Clarke’s Case

I’ve previously written about Joe Clarke and how I didn’t want him in the England team anytime soon…

https://sillypointcricket.com/2019/01/11/first-class-cricketers-but-without-the-class/

This followed unsavoury revelations about his personal life in light of the Alex Hepburn rape trial. Fair play to Clarke though. What he needed to do was let his cricket do the talking and make his case for selection extremely difficult to ignore.

Clarke has not committed a crime or been accused of one. I previously said that given time and maturity then I’d have no qualms about him representing England.

He has commenced the 2019 campaign with scores of 112 and is currently 97 not out on his competitive debut for new employers Nottinghamshire…

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/8052/game/1166914/nottinghamshire-vs-yorkshire-specsavers-county-championship-division-one-2019

Should he carry on like this then an Ashes call, though he’d probably have to move up to three, could be almost certain.

As touched upon in my article posted earlier today…

https://sillypointcricket.com/2019/04/07/northeast-finds-direction/

English batsmen up and down the land are putting their hands up and demanding international recognition. It’s a welcome change to recent seasons.

Northeast Finds Direction!

Following a frustrating injury hit first campaign with his adopted county, former Kent captain Sam Northeast commenced the new season with an impressive knock of 169 for Hampshire against Essex.

It’s easy to assume that Northeast has fallen down the pecking order in terms of England selection but if he can back up his opening knock with more of the same then there’s no reason why he couldn’t gatecrash the Ashes. Incumbent Joe Denly is currently sat on the bench at the IPL. He is very much an Ed Smith selection however. Denly made 69 in his last Test innings but then James Vince made 76 in his. With Northeast performing at three and Vince opening, could the Hampshire duo both make England’s next Test squad?

Yorkshire’s Adam Lyth made runs too. He’s a very good player but the fact that previous Test shortcomings occurred against Australia in England will probably count against him. There’ll be a clamour for Joe Clarke who let his cricket do the talking when making a debut ton for Nottinghamshire meanwhile Haseeb Hameed registered a double century against the students.

Ultimately the early season signs are that unlike recent seasons, England might have some difficult selection choices to make but in a good way.

Duckett Double/InVincible!

Two batsmen that are hoping to return to England colours and gatecrash the Ashes this summer have made the most of their university warm-up match opportunities today.

New Nottinghamshire recruit Ben Duckett produced the sort of innings that got him noticed in the first place, making a mighty 216 from only 180 balls against a toiling Cambridge.

Meanwhile Hampshire captain James Vince, having moved to opener because he believes the feedback that he’s had from the England hierarchy is that performing there will increase his chances of another recall, compiled 139 from 185 deliveries against Cambridge’s foes Oxford.

Now of course the quality of the opposition isn’t the best but it’s a form finding start just a few days before the county campaign commences for two aspiring England batsmen.

Test Match not so Special!

Warning! Extremely long sentence and moan coming!

I’ve touched upon my frustrations with BBC Test Match Special before but before we consider the arrogance, distance and general stuck-upness of many of the commentators on there, the lack of insight, intelligence or articulateness, particularly amongst the ex-players, this is despite having played the game for many years, there’s one thing that I particularly can’t stand… it’s the fact that they rarely correct each other when they make a mistake! (And breathe!)

Isn’t to be corrected something that we all welcome? Particularly in a public working environment. Don’t we all want to enhance our knowledge and have it pointed out if we’re wrong or lost our concentration? Of course somewhere along the line with so much going on your mind and mouth are going to go out of sync but isn’t that why there’s somebody sat next you mr/miss commentator? The co-commentator should politely and jovially point out the error. This can usually be done in a nice way and actually enhance the listening experience for the… err, listener.

I find the habit of ignoring these errors, particularly getting somebody’s name wrong, distracting and unprofessional. It’s going to happen somewhere, mistake a player for another or muddle a name, I get that but it should be limited.

If BBC maintain the rights, particularly during a World Cup and Ashes summer, where such potentially inspiring competitions are absent from free to air TV (But don’t worry, your kid is supposedly being taught cricket at school!) then let’s hope that they can up their game!

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!