Hampshire Cricket History

The Coach says
February 2, 2017, 1:21 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

“England need to work on how they play spin bowling after their tour of India ended in a crushing Twenty20 defeat, says head coach Trevor Bayliss.” (BBC today)

You can see he earns his money. Maybe Mourinho could be persuaded to do England’s press conferences?

I’d suggest the first necessary trick is to learn how to bowl spin. English spinners are currently for the most part pretty ordinary, so batsmen don’t learn to play them properly.

One way to enable that would be for groundsmen (as at Taunton last year) to be encouraged (instructed?) to prepare pitches that turn – and perhaps to fine counties when they don’t, rather than when they do. This is more pressing than ever, given the number of matches played on counties’ headquarters on uniform, covered pitches

I’ve previously made two other suggestions, the first I sent formally to the MCC’s Laws committee (I think they ignored it) but it could be introduced simply as a Championship Regulation

  1. At the halfway point in first-class matches, allow teams to introduce a fully playing substitute. Halfway would be innings three or day three, whichever comes first. I think that would lead to more spinners being involved. I realise it’s a radical idea – after all other team sports have only just introduced subs (soccer about 50 years ago?)
  2. Tell Championship umpires to be more lenient on bowlers following through on the playing surface.

I have a third suggestion, linked to 1 above. At the toss, captains exchange team lists of 12 players and select after the toss (or non-toss decision). Again. this can be a competition Regulation rather than a Law.

The alternative is not merely, a continuation of the kind of England performances we’ve seen this winter (rarely on ‘raging turners’), but also increasingly bland, formulaic Championship cricket.

Mind you, the latter would discourage attendance and encourage further cuts …


6 Comments so far
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Interesting suggestions, which I think would make for more interesting cricket. However, as to the England problem, as the England players rarely play for their counties it wouldn’t help them. Perhaps we need to get back to the “good old days” when the England players played for their counties between tests. Then again, tests are now back to back. Still they could play for their counties before the tests start. But no, they might get injured, or get to tired. (Or they might find some form, heaven forbid).

Comment by Bob Murrell

Absolutely right Bob. I guess I’m thinking of the next generation so that someone like Tom Alsop might learn to play spin in the Championship

Comment by pompeypop

In addition when we go on tour we could arrive well ahead of the international games and play some proper warm-up games, But of course there is no money in this so it won’t happen.

Comment by James

No money no chance

Comment by Paul

Could I suggest that in the County Championship that we increase the number of overs required to be bowled in a day. I’m not sure that this would solve the problem on its own. It should contribute to spinners getting more of a bowl though, and encourage teams to pick them. It might possibly have the knock on effect of more wickets then being prepared that might turn on the third and fourth day, testing and enhancing batsmen’s techniques.

Comment by Colin Norton

Cheers Colin. I bang on and on about the awful over rates these days. I once suggested something similar to an old pro who replied that (say) 110 overs in a day would mean spinners having to bowl more. He thought that was a problem – I loved the idea!

Comment by pompeypop

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