You can tell a new season is about to begin with the first comment about the blog on another site...
Thanks to Terry for pointing the reference out to me, but suffice to say, contrary to the comment made about this site, that criticism IS perfectly valid and acceptable on here. The caveat to that is, and will always be, that it is justified and constructive. Anything that verges on character assassination and personal attacks won't make it on here, but I've not had to censor a comment in two years, which speaks volumes for you all as regular readers and contributors.
It is fine to say, in short, that player X is out of touch and perhaps needs a break, but not say that he's rubbish, because by definition, to make it to county cricket or the fringes of it you have to be in the top one per cent of players in the country. If they are 'rubbish' I don't know what it makes the rest of us...
Just remember, in posting over the coming months, that a player's parents, family or friends may stumble across it and be a long way from happy. Keep it as you usually do and we'll have some lively, discussive debate going on from now until September.
The squad for tomorrow has been confirmed as I suggested last night and that's no great surprise, but what I really enjoyed seeing yesterday were the names of Ben Cotton and Greg Cork linked with first team appearances this summer. The former has aroused a fair amount of media interest in the past month, while the latter would perhaps slip below the radar but for that very illustrious name. All I have heard about both lads is positive though and I expect to see both of them feature in the senior side more frequently in the next couple of summers. They now have the specialist coaching that should turn their promise to genuine fulfilled talent and I look forward to seeing them develop.
It has been good to see the universal acclaim for the signing of Marcus North, a worthy and talented cricketer. I think our squad looks strong now and the only thing we lack is perhaps an overseas player who can give the ball a real hit in the T20. Whether there is budget for this I don't know, but the likelihood is that North and Shivnarine Chanderpaul will only have limited opportunities to play together in the competition. While players willing to be involved over a protracted period will be limited, I think that our ability to secure one would go a long way towards confirming Graeme Welch's assertion that he fancies us in the competition this year.
A likely top three of Moore, Durston and Hughes offers potential to maximise the Powerplay, not always something we have done, but another player to keep the foot to the floor would perhaps send out a positive message to our opponents.