Sunday, 21 January 2018

Madsen misses out on IPL as another proposal is aired...

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...

Those proposals:


Essex Fan said...

I will repost this here if i may PF, as it may be lost to others where i put it and may stimulate debate here:

It could be but you wont get bolter like you did a few years ago with Derbys going up unexpectedly, or Northants. plus it would mean 10 games a season, no where near enough. Everyone says the shield has fewer games and teams, well yes Australia has a much smaller population, and shield cricket is not what it was, its weaker than Division 1 of the CC, with teams not selecting the best players as they used to. Rather youngsters get in not on merit but on promise, which has weakened the competition, and not improved the lot of the national side. Latecomers to the national side who had earned their corn over many years in an incredibly tough shield, Hussey (both, Martyn, Rogers etc, you won't see their like again, as the competition has been doctored (like the CC with incentives) to expose young players. Thats admirable in a way, but imo has done nothing for the national side in Aus, and weakened the shield a lot. If youngsters are good enough they will get a game.

The yorkshire conference proposal, is done from self interest, it makes sense in game numbers, but is a complete mess logistically, with the casual fan having no idea about the permutations, as well as the fact that the winner has to play a playoff effectively...the best team finsihs at the top in a league, its senseless to have playoffs that means the best team over the course of the season may not win the league due to an off day . A return to 9 teams in each division with one up/down and maybe a playoff for the div 2 runner up vs the div 1 2nd from bottom would make so much ,more sense.

England have been excellent and poor whilst 2 divisions has been in situ. to change it now is reactionary, and selef serving. Anything Rob Andrew supports ought to ring alarm bells after what a mess he made at the RFU...

In addition to what i wrote previously, people say it would stop the flow of players to division 1 teams. Im really not convinced this has happened as much as people say. Some of the derided counties don't lose players, Gloucs have some very good players but lost a one day player to Middsx that's it, Northants kept Ducket, Essex have lost players in the past to do with money and lack of opportunity (not div1, Topley for money, despite his dad saying different, Foakes as his way was blocked), glam haven't lost anyone, Derbyshire haven't really. Leics have suffered but that i think is an awful lot about money. There really hasn't been the player drain to div 1 that many say. Its self serving from Yorks, and those supporting it in Kent, as they should be striving to get better and be run better rather than seeing this as an easy option to mix it with the better counties. it can be done, somerset are a model county as have Sussex been in the past, and Essex showed anything is possible. Kent used to be a fixture in div1. just because they have been mismanaged and stopped producing some of the talent they once did is no excuse to change the system again. Like England, its cyclical. they will produce a crop of good youngsters again at some point again I'm sure and they seem to have foxed there off filed issues finally.

2 divisions creates meaningful, pressure cricket, its produced strong England sides in the past and will again. They only change needed is to make it 9 in each division again and possibly modify the promotion relegation scenario. Oh, and play it in the actual summer!

Anonymous said...

What a mess that proposal is. If you are in Division 2 or 3 what is the point of the games?
I still cannot get past 3 divisions of 6 with 2 up/2 down or 2 divisions of 9 with 3 up/3 down. Everyone plays everyone else twice. Simple & easy to understand, Everything else is unnecessary complications.

Mark B

Anonymous said...

and that would mean 10 games a season. why not go too 8 or 6 or just scrap the championship!

Essex Fan

Anonymous said...

With the county championship, I think there should be 4 equal divisions with 5 teams in each division playing 10 matches. Each game taking place over 4 days. 18 first class counties and bring 2 minor counties in. The teams would be seeded from the previous season's results with the top seeded teams separated from each other. After the 10 games have been played,the top team from each of the 4 divisions would then play in a semi-final over 5 days. Then a 5 day final for the 2 teams left to determine the county champions. If there's no result in any of the semi-final and final 5 day games then the winner of the games would be decided by their results over the season.

Anonymous said...

Essex fan, I have no strong preference for either 2 or 3 divisions.

Yes the 3 division proposal only has 10 games. But put another way that is 40 days of play. There are not many competitions that have more than 40 days of play.
Having 40 days of play would enable half to take place at weekends with a couple more on bank holidays. I suspect that this would mean that aggregate attendances would not suffer & possibly even improve. To me making the game more accessible to more people should be one of the main objectives of any change.

Mark B