Thursday, 23 February 2017

Tahir omission makes no sense on cricket grounds

Every year, when the IPL auction takes place, I permit myself a wry smile at some of the goings-on.

There are always players who go for ridiculous amounts and others who for some reason don't get picked up at all.

Talented a bowler as he is, would you take Tymal Mills in your team over Mitchell Johnson? More to the point, would you pay six times the amount  for his services? Would you pay around four times more for Eoin Morgan than Martin Guptill? These are moves this year that strike me as bizarre, though good luck to the players who have had their lives transformed by their good fortune.

Mills has a back problem that prevents him playing more than twenty-over cricket, something that won't concern him at all as he reaches millionaire status in one fell swoop. He's a talented bowler, but I'm not sure that he is THAT good. It just shows the benefit of good performance at the right time, as he bowled pretty well in the one-dayers for England in India. Mind you, one assumes no one there watched the Big Bash and how well Johnson bowled - AND he is a dangerous lower-order hitter.

Equally puzzling is the list of players who didn't get picked up. Be honest, if Derbyshire were to announce in the coming weeks that we had picked up any from Marlon Samuels, Colin Munro or Farhaan Behardien for the T20 this summer, we wouldn't be dissatisfied. Each has won plenty of matches for their various sides over the years and all of them offer with bat and ball.

Even more puzzling is that no one bid for Imran Tahir.

There's no great love lost, for obvious historical reasons, between India and Pakistan and Tahir, though South African, is Pakistani in origin. I would suggest that were the world's top-ranked bowler in the format of any other nationality, he would have breezed selection in the competition, one that likes to be seen as the greatest cricket show on earth.

How can it be, when the best bowler in the format isn't there? Big names abound, of course, but surely you would want the number one ranked bowler in the game to be involved? It's like a World Cup without Lionel Messi, or a new Live Aid, where no one asked Adele to perform and decided that no one would want to see Take That or Bruce Springsteen.

I accept that India is awash with spin bowlers, but for no one to sign Tahir and for Ish Sodhi, another fine bowler in the format, to miss out is ludicrous.

Crowds will doubtless turn up in their thousands, but I detect a diminished interest in a competition that has had its share of scandals and has a growing number of detractors.

Back home, there is still no news of any Neil Broom replacement, nor a T20 specialist of our own. I have seen plenty of comments from you on the former, but still hope that we don't opt for the loan market.

I was asked that question the other day in an email and my reasons are quite clear. Loan signings are OK if you have injuries, or batsmen who are collectively going through a bad trot. Yet if we go to another county to sign a batsman on loan before the season, for me we are sending out a wrong message. You are effectively telling your own players that the bloke from another team's periphery is better than those in our own squad.

I have no idea whether Tom Wood, Charlie McDonnell or Luis Reece will become good county cricketers, but we will never know if they don't get the opportunity. All have proven that they can score runs in second team cricket, so for me they should now get the chance to push for a senior role - unless we can find a player of near-international standing, who looks like he could win us matches.

No one is complaining about the signing of Imran Tahir blocking Matt Critchley, because he will work with him and in time aid his development. The same goes for Hardus Viljoen and our young clutch of seamers. Each will mentor the young players and will also, most likely, win us games.

If we picked up - plucking a couple of names very much at random - David Miller or Farhaan Behardien on a Kolpak, the likelihood is that they would do the same and show our young players how you handle run chases and pressure situations. You aren't going to get that from Johnny Average from another county, who averages around thirty but can't get a regular game.

Anyway, let's see what happens. In closing, I admit to being very impressed by the Briggs of Burton marquee, that has now been erected on the square at the 3aaa County Ground.

It is hard to fault the rationale that time spent in the nets on English wickets will be of greater benefit to the players than the considerably different surfaces of Dubai. While they doubtless enjoyed some sun on their backs, it would not be replicating early Spring in England.

For that idea, and many others this winter, Kim Barnett deserves a great deal of credit.


Mark N said...

Excellent read that Peakfan
Some good names in there also. Samuels would be excellent for t20. He would probably be able to captain and open and his bowling would be useful too

Luke said...

