American Acquisitions!

What do Cameron Steel, Ian Holland, Rusty Theron and Xavier Marshall all have in common?

They’re all in the USA cricket squad of course and could soon win some Twenty20 International caps!

Nearly two years ago I wrote about about the possibility of English county cricketers Steel and Holland representing USA…

https://sillypointcricket.com/2017/04/27/first-class-americans/

https://sillypointcricket.com/2017/06/04/century-for-steel-stars-stripes-and-steel/

Steel has fallen out of favour at Durham under James Franklin’s take no prisoners approach. Even James ‘Killer’ Weighell can’t get a game. I digress. Holland, who won a sort of X Factor style cricket competition in Australia has, like Steel, struggled to hold down a place in domestic cricket this season. The Hampshire all-rounder had to head to Northamptonshire to get some game time. Now he’s heading to Los Angeles!

http://m.espncricinfo.com/southafrica/content/player/223642.html

I was surprised that Theron didn’t get more opportunities for South Africa but we may yet see more of him at international level.

http://m.espncricinfo.com/usa/content/player/52626.html

Former West Indies hit or miss swashbuckler Xavier Marshall has been part of USA cricket for a while now.

Steel and Holland are American born unlike Theron and Marshall but hopefully all of the above can inspire Americans to participate in the best bat and ball game there is… bases, pitchers… what?

England Pinch Salt!

Following injury to the unfortunate Dawid Malan, England have called up Sussex’s Philip Salt for the one-off Twenty20 International against Pakistan tomorrow.

Salt has a top score of 74 in domestic T20 cricket, spent some time on the franchise circuit during the winter and regardless of format, has a habit of getting Sussex off to some brisk starts. Hopefully he can do the same for England if he makes the playing XI.

Farewell Alex!

Following Alex Hales’ axing from the England squad, the selectoral hierarchy have made some amendments to the party for the upcoming internationals.

Firstly, there’s a recall for the potentially destructive Ben Duckett. Following a move from Northamptonshire to Nottinghamshire, Duckett hasn’t been consistent this season but from time to time has produced the sort of innings that can get people licking their lips. He’s had his own moments of madness but was reintegrated in the winter and it’s encouraging to see him in the frame.

Dawid Malan is another recalled left-hander and he’ll hope to actually get on the pitch unlike in the West Indies. Despite the burden of captaincy as well as opening for Middlesex in List A cricket, he’s been in good form this year.

Next up is James Vince. Ed Smith didn’t sound all too enthused about Vince’s ability when his first move as England selector was to drop the Hampshire skipper but Vince has responded well. Last year, both at home and in the Big Bash, he made match-winning contributions. He’s begun this year well though his 190 against Gloucestershire was scored against an attack far removed from what either Pakistan or Australia will offer.

Duckett and Malan come into the squads for the Ireland ODI and Pakistan T20I. Vince was already in those squads and now stays on for the Pakistan ODIs.

Disclaimer: There is a downside to all this. The absence of Duckett, Malan and Vince from the county scene for a week or two has completely scuppered my fantasy teams!

Numbers Up!

Numbers on shirts during the Ashes. Farewell tradition!

Now obviously players participating in the County Championship wear numbers on their shirts and I can understand the logic in that. In Test match cricket though, I’m not so sure. Beamed on TV players are easily identifiable and even for those at the ground, isn’t trying to figure out the identity of the players part of the beauty of attending? The scoreboard will tell you who is batting and bowling. You know who the wicketkeeper is and can soon figure out regular field placements.

I think that the qualities of both Test and T20I cricket are enhanced by maintaining as much difference between them as possible. Keep the flashing bails, coloured clothing and names on shirts away from the most testing form of the game please.

Oh, errr, ignore my custom kit creation in the pic above… hypocrite!

278-3 (20.0) – Enough Said!

Okay, so there’s a little more to be said…

Afghanistan have just totalled a record-breaking 278-3 in a Twenty20 International against Ireland. Opening batsman Hazratullah Zazai scored a whopping 162 (11×4, 16×6) from just 62 deliveries. He has form as I’ve mentioned more than once here at http://www.sillypointcricket.com. Strike stealing Mohammad Nabi denied Zazai the opportunity to topple Chris Gayle’s record individual T20 innings of 175* as well as Aaron Finch’s international record of 172… cheeky beggar! Zazai is one of the hottest young players anywhere in world cricket right now.

Looking forward to Ireland’s reply…