Thursday, 28 April 2016

Week 4 County Championship Cricket Previews and Squads



Week Four of the County Championships starts on May Day and the forecast is for slightly better weather and slightly warmer temperatures, however it could hardly get any colder than last week. The England players will be on view as they prepare for the 1st Test against Sri Lanka on May 15th.  Joe Root is in the squad to play for Yorkshire against Notts at Trent Bridge a game which is being broadcast LIVE on Sky Sports.


Div One
Hampshire v Middlesex
Notts v Yorkshire
Somerset v Lancs
Surrey v Durham

Div Two
Kent v Glamorgan
Northants v Derbyshire
Sussex v Leics
Worcs v Essex 

DIVISION ONE

Hampshire v Middlesex Ageas Bowl Southampton 

Hampshire have quite a serious injury crisis however they have taken steps to sign West Indies fast bowler Tino Best and also a young player from Ireland Craig Young who comes with high recommendations, these two will attempt to plug the gap with Fidel Edwards, Reece Topley, Gareth Burg and Ryan Stephenson all injured. Jimmy Adams scored a ton in the 2nd XI and returns to the squad, and note Dawson may not be fit to bowl.

Hampshire (from) Smith Adams Ervine Dawson Alsop Vince (Capt) Carberry Tomlinson Mclaren Wood Wheater Crane Best Wheal 

Middlesex (from) Voges (Capt) Compton Finn Franklin Fuller Gubbins Harris Malan Murtagh Rayner Robson Roland-Jones Simpson Stirling

Nottinghamshire v Yorkshire Trent Bridge Nottingham 
This all star game will be live on Sky Sports and is likely to see all the top players that both clubs have to their disposal play. Hales will play for Notts, and Root will play for Yorks.

Nottinghamshire (from) Read Ball Bird Broad Gurney Hales Hutton Lumb Mullaney Patel Smith Taylor Wessels Wood 

Yorkshire (from) Bairstow Ballance Brooks Gale (Capt) Lees Lyth Patterson Plunkett Rashid Rhodes Root Wainman Willey


Somerset v Lancashire The Cooper Associates Ground Taunton 
Jimmy Anderson is available again to play for Lancs

Somerset (from) Trescothick Abell Rogers (Capt)  Hildrith Roelof Van de Merwe Trego Davies Gregory C Overton J Overton Gronewald Leach

Lancashire (from) Croft (Capt) Anderson Bailey Brown Davies Hameed Jarvis Kerrigan Livingstone Peterson Procter Wagner

Surrey v Durham Kia Oval London

Surrey (from) Batty (Capt) Ansari Burns Curran Davies Dunn Foakes Harinath Pillans Rampaul Roy Sangakkara Wilson 

Durham (from) Collingwood (Capt) Stoneman Jennings Borthwick Burnham Stokes Richardson Pringle Brydon Carse Rushworth Onions Weighell


DIVISION TWO


Kent v Glamorgan  The Spitfire Ground St Lawrence Canterbury
Kiwi opener Tom Latham has arrived and could figure for Kent. Colin Ingram is out with a knee Injury for Glamorgan who name same 11 plus Podmore on loan from Middlesex

Kent (from) Northeast (Capt) Bell Drummond Latham Dickson Denly Stevens Rouse Haggett Coles Claydon Riley Bernard 

Glamorgan (from) Rudolph (Capt) Kettleborough Bragg Cooke Donald Lloyd Wagg Meschede Salter Hogan Van Der Gugten Podmore

Northants v Derbyshire The County Ground Northampton
Billy Godleman is fit again for Derbyshire after a thumb injury his xray this week showed it to be all clear.

Northants (from) Wakely (Capt) Sanderson Duckett Gleeson White Cobb Azharullah Levi Rossington Murphy Crook Klienveldt 

Derbyshire (from) Godleman (Capt) Hughes Rutherford Madsen Broom Durston Thakor Critchley Poynton Palladino Fletcher Carter

Sussex v Leicestershire  The 1st Central County Ground Hove 

Leics have Zak ChappelI and Ned Eckersley injured so Lewis Hill has been put into a squad of 13 as O Brien injured a finger and so Lewis is a back up if required. Sussex still have Luke Wright injured and of course Jordan has gone to the IPL. 

Sussex (from) Beer Briggs Brown (Capt/Wicket) Garton Hatchett Joyce Machan Magoffin Nash Robinson Shahzad Taylor Wells 

Leics (from) Cosgrove (capt) Horton Robson Dexter Pettini O'Brien Ali, Hill, White, Raine, McKay, Naik, Shreck.

Worcestershire v Essex  New Road Worcester
Matt Quinn is out for 2-4 weeks for Essex Worcester name the same squad.

