Monday, 27 July 2009

Further thoughts...

It is interesting to see how the voting is going on next year's professional need at this stage, with slightly more feeling that we need a batsman than a bowler.

Someone who came into my mind yesterday when I was doing a little random surfing was Aussie James Hopes, a good all rounder. A player who has not yet made the Australian Test side but is a regular in the one-day set up, bowls good brisk fast medium and is a regular "death" bowler. He also opens the batting in one day cricket, especially Twenty/20.

The Queenslander hasn't the most spectacular statistics, averaging around 30 with both bat and ball, but at 31 he is coming to his peak. Crucially, he may be affordable. He is not quite so high profile as Andrew Symonds and Shane Watson, but carries less baggage than the former and is less injury prone than the latter.

Many of you may recall he was lined up to play for us in 2007 but required a shoulder operation. At the time he said that he had always wanted to play County cricket and was bitterly disappointed at missing out.

Hopes would at that time have been a Dave Houghton signing so I don't know how John Morris rates him, but he could be another option for the county for 2010.

So too might fellow all rounder Andrew McDonald, four years Hopes' junior but pushing for a place in the Australian side. He had a good game against Northamptonshire in the recently completed fixture, scoring a quick 75 and taking 4-15 in 11 overs. I've heard stories that Leicestershire were lining him up for 2010 but have no idea of the accuracy of those stories.

Who knows? If Chris Rogers earned a recall this winter we may yet see Buck at the County Ground next season, but there'll be a few ideas floating around in the coming months...

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