Friday, 29 September 2017

Wood and Cork leave, as Brodrick and Taylor come in

After many Autumns of seeing it happen, there is always some sadness in seeing unfulfilled talent depart the county scene.

How many who earn the call up to second eleven and senior cricket make the grade? A very small percentage, I would reckon, so the wheat is well and truly separated from the chaff. There are and have been some very good cricketers who didn't make it, going on to be excellent players at a lower level for many years.

Others take the opportunity to use rejection as a catalyst to redouble their efforts. Our own club's history will show how Paul Taylor went on to a fine county career elsewhere, after we decided he wasn't good enough. It also shows how Colin Tunnicliffe and Tony Borrington were released, before we signed them again after their performances in league cricket warranted another look. Then there was Les Jackson, our greatest-ever bowler, who wasn't rated until asked to bowl at Eddie Gothard in the nets. A few bruises and flying stumps later, Les was on his way to the finest of county careers.

This year we say farewell to Greg Cork and Tom Wood, though I suspect, as I wrote the other night, that other names may yet be announced. Cork had the onerous task of living up to the family name, difficult if it is that of a county legend. Like his father, Dominic, he was a pugnacious batsman who could bat attractively. Having seen him a few times, I always felt it his stronger suit, yet he never quite scored the runs to make a case for inclusion as a Luis Reece-type player.

His bowling was a few yards short of pace at top level, though he will likely take plenty of wickets in the leagues in years to come. Injuries this summer didn't help his case for retention and the emergence of Reece, a similar style of bowler, negated his selection on grounds of variety.

As for Tom Wood, he hits powerfully and is a good player, but after scoring a lot of runs for the Unicorns the previous summer, they were in shorter supply this year. There were some good scores, but a fairly established top six, for all its foibles, proved tough to break into. Limited one-day opportunities were not taken and he leaves, probably without showing how good he can really be.

As for those coming in, Callum Brodrick looks a player of talent and temperament and has already fought adversity to earn a crack at the first-class game. He played two or three innings that suggested he has what it takes this summer, but has to work on his fitness and physique in the months ahead. He is a brilliant fielder and could quite easily work his way into the senior reckoning in the next two years.

At nineteen, he has time on his side and an obvious determination to succeed.

As for James Taylor, at 16 he is one for the future, but his potential is obvious after good second team displays and a maiden first-class wicket against the West Indian tourists.

Taylor, Alfie Gleadall and Sam Conners make for a trio of young seamers who have much to offer, IF we can get them to the next level. Thus far, the careers of Ben Cotton, Tom Taylor and Tom Milnes have stalled and with Cork released, the search to be in the frame with Viljoen, Davis and Palladino would appear to be outside the county - for now.

Working alongside Viljoen and Palladino can only enhance the prospects of the young trio in the long term, though short-term reinforcements look to be required if 2018 is to be any more rewarding than this year in the four-day game.

One thought in closing. Muhammad Azharullah, as someone noted the other day, has been released by Northamptonshire. He took 31 wickets at 21 this year, hardly the figures of someone who is over the hill and remains a potent one-day bowler. Yet Buck, Sanderson, Kleinveldt and Gleeson block his path to regular cricket, hence the decision to release him, I assume.

He would be 34 next summer and my preference would be for someone younger to fill the gap in that area. I'd take Conor McKerr again in a heartbeat, but suspect that Surrey have lofty ambitions for a young man who showed his credentials on loan this summer.

There would be worse options out there, that's for sure. Either would be an improvement on what we have at present.



Anonymous said...

I would take Azzarullah especially for white ball. It was me who mentioned it Peakfan. He's been to finals day and we could do with that experience

Anonymous said...

Couldn’t help noticing this comment on the BBC website from Mike Newell re Brett Hutton’s departure:

"We are disappointed to see a talented player who has come through our academy ranks, and who we hold in high regard, leaving us, especially after he finished the season so strongly."

Not that he has ever “poached” people who have been nurtured elsewhere at great expense! Mr Coughlin is only the most recent example.

My immediate thoughts are therefore, “Aw, diddums!” and “Pot and kettle!”


Peakfan said...

I hope he was blushing as he said it, Keith.
He should have. And had tongue firmly in cheek...

AB said...

And so the great Derbyshire obsession with Notts continues.......

The team won both One Day trophies. Easily.

And got promoted despite being down to 12 fit players at the end.

Was that down to poaching? I think not.

Libby/Root/Patel/Hutton/Wood/Carter/Moores not poached. And Mullaney/Gurney/Wessels hardly red-hot prospects when they switched. That leaves Read and Broad which would fall into the ancient history category.

Hutton told Notts he was going in May. That's why Coughlin comes in.
Sad for Durham but that's life these days.

Didn't Derbyshire win three games this year? And nearly win a fourth? At least a flirtation with promotion must therefore be the minimum next season. Notts only won 7. In that case why is Hutton joining Northants and not Derbyshire? They are hardly a moneybags team.

Such comments smack of petty jealousy am afraid.

Anonymous said...

Tom Wood can count himself very unlucky I'd say PF. Been at the club less than 14 months in total. By my calculations he's averaged mid sixties in 2nd team red ball cricket in that time. 50 odd in fifty over cricket. Was 2nd eleven player of the year last year and by all accounts was good enough to be a probable to open up in our T20 blast campaign baring injury. Not done a lot wrong for my money and at least deserved another year. No player should be judged on a single season. Form comes and goes but ability remains and his stats suggest good enough to show a little more patience with a young local player who is still several years off reaching his best potential. Very short sighted in my opinion.

Peakfan said...

For what it is worth, I would have given him another year. But the team rebuilding needs money and I guess they feel it can be better used. Must also feel that he won't do better at top level than the present incumbents.
Shame but that is professional sport I suppose...

Josh said...

Does someone want to tell AB the Notts fan that he/she wouldn't be so smug if the weather hadn't intervened when we were so close to beating them at Trent Bridge, they'd have still been 'slumming' it in Division Two with Derbyshire next summer?

David Woolley said...

I wouldn't want to use your blog to get in to a slanging match with AB the Notts supporter, Peakfan.
However, I feel justified to question why somebody who starts his blog with 'And so the great Derbyshire obsession with Notts continues'....
would be wanting to view/comment on a Derbyshire blog anyway !!!!
I hope this comment is not looked upon as petty jealousy.

AB said...

Because the Peakfan Derbyshire blog is approximately a million times better than the barely readable NottsCCCblog and it is nice to read any well informed county cricket prose. I read other cricket blogs as well - is that allowed? I live and work in Derbyshire as well. Not all Notts fans wish Derbyshire ill will you might be surprised to hear............

And I'm well aware that the weather enabled Notts to sneak 4 points - I referred to it! More important though was Northants losing 5 for the poor over-rate just four games from the end.

Still think the poaching tag is old hat though.

Do you want Footitt back btw. He's up to his old tricks again.

Peakfan said...

Thank you AB for the kind words! You and all cricket fans are always welcome.

And if we all agreed on everything it would be a funny old world..

Must be something in the Nottingham air for Mark. He was fine in Derbados.. :)