It’s comments like this that confirm how rubbish Jonathan Agnew is!
He’s the lead commentator on BBC Cricket coverage, though I notice that they did keep him away from the televised matches this summer when very keenly trying to attract a younger audience with The Hundred and other televised matches to come next year. I digress, he should know who George Linde is!
The spinner has played for South Africa before and whilst I wouldn’t expect him to know the shoesize or even batting average of every player off the top of his head, to have not even heard of him just isn’t good enough!
Where to start. It’s all to much. This article might not be coherent!
We did it! We gained promotion back to County Championship division two in the most nail-biting fashion. In our final game we lost the toss, conceded 428 and were made to follow-on despite opener Matthew Revis carrying his bat. We set Derbyshire a paltry 127 to win with C Fry claiming 9-83 (!) but reduced them to 89-9 thanks in the main to our spinners. Their final wicket pair then produced the highest partnership of the innings to reach 120-9 when Matt Fisher, who had struck a vital 63 not out from number ten in our second innings, bowed out of professional cricket with the promotion sealing wicket. A full house went wild. There were tears, screams of jubilation and lots of bubbly. We’ll be back in the big time in 2032!
Forget the T20 campaign and we blew a good start in the One-Day competition but it’s top flight First Class cricket for Yorkshire once again. There were lots of contributors with the bat throughout the campaign including a century on debut from 17-year-old gloveman Chris Patrick. Homegrown talent Norman Dobson brought his white-ball skills to the four-day game to lead the way with the red orb. Oh… and batsman and part-time leg-spinner Fred Albright claimed nine wickets in a innings!
In the crucial match against Derbyshire, all-rounder Phillip Morris scored a century that nearly denied us promotion. We’ve had our eye on him for sometime (Because he shares his name with my dad!) so signed him up after the match. We’ve also signed a couple of specialist T20 bowlers (Jason Daniel-WI/Lakmal Sharman-SL) after New Zealander Geoffrey Donald’s horror show. We thought we’d recruited a third (Ranga Wijetinge) but accidentally got him to put pen to paper on a reserve overseas contract not a T20 contract (!) so unless captain Josh Phillipe is away with the Ozzies much, we won’t be seeing a lot of the Sri Lankan all-rounder!
Jordan Thompson, who made some useful contributions but also missed a chunk of the season due to playing in The Hundred, has been released once again as has young batsman Martin Woodcock.
We’ll see you in 2032 for County Championship division one cricket. I’ve rejected offers from Baluchistan amongst others to lead Yorkshire for a thirteenth campaign. My heart is a white rose!
Finally, after five seasons in the job, things have started to progress. This season saw a fourth place finish in the County Championship but had we been able to turn a few frustrating draws into wins it could’ve been even better.
At the top of the order the combination of the stoic Matthew Revis and aggressive James Wharton complimented each other well.
Jon Baldwin topped the CC run charts with 1387 including a best of 277. Dennis Brindell came good too. He made four consecutive centuries in the latter stages of the campaign and fell only nineteen runs short of making it five. England Test cap Sam Cook claimed 51 wickets.
In the One-Day competition we finished fifth in our group. After a century in the opening game it was a huge shame that James Wharton missed the rest of the tournament through injury.
Jon Francis accumulated an impressive 547 runs with a best of 151, one of two centuries that he registered. Matthew Fisher, captain for the format in the absence of Jonny Tattersall (Playing in The Hundred) claimed a club best 16 wickets.
Sadly, we only mustered two victories in the T20 format. In an inglorious campaign we were even dismissed for 49!
Fred Albright did chalk up an encouraging 373 runs while Jared Warner made the most of a run in the side to claim 15 wickets.
All in all though, there was much improvement and much to build on.
Experienced duo Adam Lyth and Dawid Malan, neither of whom featured for the first team this season, have left the club. Getting said players off the wage bill has freed up funds for additional coaching and physio sessions.
Australian leg-spinning all-rounder Scott Collins, capped in both ODI/T20I cricket, replaces Rahkeem Cornwall as our overseas players. Sadly Scott will be unavailable initially as he’s been signed to play in the IPL. We’ve also added free agent Ken Wainwright, a batsman, to our squad to provide cover for The Hundred call-ups.
Meanwhile I’ve rejected offers to join both Durham and Otago. My heart lies with Yorkshire!
If you were struggling to stomach The Hundred then 3TC is likely to make you choke on your cornflakes! But do you know what? Having watched the little explainer video on YouTube… I actually quite like the idea!
Yes it’s another South African cricket competition that isn’t going to get off the ground as anticipated and how practical three-team international matches outside of a major tournament would be is debatable but it seems like it could be really exciting.
One thing the video doesn’t make clear but is presumably easy to figure out is that if a batsman is left on their own then they have to keep walking back to the other end to be on strike even if they ran a single or a three.
Excuse my laziness but please watch the video presented by Mark Nicholas via the link above that does a better job of explaining it than I would. It seems really dynamic and like I say, I like the idea… though it’s probably not desperately necessary to rush to commence it in a coronavirus hotspot in the middle of the South African winter!
It was my intention to post an audiocast but technical issues mean that we’ll have to content ourselves with the written word.
Firstly, I hope that everybody is well. Please stay safe and adhere to the appropriate advice. It isn’t always easy dependent on your employer but I hope that financially and health wise you’re all able to survive.
There will be little cricket this year. Recreational cricket will have to pass which will be of great frustration to many. Please try and stay positive. As for watching and following the professional game then maybe some short form cricket at the back end of the summer is as much as we can optimistically hope for. Whether or not travelling to these matches will be safe and practical for fans is a difficult question. This ‘thing’ isn’t just going to blow over. For the ECB and their Hundred baby that will be of grave concern!
I’ve stalled on Cricket 19. I’m halfway through a Test match as France but a mid-match patch, little children, work and the weather have all impeded my progress/enjoyment. I’ll try and round it off soon and post the details… it could be interesting!
Now is surely the time to read some cricket books and watch some films. Please refer to the relevant tabs at the top right of my blog for recommendations (Menu & Widgets-Home-Batting Order-Select Category).
England’s cricketers have returned from Sri Lanka and rightly so. If they’d stayed in Sri Lanka there’s no guarantee that they’d be able to get home at the conclusion of the tour. They may have spouses, dependents, children and elderly family who need their support. They can’t possibly have been expected to focus on cricket even if young healthy families are perceived to be at less risk. I myself have a child who is high risk and many people seem to be making misguided assumptions about who are and who aren’t vulnerable. England’s cricketers have a nice life but already spend enough time in hotels. To have been locked up in one with their families in England and no travel authorised just couldn’t have been allowed to happen.
As for The Hundred, the ECB will be worried!
Fingers crossed that cricket like society in general can recover soon.
It’s the end of an era for Telegraph Fantasy Cricket!
The official line is that the demand just isn’t there, that interest in the county game has fallen so much that the competition isn’t sustainable/viable. I can’t help but think that the new structure of the domestic game, what with The Hundred and player availability (Or lack of) across four different competitions, will have made it quite complex for the Telegraph to create a fair competition.
It’s a shame because I really enjoyed it and you did need to use some nous but it’s over and out for TFF!
Meanwhile I’ve logged into CricketXI (www.cricketxi.com) but there’s currently no sign of any English cricket on there either. We’ll have to wait and see if it’s bitten the dust too or just not up and running yet. The county campaign commences on 19th April 2020 so there’s still time?!
The Hundred, which let’s face it, is coming, will bring with it… Cricket Attax!
I’ve always said that these are the sort of things, like they have in football, that are what we need in order to peak children’s interest in cricket. Whilst first and foremost providing fun, the cards and game require some mathematical application so are, as a result… educational!
The Hundred might not be everybody’s cup of tea but it’s coming, some of it will be on free to air TV and it’ll bring Cricket Attax with it!
What do the public want? (By public I mean the six people including myself that voted on this poll!)
Not the Hundred!
Interestingly, 67% of voters would like to have just kept the T20 Blast in its current county form. I thought that more than 33% might have plumped for a T20 city based franchise competition but like a batsman’s average the stats don’t lie!
If you haven’t already then please vote on my latest poll on the subject of coin tossing in Test cricket. You can find the Polls section of my blog by clicking on the Menu & Widgets tab at the top right of my home page then selecting Batting Order then Select Category then Polls.
Come to think of it, why don’t I just provide you with the link to my latest poll?
Here’s my latest poll. It’s a chance to have your say on something extremely relevant happening in cricket right now. Please share with your friends so that we can really get a feel for public opinion on this…
Many thanks for voting and be sure to look out for the results in a week’s time.