Worcs (from) Mitchell D'Oliveira Ali Clarke Kohler Cadmore Whitely Cox Leach Barnard Henry Shantry Morris 
Essex (from) Ten Doeschate (Capt) Cook Browne Westley Bopara Lawrence Ryder Foster Napier Masters Porter Dixon Zaidi 

Week Three Essex Jamie Porter Snow Stop Play Draws and Lucky Lancs



As a rather underwhelming week three comes to a close the main topic of conversation all week has been the weather. It has been bitterly cold for spectators trying to sit and watch with temperatures not getting past double figures and a biting cold northerly wind it has been a very difficult week. Snow flurries were seen at some point at all of the grounds, it stopped play at Egbaston but it totally ruined the game up in Durham, where it snowed hard on day three making play impossible. So all the snow made the outfield far too wet for play on the final day, topped up by further rain showers it soon meant day four was wiped out completely as well.

Essex were the only winners, they beat Northants by an Innings and 92 runs. Essex first innings saw their top five batsman all score 50, but the highest was Bopara with 76. The extras total was the same as that added 60 to the total of 441/8. Then up comes Jamie Porter who bowled brilliantly for the rest of the game in total taking eight wickets over both innings and came out of the match with bowling figures of 29-5-108-8. He was well backed up by the returning David Masters and the two of them had Northants 6 for 4 at one point, that news travelled around the cricket circuit very quickly indeed. Then help from Graham Napier and Ryan Ten Doeschate they were just too good for Northants. So Essex go clear at the top of Division two becoming the only team to have won twice.

In Division one Warwickshire take an unusual lead at the top with three draws out of three. Mind you all the other teams have only played two games and most bizarrely Lancs have only played one! So the lead I feel won't last long. Lucky Lancs is all I can say, but it's not their fault of course. It is rather wierd though that after three weeks three teams have played three games fourteen teams have played two games, and just the one has played just the one. I suppose it will be easier next season when the two divisions have even numbers, rather than this very awkward odd number of nine teams, meaning at least one team must drop out every week. So after three weeks there are only four teams that have won a game, most unusual. Essex, Lancs, Notts and Leicestershire.

I will be previewing all the games of week four on Saturday here are the fixtures that start on May 1st

Div One
Hampshire v Middlesex
Notts v Yorkshire On Sky TV 
Somerset v Lancs 
Surrey v Durham

Div Two
Kent v Glamorgan
Northants v Derbyshire
Sussex v Leics
Worcs v Essex 

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Week 3 Championship Games Live Coverage Apr 24th - 27th 2016

Cricket Coverage


Cricket Coverage

24th - 27th Apr 2016







1st Division Championship Fixtures 24th - 27th Apr 2016

Durham v Middlesex 
Chester Le Street
Radio Five Live  BBC Live Event 1

Surrey v Somerset
Oval
BBC Radio Surrey and Live Event Number 2

Warwickshire v Yorkshire 
Edgbaston
BBC Warwickshire and Live Event Number 3

2nd Division Championship Fixtures 24th - 27th Apr 2016

Derbyshire v Glamorgan
Derby
BBC Radio Derbyshire and Live Event Number 4

Essex v Northamptonshire
Chelmsford
BBC Radio Essex and Live Event Number 5

Gloucestershire v Worcestershire
Bristol
BBC Radio Gloucestershire and Live Event Number 8

Leicestershire v Kent
Leicester 
BBC Radio Leicester and Live Event Number 6

Live Event numbers can be used in conjunction with the Tunein Radio app on iPhone and simply search for BBC Live Event and the number. You can also go to http://tunein.com/ and type in the search "BBC Live Event and the number" 

Friday, 22 April 2016

Another Football Injury added to list as Fidel Edwards breaks leg

England V Afghanistan  World Cup T20 2016
England getting ready for a kick about Delhi 2016
It doesn't look as though Cricket teams are that bothered about injuries caused by playing Football prior to playing their game of Cricket.

England still do it, they did however manage to get through the Cricket World Cup free from Football injuries, but others have not been so lucky. Here is the list that just keeps on growing. The really bad news this week is that Fidel Edwards is out for at least two months for Hampshire with a broken leg.



Cricketers Injured Playing Football

Mark Wagh Warwickshire 2005
Matt Prior England 2009
Joe Denly England 2009
Micheal Vaughan Yorkshire 2009
Rohit Sharma India 2010
Mark Ramprakash Surrey 2011
Ishant Sharma India 2011
Shaminda Eranga Sri Lanka 2013
Yuvraj Singh India 2014
Keiron Pollard West Indies 2014
James Anderson England 2015
Vernon Philander South Africa 2015
Keith Piper Coach Leicestershire 2016
Fidel Edwards Hampshire 2016
Jonny Bairstow England 2018

I don't doubt for one minute there are a whole host of close calls and others smaller knocks. These are the big names that have made the news prior to quite a big game, a lot of them were in fact ankle injuries. I am sure the players love having a kick around, but I could not really see the benefit in India with the temperature in the 90's. Perhaps the next injury they will think again?

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Pink ball fever spreads to India who will play New Zealand in a Day Night Test Match

Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium Delhi
Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium Delhi
India have just announced that they will play a day night test match with the pink ball against New Zealand "later this year" Before the test match there is also the Duleep ODI Trophy where they will try out the kookaburra pink ball to see how it reacts to the conditions and lights.

Having just returned from the Cricket World Cup I can sympathise with them actually trying this. The heat in the day (nearly 100 degrees) makes playing and spectator conditions difficult, more of a trial than fun. Alright for a 3 hour 20/20 game perhaps, sitting in the shade, but I would certainly not enjoy 7 hours for a test match.

Delhi is being tipped as the location as they don't have such a dew problem as other places further south, that is something that would be a problem. The Delhi stadium is not in good condition it has to be said, broken seats all over the place. It is not surprising that attendances are going down. Also Indian's cannot afford to take time off to watch cricket all day long. So having at least part of it in the evening would I expect help with that. A good idea for perhaps one test match per series.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Week Two Runs Galore New Helmets Rob Key Retires and Leicestershire win

Just ten days of cricket have been played in the 2016 English county cricket season and already we have seen some amazing batting. With four massive double centuries.

Ben Duckett 282 not out at Northampton
Jonny Bairstow 246 at Derby
Sam Robson 231 at Lords
Jonathan Trott 219 at Lords

Plus a string of tons, one of those from Gloucestershire nighwatchman and bowler Liam Norwell at Bristol. Sam Robson followed up his 231 in the first innings with a 106 in the 2nd Innings and England Captain Alistair Cook has two centuries one in each of his two games so far. Four double centuries have never been scored before the END of April ever.

The weather has been quite good, clear skies yes, but it has been quite chilly. The groundsman perhaps are trying to produce flatter wickets with the away side having the option to bowl first, but it is to be fair a bit early to say that. Of course that does mean that draws are more likely and in week two in Division One and in Division Two they both saw two draws and just one win. Certainly something to keep an eye on, Mark Butcher is very much opposed to the new toss regulations he tweeted me back with his view that the new rule will have an unintended consequence, also to be fair he also said that before the season started.


The only week two winners in Division One were Lancashire. In Division Two, well Leicester football and cricket fans are just having the most incredible time as Leicestershire go 2nd with their win over Glamorgan. A very interesting start to the season indeed.

The new helmets have caused a bit of controversy obviously players such as Cook and Trott will draw attention, but that's only to be expected, and both were reluctant wearers of the bit of kit designed to protect them better. But they can't be that bad as the scoring from both players has been excellent, Cook did score just one in his 1st innings, but turned that around in the 2nd with his century. Also Chris Nash is thankful of the new helmet which he says saved him from at least a broken nose when he got struck by a bouncer from Jamie Porter, he has gone on record as saying that he is convinced that it was the new helmet that saved him.

Rob Key
Rob Key has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket a very popular guy he spent all his career with Kent which included long spells as captain. He also played 15 Tests for England and that included a double century against the West Indies at Lords in 2004. He scored 19.419 first class runs. He has just been working in India at the Cricket World Cup with Sky TV and so of course has a ready made second career in broadcasting already up and running.

One point of note Rob got lots of tweets congratulating him on his career and he spent time to reply to them all which I thought was a nice gesture.That means a lot to the fans. Well done again and good luck Rob.





Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Superb Live Streaming from Glamorgan Cricket Deeserve and BBC

LIVE HD Championship Cricket
Live on my Laptop 
If you enjoy listening to the radio to championship cricket because you find it's impossible for you to find time to go and watch all day, then technology has moved on by quite a big step this week. The company Deeserve in conjunction with Glamorgan website and the BBC have come up with a solution for you to watch online in HD together in perfect sync with the commentary.

Last season we saw the first feed from Trent Bridge unfortunately it was not synchronised so not really that impressive. However this season the first match from Cardiff which is Glamorgan v Leicestershire  they have produced both. I have to say it is absolutely superb. Its strange because the feed is only one camera and one end, but it enhances the commentary so much that doesn't matter. The picture is in HD and it is very clear indeed, which of course helps.

How far will this go? I do not know, but I can only say lets hope its a lot further, or I will have to start supporting Glamorgan! Ha Seriously well done Glamorgan. The commentators have by the sounds of things been receiving lots of great feedback all week and it is certainly got to be the way ahead.

Lets get the interest in county championship cricket back, there are some great games, just not enough good coverage apart from the radio, and this is a glimmer of hope for those that enjoy watching but are unable to get to games for whatever reason. Good luck to Deeserve and I hope they can expand coverage around the country. The straight free link is on the left hand side of this blog.

