Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Welch and Critchley recognition huge boost for county

In some ways it was no real surprise to see Graeme Welch brought in as a seam bowling coach by England Lions, ahead of their series against Pakistan A.

After all, his reputation as a coach was known when he arrived at Derbyshire. I have no doubt that at some point in the future he will be in the England set-up on a permanent basis, but hopefully that is some years down the line when he has transformed our fortunes and led us to some silverware.

Supporters are quick to criticise and some put it in the public domain, but the ones who know how good you are at any job are your peers. To those outside the organisation, you are the bloke or woman who does X, but the people who work alongside or under you will be very aware of your skills, as well as your shortcomings, of course.

I expect his credentials to be further enhanced this summer, with the improvement of our seam bowling talent. Time was that players did little bowling over the winter, whereas all these lads have been working on their skills and fitness through the long dark days. Some will be new bowlers in the summer ahead, while others will take a little longer, but be assured that they are in very good hands.

Whether enough of the players do enough to make an obvious difference to placings is another thing,
but I remain confident in the batting producing runs this year and if the bowling unit performs...well, we have a chance.

For Matt Critchley, the last twelve months must be a dream from which he hopes never to wake up. He has gone from Academy hopeful to first team player, a maiden century, a match-winning bowling performance in a one-day game, a senior contract and now a call up to a Lions training squad. All this before his twentieth birthday...

Again, the lad has much to learn but has time very much on his side. If he develops sooner then it is great, but realistically he will not be close to the finished article for at least five years. Yet if he listens to the right people and works hard at his game, this early recognition of his talent will do wonders for his confidence and his future career.

Finally tonight, warm congratulations to Temba Bavuma in recording the first Test century by a black South African cricketer. In the first Test he looked all at sea and I said so, but he showed today that he has talent, albeit, as I pointed out last night in reference to Stokes and Bairstow, aided by a wicket that gave him a chance. Sir Geoffrey's Mum may have fancied her chances with a stick o'rhubarb, but I would have opted for one of celery on that surface...

Like any other cricketer, at Test or club level, he will have days and times when he doesn't have a clue where the middle of his bat is and he will struggle for runs. He can now go back to a day when it all worked out perfectly and he was on top of the world.

Well done, lad.

No comments: