We’re mostly talking about Dan Lawrence this week

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3 minute read

A single player like Dan Lawrence moving from one club to another is quite a big deal. That might seem odd in a world where the biggest cricket tournament won’t be permitting its teams to keep any more than five players from their squads at the end of this season, but it’s true.

Unlike the IPL, county cricket doesn’t hold a “mega auction” every three years with almost everyone up for grabs again. Players do move around a bit, but it’s not enforced and quite a few stay put for their entire careers.

Lawrence seemed like he might be one of them, but after 200-and-odd games for Essex, he toddled off to Surrey in the close season.

Essex have won two of the last half dozen County Championships and Surrey have won three. Most recently the latter pushed the former down into second place, so on the face of it this move takes something from the lighter side of the scales and drops it on the heavier side.

Compounding this is the fact that Essex lean heavily on their main players. We made reference last year to how their same-old, same-old foundations for success contrast with Surrey’s Borg-based approach.

So why move?

While Lawrence has picked up 11 Test caps since his debut in 2021, he’s mostly been making a name for himself as an inked-in 12th man.

Test cricket has been tantalisingly within touching distance and so Lawrence has thought to himself that maybe batting on flatter Oval pitches might lengthen his arms enough that he can properly grab a full Test spot, allowing him to burn his hi-visibility tabard of squad membership in celebration.

That was the plan, but then Surrey took one look at the Dan Lawrence bowling action and quite correctly concluded, “this is a thing we need to see much more of.”

So it was that he took 4-91 at Old Trafford in the first round of matches and 3-76 against Somerset last week.

He also made an unbeaten fifty in that second match and he’s now followed that up with 112 against Kent, batting at three.

Things are going well.

Where does that leave Essex?

So far… top of the table.

After Sam Cook’s Kookaburra miracles in the first week, Essex have now dispatched Lancashire with (a) the Dukes and (b) consummate ease. We suspect several Lancashire batters were put off by Shane Snater’s hair. (You’ll have to google it because it feels like including an image would sentence the King Cricket email to people’s junk mail folders.

Cloud County have also made efforts to replace Lawrence as a batter by experimenting with a new number three. Nighwatchery or not, Sam Cook has batted there twice in a row now. He made 49 the second time – which was considerably more than any Lancashire batter made in either innings.

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  1. Lancashire lost because they were bedazzled by Shane Snater’s hair is the worst excuse for batting failure since the historic e-mail from Charley The Gent Malloy to me, claiming that he was bedazzled by my new whites.

    That thought sent me to my e-archive, enabling me to write the following match report…


    …while also confirming the purchase date of my “older than Rehan Ahmed” cricket troos – spring 2001.

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