I always enjoy getting your emails and comments, even when I don't agree with them, or they disagree with me.
Such a comment came from Paul last night, suggesting that only Wayne Madsen of our current batsmen had an average that was 'acceptable with some', while citing that we had an 'endless list' of failed overseas/Kolpaks'.
It is worth taking these points separately. Of the likely incumbents of top seven positions for us this coming season, here are their first-class batting averages:
Billy Godleman 31.84
Ben Slater 28.49
Shiv Thakor 38.62
Wayne Madsen 40.18
Neil Broom 39.32
Alex Hughes 25.82
Harvey Hosein 32.40
Luis Reece 32.67
Gary Wilson 36.05
I've not listed Charlie McDonnell and Tom Wood, as neither has enough first-class experience for it to be fair.
Of course, all will want to build on what they have, but north of thirty is the mark of a solid county player. Both Ben Slater and Alex Hughes, if selected, will benefit from a regular place in the side. Billy Godleman has improved greatly over the past two summers, while Shiv Thakor will doubtless enjoy the promised opportunity at number three this summer.
Both Luis Reece and Alex Hughes, like Shiv, offer with bat and ball, but the argument for the inclusion of both Harvey Hosein and Gary Wilson is strong. Meanwhile, Neil Broom's career average suggests that last year was a 'blip' and a return to the norm would be much appreciated.
As for the failed overseas and Kolpaks, we have done better than some counties. James Bryant and Dominic Telo didn't come off, though Bryant was just starting to come to terms with wickets here when he picked up a nasty injury. Telo was playing a lower level of cricket in South Africa and while he looked composed at the crease, it didn't translate to the volume of runs required.
Of others, we had decent or good service at the time from Matt Cassar, Ant Botha, Robin Petersen, Wavell Hinds and Chris Bassano, while Jon Moss was a talented all-rounder, if not truly outstanding.
Some didn't deliver to reputations - Lawrence Rowe, Hashim Amla, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Shiv Chanderpaul would all fit that descriptor - but we have had some wonderful players. Eddie Barlow, Peter Kirsten, John Wright, Dean Jones, Daryll Cullinan, Mohammad Azharuddin, Michael Holding, Ian Bishop, Chris Rogers, Michael Di Venuto and Martin Guptill. I still think back fondly to Chris Wilkins, who came as a relative unknown and largely batted the same way regardless of the match situation. Yet he entertained me royally, between the ages of 12 and 15 and I never saw him make less than thirty. Chris would have made a fortune in T20 cricket, bowling a bit of medium pace and fielding well anywhere.
So too would fellow South African Adrian Kuiper, who hit a ball a country mile. You wouldn't rank him with the names above as a player, but he was the reason we won the Sunday League in 1990. He was a fantastic finisher and would have been a Kieron Pollard-type of player today, traveling the world and in great demand as a huge fan favourite.
I don't see Hardus Viljoen as a gamble at all. If he stays fit, he will take wickets as he has through his career as a fast and direct bowler. As I said last week, there will be days he may frustrate and the rudder is awry, but plenty of others where he will win matches or contribute to doing so. I cannot think of a faster bowler in our division and, as we saw from Mark Footitt, pace is crucial at this level.
I'd suggest, on his record, that Viljoen is a better bowler than Mark, so let's see if he makes a similar contribution.
A good talking point though! So who are the overseas and Kolpaks that you remember - for the right or wrong reasons? Please note my list is not meant to be exhaustive - there's plenty of names I know I have omitted and I am fortunate to be at an age where I saw them all...
Postscript: Thanks to my daughter, Rachel for typing some of this. It's what university holidays were made for!