Saturday, 28 October 2017

Weekend update

Those who think that Derbyshire erred in signing a 33-year old Ravi Rampaul (not me, as you know) will perhaps have been reassured by the news from Durham this week.

They have signed Australian seamer Nathan Rimmington on a two-year deal, utilising his UK passport in doing so. Yet the bowler, who had a somewhat ill-fated stint with us in the T20 a few summers back, will be well past 35 when the season starts and at that age has only 103 first-class wickets at over thirty. He is better known for his death bowling in the T20, where his record is better, but  his career record of just over 250 wickets in all formats is indicative of a career ravaged by injury, where he hasn't got close to the international scene.

His spell at Derbyshire was hampered by a broken finger, sustained in a club match and he was never fully firing for us. Yet many will recall the ball that bowled Alex Hales at Derby in the T20, when he perhaps produced his best performance in the club colours.

It is a signing that confirms the relative paucity of young seam talent in this country, and for those who would counter 'so does that of Rampaul', the West Indian has over 800 wickets and has played at international standard and around the world. Crucially, his signing might allow the T20 signing of a batsman or all-rounder in one of the roles.

We'll see, but the Rimmington deal rather smacks of desperation by Durham, who have suffered badly from players moving elsewhere. The wickets should suit him, at least and he may prove to have an Indian summer to his career.

There are unanswered questions remaining at Derbyshire. I have seen no news of Tom Milnes being offered a new deal, but nor have I seen any of his being released, so perhaps that is under discussion. Similarly, Harry Podmore seems to have gone off the radar a little and, for me, he would appear little better than we already have in reserve, with Ben Cotton and Tom Taylor.

Meanwhile, Gurjit Sandhu seems to be unlucky in having made a good debut (46 not out and three wickets) and taken 18 wickets in four second team matches, yet nothing has been forthcoming for him, either. I suspect that further recruitment will be dictated by the court case involving Shiv Thakor next month, as its repercussions will impact on recruitment thereafter. For the record, that is a statement, not the start of a debate, so please be wary of further comment on the matter.

Finally today, I note that the MCC side in the Hong Kong Sixes contains Darren Stevens, Rikki Clarke and Samit Patel.

Fine cricketers all, but selection criteria presumably didn't focus heavily on speed across the ground in the field, eh?

I'll be back soon.

No comments: