Thursday, 12 April 2018

Press day arrives as odd stuff hits the media

Press day at the 3aaa County Ground. Here's hoping that the sun shines so they can get their photographs outdoors and among them we can all get to see the eagerly awaited pic of Messrs Viljoen and Olivier, the Saffer Assassins as we may now call them. There will be friendly rivalry between the two men to do best, which can only be to the club's benefit. Assuming fitness, that should be well worth a watch.

Yet there has been a unanimity among most of the cricket press that we are going to be propping up the rest in four-day cricket this year. I don't buy that and hope that these forecasts are pinned on the dressing room wall as incentive to prove people wrong.

There's also been some odd selections among the 'player to watch' pieces, which suggest either lazy or uninformed journalism at its worst. James Kettleborough has been pronounced ours by some, which is pretty odd considering they will need to watch him at Belper and Leek, unless something goes badly wrong.

Yesterday it was Hamidullah Qadri's turn, doubtless on the back of his fine performance against Glamorgan last year. Yet how many games would you expect the now 17 year old to play this season? He will get opportunities and will doubtless be a fine player for us over the years ahead (much in a Matt Critchley-type role, I reckon) but first team appearances this summer? Rare, I suspect, unless we are headed for a game on a 'beach' or playing a touring side. Early season will be seam, later summer, unless we can't get a decent spinner, he should be bowling a lot of overs in the seconds and learning his craft.

I even saw, presumably from someone who wanted to show he had read the squad list, that we hoped for fine performances from Alfie Gleadall and James Taylor. I'm sure we do, but if they are first team regulars this summer, something has gone badly wrong and premature elevation may be diagnosed...

Why is no one picking up on Matt Critchley, after a successful winter down under and then in the North/South matches? Or Alex Hughes, after a fine 2017? Or even Luis Reece, who rather proved a point to Lancashire with an excellent summer last year in all formats?

Odd, very odd.

Today's 'setting ourselves up for a fall' award goes to Kent, whose Twitter feed yesterday included a quiz, entitled 'Who are our biggest rivals for promotion'?

I don't look at their side and see one to run away with division two and after the wickets dry out and Darren Stevens has reached thirty wickets by the end of May, I struggle to see where they will get them. Maybe Matt Henry will enjoy the four-day game more than the T20 for us last year, but I don't see their bowling strong enough for much more than mid-table

Likewise, suggestions that Sussex have a 'stellar attack' are being based on T20, when they will have Rashid Khan, Jofra Archer, Tymal Mills and Chris Jordan. Yet only two of them will otherwise feature and then not until the end of the IPL.

It is, I think indicative of too many local and national newspaper reports being taken from agencies, from which the standard of knowledge and reporting is questionable. Sadly, the days of the cricket specialist, apart from in a few areas, are long gone and the generalists base their writing on other reports, which themselves aren't often correct.

Given that most of the specialists, with honourable exceptions such as George Dobell and Lizzy Ammon, focus their attention on the international game and the south, it's no wonder that we have to suffer a bit too much nonsense for many tastes.

Anyway, good luck to all at Derby today.

Here's hoping it is all topped off with a media announcement on an overseas player.

Or two..

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