According to the excellent David Hopps of Cricinfo, Wayne Madsen is one of three English cricketers who have been omitted from the long list hoping to get into next weekend's IPL auction.
A further 21 will be in that auction, but it is not lost on me that Madsen and Rikki Wessels, two of last summer's best T20 Blast batsmen, haven't made the cut, along with the somewhat ambitious Monty Panesar, who few have ever seen as a limited overs player and who currently plays Minor Counties cricket when is isn't dancing (and falling) on ice.
I'd reckon about half of the contingent won't make it anyway and from a Derbyshire perspective, the loss of our best batsman would have been a major blow. Yet it is a shame, because he is one of the best players of spin in the country, a skill that is especially effective in India.
Those in the auction from here are Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Billings, Ravi Bopara, Jos Buttler, Tom
Curran, Joe Denly, Steven Finn, Harry Gurney, Alex Hales, Tom Helm,
Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Tymal Mills, Eoin Morgan, Samit Patel, Liam
Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey,
Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.
Personally, for that format there are plenty of players in there that I would omit in favour of Madsen and Wessels, but we will each have our thoughts on that one.
Moving back home and proposals for a conference-style county championship that they feel could commence from 2020 have been aired by chief executive Mark Arthur and director of cricket Martyn Moxon from Yorkshire.
The main proposal is that three parallel conferences of six
begin the season, and another three conferences of six – divided on
merit – conclude it, with prize money for the winner almost doubling to a million pounds.
The main issue for me is that you have too many potential 'David v Goliath' matches in the first conference, plus the format creates one extra four-day match when authorities seem hell-bent on reducing fixtures. On the other hand, maybe the absence of some of the big-name players from the top counties may address the imbalance, which is why I linked this piece as I have. Play Yorkshire, Surrey or Nottinghamshire without their England men and your chances improve. Perhaps lower tier players may raise their game against their supposed betters, but on the face of it I struggle to see how the format would raise the standard of the national game.
I would happily make the fifty-over competition less intrusive, but given that it is a format that England play better than most, I don't see that happening. The irony that we do well in it as things stand is not lost on me, nor should it be on anyone else.
I will again reiterate that the sport is sadly riddled with people who suggest knee-jerk change in the light of a lost international series. Has introducing a premiership in football improved the England side? No, because English players make up only a third of squads, but mixing it with many of the world's best hasn't improved their standard, nor made them an elite force at major tournaments.
If they haven't worked it out yet, sport is a cyclical thing and every generation a player or two comes along, sometimes because of and other times despite the system, and produces the goods. How much money has been pumped into British tennis over the last thirty years and how many world-class players has it produced?
South African domestic cricket is beset with problems, but there are signs that despite them they are now starting to produce some seriously talented young players. New Zealand has a powerful squad, but they lose plenty of series, as do India, with some of the finest players in the world at the moment. By spooky coincidence, most of the losses are away from home. Who'd a thunk it, eh?
Just as England's system was 'bad enough' to lose the Ashes this winter, so it will be good enough to win them back in this country, then lose them the next time that we go on yet another under-prepared tour. Then some silly bugger on an inflated salary that he struggles to justify will come out with another idea to 'transform' a domestic game that has little wrong with it.
Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose - the more it changes, the more it's the same thing.
That's about the size of it...