Friday, 31 July 2009

Jim Allenby

Well, we've won the toss and elected to bat at Canterbury, so its all up to the batsmen now to set a solid base for this game.

Speaking of batsmen, it was interesting to read last night that Jim Allenby has probably played his last game for Leicestershire after rejecting a new contract. Especially interesting as the Leicester Mercury last night said that "Kent, Northamptonshire and Derbyshire were all supposed to be interested in Allenby".

If that was all, I'd fancy our chances. I think we're a better side than Northamptonshire, especially when one removes the South African contingent next season, while Kent have a strong side. Whether he fancies a move down south is anyone's guess (though its a lovely part of the country) and despite his protestations to the contrary, money talks. I would be amazed if Warwickshire, Durham and Lancashire weren't in the chase too, as well as Nottinghamshire. Lancashire may well see him as a replacement for Francois du Plessis, while Nottinghamshire want someone to replace Mark Ealham.

I've said on this blog before that I really like him and would love to see him at Derby, but it is a sign of how we are improving as a side that one asks the question - who would he replace?

For me, he is like for like with Greg Smith, but the South African-born player is much improved and gives good balance to the side. Wavell has done really well this season and Dan Redfern is one of the country's brightest talents, while Garry Park has also had a solid first full season. There are many periods in our recent history where Allenby would have walked into any of the batting positions, so that in itself is a sign of our improvement. His career record is not spectacular, but mid-30's for an aggressive batsman is still acceptable and in one day cricket he has found his forte as a punishing hitter at the top of the order, while bowling tight medium pace at the end of the innings

He is, apparently, available for the remainder of this season and would give a great boost to our promotion hopes, but I would be truly astonished, not to mention seriously impressed, if he ended up at Derby.

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