Swann’s Song, Young Talent & Steve Borthwick As A Runner?!

26 05 2010

ECB Cricketer of the Year

It was announced yesterday that Graeme Swann, that product of the much derided county game, was the ECB Cricketer of the Year for 2009/10. There are absolutely no arguments from us as Swann’s arrival onto the international scene has meant that, not only do England have probably the best spinner in the world, but also that the England team has been injected with some much needed character. Swann is always worth listening too in press conferences, ready with a quip or a refreshing dose of honesty and since Flintoff has retired has really taken over the mantle of England’s most popular player.

It has  been a long time coming for Swann, originally being picked 1o years ago for a touring party to South Africa (along with such luminaries as Gavin Hamilton, Darren Maddy and a youthful Michael Vaughan), and we are very pleased for him. He is one of these players that is a joy to watch, whether it is his exuberant batting, smashing everything through cover, or his brilliant displays of flight, guile and not a little turn.

Swann’s tale is one that Monty Panesar for one should remember in his struggles to get back into the England side. Panesar of course had an astounding impact when he first came into the side, yet has since dropped off. Now he is plying his trade for Sussex and will surely return eventually to the England team a better bowler than where he was a couple of years ago.

Graeme Swann in 2009/10:

  • Tests: 521 runs @ 34.73, 58 wickets @ 30.15
  • ODI: 20 wickets @ 26.20
  • 20/20: 21 wickets @ 15.57

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Youthful British Talent

One of the major highlights of the County season so far is the large amounts of high performing young British talent on display. Have a look at the following who are all below 25:

  • Adam Lyth (Yorkshire, 22 years) 755 runs @ 68.63
  • James Hildreth (Somerset, 25) 590 runs @ 65.55
  • Ben Stokes (Durham, 18) 528 runs @ 66.00
  • Moeen Ali (Worcestershire, 22) 490 runs @ 70.00
  • Steven Davies (Worcestershire, 23) 465 runs @ 65.42
  • James Harris (Glamorgan, 20) 29 wickets @ 18.44
  • Steven Finn (Middlesex, 21) 29 wickets @ 18.68

Not a bad selection of young promise here. Steve Finn of course is likely to make his presence felt against Bangladesh this weekend and Steven Davies has also made his debut already. We wonder how long it will take one of these others to break through into the England set up?

There is also hope for the West Indies in the shape of the brilliantly named 19 year old, Chesney Hughes. Yesterday Chesney scored his maiden hundred for Derbyshire to put them in control of their match against Gloucestershire. A young cricketer learning his trade in the West Indies is fighting all sorts of problems including poorly run competitions, national team shambles and the lure of the 20/20 dollar. Hopefully for this young Anguillan an apprenticeship in County Cricket will set him on the cricketing straight and narrow.

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Kent Turn It Round

As Kent supporters, the Compulsive Hooker is absolutely delighted that they have managed to finally get on the winning side. Makhaya Ntini was the main architect of this win with 10 wickets in the match although he was impressively assisted by one test wonder Amjad Khan.

Equally impressive in his own way though was the performance of Ben Stokes (see above list) for Durham, who despite being injured badly in the first innings and effectively batting on one leg in the second, still managed to score 53. Interestingly during this innings he used Steve Borthwick as his runner which seems a strange decision to us. If you’re going to use an England rugby player – surely you should use Ben Foden, David Strettle or Chris Ashton. Not some lumbering lock who is liable to frequently take the wrong option!

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3 responses

26 05 2010
Russ

For all the talk about there being too many counties, too many foreigners, too many journeymen cricketers, and not enough places for young players in the county game, England has actually done very well over the past decade.

By contrast, Australia, which until 20 years ago wasn’t professional at the first class level, and therefore had a fairly constant turnover of young players, now has very few young players available for selection. I suspect, at some point in the future they’ll need to look at expanding beyond six teams.

27 05 2010
Sameer

His tweets are great too.

27 05 2010
Bradders

Very true Sameer!

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