Tremlett Rising, Freelance Cricketers and Australia in India

26 09 2010

Warne Rates Tremlett

Interesting words from Shane Warne in the Daily Telegraph today. According to the great man, Chris Tremlett of Surrey and latterly Hampshire, has the potential to be one of the best fast bowlers in the world ‘bar none’. He even goes as far as to say that in the nets he ‘is the best bowler in the world’ and is quite ‘unplayable’. Warne qualifies this however by going on to say what everyone in England has long suspected – namely that Tremlett is a little on the ‘soft’ side.

We sincerely hope that his move to Surrey has ensured that a tougher sheen has been brought to him as, if not, a tour of Australia is hardly the place to be.  Tremlett, a little like Simon Jones albeit for entirely different reasons, has been one of the talents that had looked like might go to waste. If the entirely likely curse of injury hits the England seam attack his chance may come and hopefully Warne’s prediction of him being able to hit the number one bowling slot in the world will be shown as having distinct possibilities.


West Indian Problems

The never ending saga of disputes between the players and the WICB (West Indian Cricket Board) took yet another twist over the weekend. If the players aren’t on strike because they haven’t been paid, or they’re not paid enough, or the WICB is electing a new president, or any other of a myriad of possible reasons – it turned out that two of the most recognisable players have this time simply refused to sign.

Dwayne Bravo – probably the most valuable player the West Indies have in their current line up (with a duly deferential nod to Mr. Chandepaul) – and Kieron Pollard, 20/20 hitter of note, have rejected contracts worth $80,000 in favour of being able to pick and choose their own commitments. As with England, a central contract enables the board to veto the players participation in any given tournament and requires the player to play for the West Indies when fit and selected. Unfortunately, with much larger amounts of money available elsewhere – Pollard was signed by the Mumbai Indians for $750,000 – these two have decided to remain able to decide for themselves where they play.

The worrying issue here is that, with the West Indies hardly being the force they once were and with the proliferation of 20/20 cricket around, this might start a trend. These two players are at entirely different stages of their careers – Pollard of course is yet to play test cricket (or even much first class cricket) whereas Bravo has played 37 test matches and is a regular when fit for the West Indies.

Much has been written about the necessary primacy of test cricket but in practice it appears to be a foundation that is slowly being chipped away and this could be the first instance of one more brick being removed. If the West Indies start losing players then their already weak base is eroded, teams such as India would stop entertaining them – probably regardless of any Future Tours Progam – other countries such as Bangladesh and Pakistan go down this route, and suddenly test cricket seems a slight irrelevance.

Perhaps we are being overly pessimistic and both Bravo and Pollard are committed to continuing to represent or,  in Pollards case, making a name for themselves internationally, but it does appear to be yet another instance of 20/20 cricket slowly taking over the world game…


Australia go to India

Australia are in the middle of playing their one and only first class warm up game of their two test match and three one day international series. Typically the Australian batsman are making hay on a flat surface against a side that contains three bowlers who have represented India in test matches – a ruthless trait that says everything about Australian cricketers.

This series, whilst apparently only organised for financial reasons, is hardly the best warm up for the Ashes as Ricky Ponting amongst others have said. Last time they toured several of the leading Australian fast bowlers broke down – Peter Siddle has only just come back from his injury there – and so it is possible that this tour, coming as it does immediately prior to the Ashes, could actually be England’s greatest ally. For our money at the Compulsive Hooker, we would rather England face a full strength Australian side although we wouldn’t be averse to a Glenn McGrath Edgbaston moment before the all important first test.

One further thing about this series is its length. Australia versus India whether down under or in the sub continent is an epic series on a par with the Ashes. To only have two test matches seems a real shame and would be akin to watching a film or series which is broken off half way through. It just doesn’t seem enough – particularly when you have two so well matched sides as these two.

For a prediction we believe that Australia will either win this series or it will be a draw. The Indian bowling attack, though bolstered by Zaheer Khan’s return to fitness, is not one to inspire terror and will struggle to take 20 wickets. The Australian one does at least have the benefits of genuine pace and if Hauritz performs should at least be able to do the job once, which, in a two test series is usually enough.




3 responses

27 09 2010
Dean @ Cricket Betting Blog

It’s pretty amazing to hear Warne describe Tremlett in that way. I knew he could play, as I think we all do, but to be told that he is good enough to be the top bowler in the world must be good for Tremlett’s confidence.

With Warne being Warne though, I did wonder at first if the ‘best bowler in the world, in the nets’ remark was a slight jibe at him to try and undermine him ahead of the series, as Warne is a master of the mind games.

But then I thought, why would he talk him up as being good enough to be the best bowler in the world?

With regard to the West Indies and their central contracts, this looks like further massive problems for the WICB. How many times have the player been in dispute with the board over their contracts now?

A deal worth $80,000, and giving the WICB the licence to say they can’t play in the IPL is just not going to happen. But if thats all they can afford to pay, then what are the WICB supposed to do?

It’s the sad state of West Indies cricket these days.

Have the WICB said whether or not they will select players that don’t sign?

It’s a dodgy position for them to find themselves in, as they don’t want to send a message to the rest of the players that it is ok not too sign. But on the other hand, can they afford to lose these two players?

27 09 2010

Yes I always wonder whether Warne is talking someone up to get them in the team although in this case as they know each other its probably not the case. Just hope he proves him right!

I think Bravo and Pollard will be selected – it comes down to whether they are up for playing themselves I guess which could set a dangerous precedent.

Pollard is a strange one as he seems to talented yet I wonder if he could translate it to the four or five day game. Michael Holding thinks not but Ian Bishop thinks so – we’ll have to wait and see.

28 09 2010
Dean @ Cricket Betting Blog

Yes, I would agree with you on Pollard. He looks to have a bit more about him, than just being a big hitter/slogger.

As is generally a problem for a lot of West Indian cricketers these days, it is probably his temperament that will be the deciding factor in whether he makes it or not in the longer forms.

As much as I like and admire Holding, he is a self-confessed hater of T20, so just maybe that might be influencing his opinion on Pollard.

I hope he does give it a good go at test level, because if he does come off he could be the sort of player to perhaps bring the crowds back a bit in the Caribbean.

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