Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Contract entitlement

There have been a few comments flying around in recent days with regard to players who have or haven't justified contract offers  on the basis of second eleven performances. As is all too often the case, such comments are largely based on supposition and conjecture, rather than fact.

I like facts. A larger part of my professional career has been based around the provision of information  and statistics to justify service improvements and initiatives and when you dig deep you can often find some worthwhile figures.

To be fair, I didn't need to dig too deep on this occasion, as the information is out there. A glance at the statistics that matter - the Derbyshire Second XI championship batting averages in this case - tells you all you need to know about eligibility or 'worthiness' of contracts.

Name M Inns N/O Runs Avg Top 50s 100s S/r 4s 6s %Team Ct St R/O
PM Borrington 9 13 2 457 41.55 107 2 1 41.32 61 1 16.61 6 0 1
S Elstone 7 10 2 369 46.13 110 1 1 66.01 53 4 15.67 7 0 2
B Slater 5 8 0 279 34.88 80 2 0 48.44 35 0 15.28 3 0 1
TC Knight 8 7 2 172 34.40 54* 1 0 50.74 16 3 10.15 7 0 1
WJ Durston 3 4 1 164 54.67 97 1 0 65.34 22 2 18.22 3 0 0
BA Godleman 6 10 0 150 15.00 36 0 0 54.74 24 1 6.91 7 0 0

That top six run scorer list perhaps holds only one real surprise, the presence of Tom Knight, a fast-developing batsman who could push hard for inclusion in the senior side next summer if he continues to work hard. Wes Durston is in there, on the back of four innings, but the key statistics are those of the other four batsmen.

The figures make awkward reading for Billy Godleman, whose first eleven statistics bear a fairly direct correlation to those in the second team. He would have hoped for more than 150 runs from ten innings, with a highest of just 36.

Paul Borrington tops the run scoring chart and has a healthy average of 42, adding to some improved first team displays in one and four-day cricket. Ben Slater averages just under 35 from less innings, given that he was in the first team squad for much of the second half of summer.

Scott Elstone? Top average at 46 and he scored his runs faster than even Durston, which speaks volumes for his ability to play shots and find the gaps. Were it not for the Slater 'issue', there would be no question of his deserving a contract. Nor should there be any more - and note also that his sparkling fielding also effected two run outs, while his off-spin may also be utilised, especially in one-day cricket.

There's no such thing as a contract entitlement. You get what you work for in life and are generally rewarded for good performance. On that basis, Scott Elstone thoroughly deserved his one-year deal and Paul Borrington justified his current one. Billy Godleman can be considered fortunate to have a two-year contract on last year's figures, while Ben Slater is considerably less so, at this stage.

You can't blame Elstone for that, though. Good luck to the lad - I hope he scores a barrow load of runs next summer.

I look forward to seeing him in Derbyshire colours.


Marc said...

I think you have to be very careful when looking at statistics and using them for definitive judgements. They can be interpreted in many different ways.

I,m not unhappy to see Elstone be given a contract,on the contrary,I think he deserves it. Both he and Slater deserve it for similar reasons. Obviously Elstone has yet to make his championship debut,whilst Slater has but a handful of games under his belt. Both remain largely unknown quantities at senior level,but at their respective age,both have the potential to become regular players.

Borrington,s career has followed an almost unbroken pattern for several seasons. It,s a well known fact he scores runs at a lower level. He should do,as he is now one of the more experienced players competing at that level and will be playing against a majority of players much younger than himself. When opportunities at senior level have come along he invariably fails to impress. Somewhere along the line he produces a worthwhile score,within a clutch of much lower ones. It,s a bit like watching Groundhog Day;a continuous repeat of events that have happened before. It,s quite probable that had Hughes not departed the scene then Borrington would not have featured at all. The assumption being that Krikken either doesn,t rate him or was afraid to play him. I can see no other possible reason.

I don,t wish to see him fail but there comes a time when facts can no longer be ignored and the excuse of "well,he,s a youngster" no longer holds water. It,s a matter of conjecture but I suspect had Borrington and Godleman,s contracts been up for renewal this season,the odds would be stacked against either being renewed. They wouldn,t be the only ones either.

I also suspect that for Krikken,having to tell anyone "sorry,i,m afraid time,s up" would be one aspect of his job he enjoys least,but at the same time his own job mortality allows little room for sentiment. Next season is a defining one for several players and for some it could well be their last. Sad,but that,s the way the cookie crumbles.People in a professional sporting environment all know at the back of their minds their career may not take off,or may be cut short.Others are waiting to take their place.

Peakfan said...

Good points Marc. I'm sure Bozza is well aware that next season is a big one for him.