could bat out a session at the start of the season, Warwickshire did – and they’ve pretty much just carried on all season.

In all, nine different players have hit hundreds and they have 18 centuries between them. By way of contrast, last year’s champions, Lancashite (sic), have six hundreds and only three players have made it to three figures.

Similarly, Warwickshire have eight players averaging over 40 this year; Lancashire have three averaging over 30 – one of whom is number 10 batsman, Kyle Hogg, who has eight not outs to his name. However, the Warwickshire magic is best exemplified by loan signing, Big Fat Ian Blackwell.

Big Fat Ian Blackwell played five matches for Durham this season and averaged 17. In three matches for Warwickshire, he averages 61.33.

Bowling

Warwickshire have also been pretty good at preventing their opponents from hitting the ball properly using their bats. Quite often, the ball has hit only a little bit of the bat, on the edge, and the ball has then gone backwards and been snaffled by a slyly-positioned fielder.

Some say that the men doing the bowling have been encouraging this to happen by making the ball do funny things after they’ve let go of it. We cannot confirm this, but Keith Barker and Chris Wright have both taken over 50 wickets at an average in the low 20s, while Jeetan Patel took 46 at a similar average.

All-rounders

No, we’re not talking about Big Fat Ian Blackwell (although he is an all-rounder as well as being all round). We’re talking about Chris Woakes and Rikki Clarke. Woakes has averaged 87.75 with the bat and 23.32 with the ball. Clarke has averaged 46.13 with the bat and 26.50 with the ball.

You could throw in Tim Ambrose as well, we suppose. The wicketkeeper has averaged 44.50 this season and that is undoubtedly ‘a good thing’ because Ambrose had a right flop after being dropped by England and ended up getting dropped by Warwickshire as well. Good on him for not descending into forlorn debauchery, playing Jenga for money and selling spokey-dokeys on the black market.

Did Warwickshire do anything wrong?

Yes, they are guilty of false advertising. The Warwickshire players are not actual bears. If you go to a match expecting ursine sporting entertainment, you are going to be SORELY disappointed.


Rikki Clarke resigns Derbyshire captaincy

Even by our knee-high standards Rikki Clarke’s selection as ‘one to watch’ has been ill-judged.

Rikki Clarke - remind us his images are still filed under 'Surrey'He has been worth watching in a faintly soap opera kind of way, we suppose. It’s one thing to play badly (in the second division), it’s another to resign the captaincy, but it’s really going some to drop yourself – which is what Rikki did at one point this season.

We’ll discard him for next season and he’ll turn into Don Bradman and Waqar Younis’s bastard offspring, just you watch.


Rikki Clarke, Derbyshire

Don’t laugh. We’ll admit it is a bit counter-intuitive, but we’re intrigued.

Rikki Clarke was picked for England at a young age and while he didn’t disgrace himself, his bowling clearly wasn’t international standard, so he’s something of a figure of fun. Last year, both his batting and bowling aspired to ‘not quite international standard’ as he wallowed in underachievement at Surrey.

So, the obvious solution was for Rikki Clarke to go and take the Derbyshire captaincy. Is it change just for the sake of it? Who knows? Let’s watch and find out.

And if nothing does happen, let’s quietly edit the website that there’s no mention of Rikki Clarke being One To Watch and pretend that none of this happened.

Other players to watch in 2008.


Rikki Clarke joins Derbyshire as captain

Rikki Clarke - oh yes it isIn the county cricket club fashion stakes, Derbyshire languish somewhere near the bottom. Whenever anyone needs to depict the mundane, life’s-going-on-elsewhere nature of early-season County Championship matches, they always pick on Derbyshire.

That’s unfair in much the same way as ‘it rains in Manchester’ jibes are. The whole bloody island’s wet. And as far as playing at Derby in May’s concerned, all early-season County Championship matches are as maudlin as off-season Sundays in Redcar.

It’s like comparing The Cheeky Girls’ respective appearances. Consider the bigger picture. They’re both incredibly close together; way, way down near the bottom of the hierarchy, in the section marked ‘faces like busted frogs’.

Anyway, we’re still slightly surprised that Rikki Clarke‘s leaving Surrey for Derbyshire. If there were a trendy county – and there isn’t – it’d be Surrey (or maybe Hampshire) and as we said, Derbyshire are, er, not cool.

Rikki’s going to be captain though. He doubtless thinks it’ll help his England chances in the same way that it helped Rob Key’s. Eh? Oh.


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