Glamorgan will stream all six of their championship matches at home this season after this one comes

May 8th V Worcestershire
May 22nd V Essex
June 19th V Kent
August 23rd V Sussex
September 6th V Glos


Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Week One, Sadness, Controversial New Rules and Rain Stop Play

Week one of the English domestic cricket season has brought new toss rules also relegation and promotion controversy. Together with great sadness and shock with the terrible news that James Taylor England and Nottinghamshire batsman has had to retire from all cricket after being diagnosed with a serious heart problem. Life sometimes is very unfair James (Shorty - to his playing pals) is just 25 years old and really had a great cricket career in front of him. Having being captain for Nottinghamshire and breaking into the England set up he was a very popular player with his team mates and supporters. He is also a great fielder and the recent tour of South Africa saw him take outstanding catches at Short Leg

Showing a couple of catches can never do justice for his fantastic career that was just about to get all the rewards for all his hard work. Good luck to James, the whole of the cricket fraternity wishes you well.

So with that news cricket really was put into prospective as prior to this information breaking the new toss rules had come into force on the Sunday with six tosses taking place and just one away side, Gloucestershire, choosing to not enforce the home side into bat. Glos took up the 50/50 method of trying to bat first themselves, and they succeeded in winning the toss and of course batted.

We can obviously gleam from the fact that if a toss has taken place that it is supposed to be a good batting wicket and the away side fancy it. Unfortunately Gloucester lost the match, in fact they were thumped by 10 wickets so perhaps this was a bad choice, but one does suspect they would have lost either way.

Cricket Wickets
The Captains not in the middle for the Toss 
Some, like myself, are not getting too worked up over this new rule, others such as Mark Butcher seem to hate it with a passion, tweeting and vlogging that he thinks it will have a detrimental effect on the game and not work as intended. It was of course intended to encourage home teams to prepare better turning wickets to help with the growth of our spinners. I think our spinners are growing quite well as it is, I can't see how this is going to make that much of a difference myself. Equally 50% of the time your team will be the away side, and will of course have the new rule all to themselves. So it will certainly even out.

To even up the fixtures County Cricket Championship is going to change from NINE teams in both divisions to EIGHT teams in division one and TEN teams in division two.The change will mean that ALL teams can play in one particular week, unlike the present system where we have at least one team sitting around from both divisions.  To do this, it has been decided that this season (2016) only ONE team will be promoted from division two. So that makes Div two this season very competitive indeed right from the start and the early start with rain around got some teams very nervous indeed.

None more so than Kent who travelled to Worcester. Now this particular fixture has been dogged with bad weather on more than one occasion both home and away. So its hardly surprising that when the fixture list came out the Kent fans straight away picked up on the fact they were going to Worcester first game of the season in very early April.

Now April for the past two years has been very kind, in fact last year April was better than early June! It was very warm and it was short sleeves and sun glasses all around the country. That of course could never last year in year out, we all know that.
Worcestershire County Cricket Club underwater
New Road Jan 2016

The alarm bells should have started to ring at New Road in January when the ground was so many feet under water. Expecting this to clear in the winter months is not the same as a summer flood when it can drain reasonably quickly. The winter has not been that bad, most grounds are looking fantastic, but the two weeks prior to the first week quite a lot of rain fell on New Road. This was the time to take action. Sam Northeast the new Kent captain has even said perhaps the games could have been reversed, a very good idea, but he was of course talking in hindsight after the game, the time to make this decision I think was about 4 weeks ago. The officials at Worcester keep saying that the ground was fit to play on the Friday before the game and the rain on Saturday was worse than expected, there was nothing else they could do.

Kent are very frustrated it is a difficult start as they now go on 10 days break, why this happens I just don't understand, the fixture men at the ECB are still not getting this right. Too many teams are on a ten day break after just playing one game. Why does this happen? Nobody knows.
The weather unfortunately caused draws at Durham, Northants, and Southampton with various reason for interruptions, rain obviously, but also bad light, and the most frustrating of the lot waterlogged pitches which also happened in particular at Northants. So Kent were not the only ones to suffer, but they do remain the most bitter and feel it could have been highlighted earlier, I am not so sure, but can see how infuriating it is to sit in the pavilion with the sun shining. so do understand. They don't seem to have any real answers though. But their situation is not quite as bad as it could have been with so many of the other games getting draws and importantly for Kent not so many bonus points were dished out.
So only two winners Notts lead Div one they beat Surrey quite late on, but comfortable enough in the end and go top. In Div two Essex had a good win against Gloucestershire and they of course go top as well. Performance of the week is easy enough Ben Duckett age 21 playing for Northants now has an average of 282 ! Sussex never did get him out, Ben very unlucky not to get a shot at the triple hundred as the weather stopped play on Day 3, but his average is in tact.