Hampshire Cricket History

And another thing …
September 29, 2015, 6:48 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Have you seen the final Championship averages yet? I’m sure they’re on-line but I have a copy from yesterday’s Times which has the usual minimums of ten innings and ten wickets

I looked at the bowlers, a list of around 130 in total – an average of about seven per county – from which I notice for example no sign of the very promising Adam Riley of Kent who, despite being an England prospect a year ago didn’t take ten wickets. Which led me to check out some other ‘top’ spinners:

There weren’t many.

There’s New Zealand Patel of course with 58 wickets at 25 proving spinners do work in the Championship


Middlebrook at Yorkshire with 17 at 25 – a promising youngster if ever … followed by Rashid with similar but slightly inferior average (29 wickets). Gareth Batty got 40 at 28 in Div 2 (another promising future) and his partner Ansari 44 at 31 – that does look good.

Simon Kerrigan (ex England) took 41 at 32, perfectly respectable but not quite the world beater of a few years back, Ollie Rayner got just 24 wickets at 33 and then our own Mason Crane who despite 10 at 34 each, wasn’t selected in three of the last four, Hampshire preferring Stevenson who took three wickets in three matches at 72 each. Might Crane have managed that? Samit Patel took just 26 at 34 each and he’s in the England side.

Danny Briggs is near the foot of the list with 19 at 37 just ahead of Liam Dawson with 22 at 39 and they’re both ahead of Kent’s other international spinner Tredwell (11 at 40).Sussex relied mostly on Luke Wells (23 at 38). Down among the ‘dead men’ are Taylor at Gloucs and Ajmal at Worcs!

I may have missed a couple but nothing notable I don’t think. It means that on average counties are picking one spinner at a time and up to six pace bowlers and very few of the spinners are contributing much. Apart from anything else it lessens the intrigue, pace and aesthetics of the game.

The obvious answer is to play as many games as possible at the start and end of the season, prepare batting/seamer-friendly pitches and cut the number of games. Then spinners can fulfil their mission to become limited-overs specialists.

8 Comments so far
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It struck me after, that unless I’ve missed someone Patel is the leading spinner and the only one with over 50 wickets but he’s also the only one with more than 40 wickets from Div One – I’m not even sure there is anyone over 30. I’ll have another look unless anyone spots something. It’s a shame we have Dawson, Briggs and the very promising Taylor & Crane

Comment by pompeypop

Jeetan that is, not Samit

Comment by pompeypop

One problem I think is what happens when one prepares a wicket that takes a bit of spin, remember Notts a few seasons back. The answer is to let the counties prepare wickets to suit their bowling attack, rather than the standard pitches that seem to be prepared these days. That way we might get a few more spin bowlers playing more matches.

Comment by Bob Murrell

I am in agreement with Bob. Once again we have the ECB to thank for the current situation. After all it is them who state that a pitch has to be marked down if there is turn in the first two days whereas it is perfectly acceptable for there to be seam movement.

It seems we will soon see spinners following wicket-keepers in that they are only likely to play in the Championship if they can bat as well.

Comment by James

I think that has already happened. Dawson, Samit Patel, Moeen Ali, Borthwick, Ansari all top six batsman and some of these often play as the sole spinner

Where they aren’t in the top six they are very useful batsman, Rashid, Rayner, Jeetan Patel, Ashar Zaidi all have first class tons

Comment by Ian

Yes it has certainly started but not quite to the wicket-keeper level yet.

Dawson for Briggs is certainly continuing the trend.

Probably a good job for his future that Brad Taylor scored so many runs last season.

Comment by James

I still worry that we won’t see Brad Taylor fulfil his potential here, unless he gets in as a batsman. His unfortunate injury, that opened the door for Mason Crane, might mean he won’t get many opportunities as a bowler.

Comment by Bob Elliott

Thanks for those thoughts. It reminded me I’d missed Borthwick – he took 15 at 43 each and his off-spin partner Pringle 20 at 28. Zaidi at Sussex took 11 at 42. All pretty unremarkable when you consider that if you added them all up they might get to the 300 wickets that ‘Tich’ Freeman once took in a season!

Comment by pompeypop

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