Wednesday, 18 May 2011

150,0000 (and counting)

Who'da thunk it eh? The blog has now had 150,000 hits, proving that interest in Derbyshire cricket is alive and well and living in ....well, lots of places really. I was thrilled to get to a thousand and each successive one seems to get faster, so thanks to all of you for your continued interest. I'm sure you don't always (ever?) agree with what I write, but I'm pleased that you keep coming back for more!

Well, a day after the Dutch draw, time for reflection. Someone mailed me to say they thought it was a point gained, which at the start of the final over looked unlikely, but I still see it as a point lost. For me, a team that can beat Sussex, Yorkshire and Worcestershire should be able to beat Holland/Netherlands/ whatever they like to be called. No arguments. While they are an improving side and have players who have first class experience elsewhere, a first-class county should still have enough to beat them. Had we done that at Derby and yesterday we'd have been sitting so pretty that we'd be asked out on dates...

Having said that, they are the strongest of the so-called minnows and I fancy that we would do better against Scotland or the Unicorns (please God, let us have the Jocks next year so I get a home game...) It is also worth saying that our destiny still lies in our own hands and we have still to play Middlesex and Kent twice, as well as return fixtures against Yorkshire and Worcestershire at Derby.

Remember too that for those games, the first of which is at the end of July, we will be undoubtedly strengthened by the presence of Martin Guptill, an experienced international batsman with 52 one-day internationals behind him and considerable success. It was always going to be difficult for Usman Khawaja to line up the ball  in English early season conditions and we have not yet seen him at his best, with the exception of the game at Worcester. He is far from alone in this and I well remember the early struggles of Greg Chappell at Somerset and Glenn Turner at Worcestershire, neither of who turned out bad players.

Khawaja still has time to make an impression in the Championship and T20 and as a dedicated professional will be working hard to do so. I suspect that the experience will do him more good in the long term than it has thus far shown, but he is a player of talent and I hope we see him in full flow before his time with us ends.

It is also worth saying that the fact that we are now complaining about a tie and 'only' second in the group is a fair measure of improvement. I totally agree with Karl Krikken that we lost a grip on the game yesterday when Bukhari was the only player to score with any freedom in their powerplay. Even from a distance, four an over on an awkward track needed players to apply themselves and no one really got going in a mediocre batting effort.

As alluded to by a couple of comments on last night's post, maybe we need to rethink when the tournament starts again and move Garry Park up the order. I think that having Guptill opening will make a difference anyway and Chesney Hughes' recent travails can't go on much longer. Logic suggests that Guptill and Khawaja will open in the T20 with Durston at three, Hughes at four, Madsen at five and Smith at six. I'd then be inclined to go with Park's all round option at seven, the skipper at eight and Jones and Groenewald in there too.

That would leave one place. I would think Yorkshire will recall Azeem Rafiq for the T20, so we will either need to look at another seamer, the spin of Jake Needham or the all round talents of Ross Whiteley.

Not a bad team and one that, like the Pro 40 side, has the capability to do pretty well. It will need everyone on top of their game though. A return to the intensity pre-Sussex and Netherlands is required and imperative.

First though its Canterbury and the Championship next week. A good display there and we'll all be on the happy pills again.

Have a good evening.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

A great website! I love the polls. I am not not quite sure on whether the title for the existing one is right though. Do we really know if it was Grant who sacked Morris or the committee who sacked him?

Marc said...

Some interesting thoughts there peakfan,as always. Alot will happen between now and the resumption of the cb40,so i suppose we shall have to review things nearer the time. One thing i cant understand is the reluctance to play Jake Needham. We are desperatly short of a quality slow bowler and have often paid the price for the absence of one. Whether Needham has what it takes is a open to debate,but we would have a much clearer idea of that if he was given an extended run in the team. We can,t keep him wrapped up forever and if those in charge feel he isn,t good enough,we must look elswhere. Amongst other things,a good spinner has to be at the forefront of the clubs priorities.
The selection of Whiteley for our last championship game was baffling. He must have fielded the ball more than he bowled it!. I can conclude he was selected by Morris against the wishes of Sutton.

Marc said...

By the way peakfan,congratulations on achieving such an amazing number of hits (makes you sound like a pop star). You,ve got a good blog here,long may it continue.

Notoveryet said...

We might be waiting to see a definitive turn around on the field, but has anyone else noticed the difference in communication and openness with the media around the club in the past few days. We're regularly hearing transparent and honest analysis from Sutton, Jones and Krikken, rather than the intermittent tedious, dispiriting and blame-shifting litany of "we're poor", "we tell the players but they don't listen" etc of the last regime that told me unequivocally that no-one was applying a critical analysis to failures, still less knowing how to rectify them.