I've had a look at the Div 1 batting line ups to see potential loans:

Lancs, Yorks, Warks, Som: not much really - Karl Brown, Ateeq Javid, Johann Myburgh are all probably out of their team's top 7

Essex: 9 players competing for 7 batting places, could be looking at two of Wheater, Lawrence, Bopara and Browne being out of the side

Surrey: Harinath and Sibley

Middlesex: maybe Paul Stirling

Hampshire: I make it 9 first teamers competing for 6 batting places, assuming Mcmanus keeps. Vince (capt), Bailey and Rossouw (overseas) will all start. So that leaves Carberry, Adams, Alsop, Dawson, Smith, Ervine for 3 slots

I would imagine the likes of Ervine and Smith at Hants and Bopara and Wheater at Essex wouldn't go out on loan given they've all played 100+ FC games

So ultimately I fancy as potential loanees: Harinath, Sibley Browne, Brown

Peakfan said...

If Essex were in our division I would take Nick Browne, if only to stop him scoring against us! I think he dreams of facing our bowling at night...
To be honest none of those names would be automatic picks at Derbyshire for me. Browne can play but he would get picked up somewhere down south if there was a sniff of availability.
Godleman, Slater, Thakor, Madsen are sure picks for me and maybe Wilson at five..anyone worth bringing in has to be better than them or than Alex Hughes and Hosein, as well as those named above.
Some talented lads in that squad if they all deliver!

Roy of the Falcons said...

I understand the developmental benefits of having a young player on loan from one team to another and I think it can work well in soccer where the top teams have large squads. In cricket we have the near permanent absence of England players, a squad rotation for the fast bowlers in some teams, England Lions fixtures and second eleven games. This accounts for lots of players without factoring in injuries and the loss of form so I am never sure of the quality of long term loanees.
On the other hand I find it very frustrating when the T20 season comes round and a team turns out a squad T20 specialist who has only played the odd first class game in the last couple of seasons.
Many will say that the new management structure needs time to settle in and they need the opportunity to sign their own players but I sence that patience is running out with County Ground faithful with results being the order of the day. If this means loan players then I think a lot would take that option.

Luke said...

Check this article!

Samuels also revealed that he has been offered a three-year Kolpak deal by Derbyshire worth up to £130,000 a season, fuelling concerns that West Indies could be hit by a spate of international retirements of the sort that recently shocked South African cricket. While it is understood he has indicated a reluctance to accept the deal - he would prefer a deal as an overseas player in county cricket, thereby sustaining his hopes of playing international cricket - he has suggested it remains on the table.

Samuels asserted that, for him, it is loyalty to West Indies that comes first, which was evident in his 17 years' service in Caribbean cricket. "I've got a Kolpak deal on my plate which I'm contemplating," he said. "It's a three-year deal with Derbyshire. Worth probably £120,000-130,000 a year. The money is not the issue at the moment, I've been playing international cricket the last 17 years so have set myself the right way. This is about principle, about being loyal. I've been a loyal soldier for West Indies cricket and continue to play. I showed some loyalty, so I expect a bit of loyalty. I'm only the one from 2000 still here, sticking round and playing for the West Indies."

Samuels said he was in "no rush" to sign the Derbyshire deal as, after the PSL, he would travel to play another league in Hong Kong and had a "few other deals" in the bag.

Samuels is unlikely to be the only Caribbean player attracting interest from England's first-class counties. Darren Bravo, whose relationship with WICB would appear to be in tatters following a public falling-out with Cameron, is one who is certain to be snapped up if he decides to go that route, while fellow Trinidadian Denesh Ramdin is also understood to be of interest.

Mark N said...

Just came in here to post the same thing Luke
Wow, would love that, would sot two of my major issues right away, top batsmen and off spin, he doesn't sound overly committed though

Anonymous said...

Not being funny Peakfan, but how can you say none of those Essex players would be automatic picks for Derbyshire? All for mentioned would easily get in the Derbyshire side. Wheater is a better version of Wilson, Browne far superior to both our Openers, Bopara an better version of Thakor and Lawrence a hugely promising young allrounder.

Anyway I don't think any would be available of those players mentioned bar the Slurrey 2 perhaps.

John A

Peakfan said...

I was referring to the last four he named John. Wheater has only just joined and so is hardly going on loan. Bopara wouldnt, period. I don't think the last four, apart from Browne, a massive step forward.
And as I said, unless we get someone who is then I would sooner go with lads on our staff. Why pay them to be on the staff, then bring in someone only a little better, or of similar standard?

Ash said...

Id rather give our younger players a go than bring in a player for a month or 2, the only exception for me would be a player who we would be able to sign at the end of the season, give us a chance to take a look at him, saying that I'd take Sibley tomorrow (on a full-time deal) remember a couple of years ago he scored a double hundred and was going to be the next big thing (but as always being at Surrey his development has been held up by not getting a run in the team)