Saturday, 6 September 2008

Wave on - it's a crazy feeling!

Apologies to Buddy Holly - and how many got that little musical reference in the title - but I'm very pleased that the amiable Jamaican Wavell Hinds has signed for next year with an option for 2010.

He hasn't really fired as a batsman this year, although there have been enough in his cameos to suggest a man with a lot to offer next time. His batting in the 20/20, when we had no overseas player, was excellent and he's played good innings in all competitions without going onto a real biggie.

Of course, its hardly been a year for vintage Caribbean strokeplay and few batsman have taken bowling apart on wickets that have primarily been slow and with plenty of help for the bowlers.

That does, of course make Chris Rogers' prolific form all the more laudable but he has more experience of English wickets than Wavell. If next summer is drier and wickets a little faster, we could see a full flowering of Hinds batting and it should be well worth watching.

We now know that his bowling lends a lot to the side too. There must have been a few counties looking at what our Kolpaks have done this season and wishing that their OVERSEAS player could have matched it. Langeveldt has been a diamond and is already on board for a second year, while Hinds has a batting average in excess of his bowling one and must therefore be considered as an all rounder who has contributed well. Those dibbly dobbly seamers must look so inviting but they've lured a few to their downfall now.

Not being privy to dressing room secrets, I can only accept what John Morris says about his positive attitude there and the likes of Paul Borrington, Dan Redfern and Jon Clare, all feeling their way into the first class game, can only learn from playing and training alongside Hinds, Rogers and Langeveldt.

The next thing is to sign up Rogers for 2009. After concerns about his ability to go on to big scores earlier in the season, Rogers is now second highest scorer in the country and has also scored well in one day cricket, supposedly his weaker suit. Confirming him for next season would be another thing to assure fans we are on the right track and Rogers has lost little in comparison with Michael di Venuto, so rightly revered among the fans. He may or may not want the captaincy, but I think we could do a lot worse and he certainly seems to thrive on it.

Regular readers will know how I dislike 20/20 but it is here to stay and I hope we keep some of the budget for players next season to sign an overseas player for the competition. We suffered this year for the lack of an explosive short innings player and must address that for next year. A Loots Bosman, Shaun Marsh, James Hopes or Andrew Symonds would possibly be the difference between the knockout stages and nowhere. With a couple of other recruits, good ones, over the winter months we can look forward to 2009 with a good deal of relish.

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