Of course, it's one thing to identify the weaknesses (we can all do that) and talk openly about them (we definitely all do that) and yet another to do anything about them. But isn't it refreshing to have open communication, and long may it continue. Who knows, we may again hear Derbyshire cricketers joining radio commentators (preferably not Charles Collins however) to provide some professional perspective to what is happening.

Peakfan said...

Thanks as always for your comments guys. In answer to Anon's comment, Chris Grant sacked John Morris but the detail is not yet clear and he presumably had committee backing.
Yes, communications are improved (coincidence?) and as for Jake Needham, he's had a few technical issues as a result of trying different things in the winter. There's no merit to him sorting them in the Firsts, so he's getting plenty of bowling at club and Second XI level.
He'll come again, its just a blip!

Marc said...

Fair enough peakfan. I suppose the only remaining question is how long can we afford to give him to get it right?. I hope he makes the grade,but as ever,time will no doubt tell.

As notoveryet states,communication from within the club management was extremely poor in the past,so any improvement is a step in the right direction. Its easy to appraise when things are going well, but has much more value when the opposite is the case.

Peakfan said...

Jake is contracted to the end of next season. If he's going to make it we'll have an idea by then.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the amount of hits the website is getting. I like the polls and as the existing poll is decisive can we have a new one? I would like a yes or no answer to the following question;
Do supporters think that the whole of the playing staff wanted John Morris and Andy Brown sacked immediately?
I am not so sure that they all did. Half of the players had John Morris rescue their careers and the other half had just signed contracts being very happy to play for him.

Anonymous said...

I dont think anyone can answer the first part of your question because none of us really know the answer. As for the second part,you are right that Morris gave several player the opportunity to play professional cricket,but that doesn,t necessarily mean they liked him. Nobody is going to cut off their noses to spite their face,so if its a choice of continuing playing county cricket or not doing,which are they going to pick?. After all,you cant see many other counties falling over themselves to sign them,can you?.

Anonymous said...

Fair points so lets get the poll going and ask fans what they think?

Marc said...

I dont think anyone here can answer the first part of your question because we simply dont know. As to the second part,you are right in stating that Morris gave several players the opportunity to start or continue in professional cricket. However,that does not necessarily mean they liked him or even got on with him. Nobody is going to cut off their nose to spite their face,so if its a case of playing county cricket or not,which are they going to choose?. It,s hard to imagine many other counties falling over themselves to sign them on anyway. Just my thoughts,maybe others will disagree.

Marc said...

Sorr for publishing twice. A technical error at my end!.

Anonymous said...

If the club are going to end this Morris v Sutton saga and come out of it with any credability then they need to appoint some nuetral solictors to carry out a full investigation of what happened and then make their findings public.

Peakfan said...

Sorry Anon, I'm not running a poll on those lines as you may as well ask if people believe in dragons, or fairies at the bottom of the garden.
Whatever has happened will come out in good time when lawyers have presumably been involved on either side. Whether we want it to happen quicker is immaterial - the wheels of justice will turn at their own pace.

Anonymous said...

With John Morris having many friends at the County Ground the chances are that he will already know which player stitched him up!

Anonymous said...

The two people who know the truth will be the player who started the player revolt and who is hardly likely to own up and John Morris who has probably been gagged by the club!

Peakfan said...

No, if there's a possibility of legal proceedings Morris will have been gagged by a lawyer.

Marc said...

The Morris/Brown era is done and dusted. The chairman clearly felt the situation demanded immediate action and ,presumably,having consulted other committee members took the decision to sack them both. That decision is irreversable,no matter what people may think or say. Dressing room discontent rarely stays in the dressing room and it must have reached the chairmans ears otherwise he wouldn,t have consulted the captain and the players.Yes,there may have been some players who saw it as an opportunity to jump on the bandwagon but it is abundantly clear there was little or no support for Morris or Brown from within the dressing room. The chairman had to act. There would have been little point in allowing the two to see out their contracts with such an undercurrent of discontent. We all need to focus on the future now,which, if we know Derbyshire, will definatly not be plain sailing.

Peakfan said...

Totally agree Marc!

notoveryet said...

I'm not sure m'learned friends will necessarily make much money out of this. As I understand it, no-one has been sacked and the existing contracts will run their course as long as neither Morris nor Brown has breached them in some way, which seems unlikely. There's a big difference between being dismissed and being asked to take gardening leave until the contract expires. My guess is that the latter is the likelier scenario, and if there is any legal action, it might be about damage to reputation as a result of the club's actions.

In which case comments here and elsewhere might become evidence, so all the more reason to move on.

Anonymous said...

Great gesture by Peter Gadsby, Rams loss our gain! He was at the AGM and I would like him back on the committee. His first job could be to conduct an enquiry on what really happened with the sacking of Morris and Brown as the fans need to know. There are too many rumours floating around the County Ground on what really happened and these continue to harm the club.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know how Jake Needham is bowling for his club side?