As you’ve probably found out English teams who qualify for the Champions League wont be allowed to field ICL players in the tournament. Only Kent, Middlesex and Somerset don’t feature any rebel ICL players.
I don’t see why ICL players can’t play in the tournament. It’s nothing to do with the IPL. If counties still go ahead and play in the tournament which I don’t know will happen, then the players who are registered ICL players will probably stay ICL players.
Something’s got to give, what’s your thoughts?
Lancashire vs Yorkshire
Last night was the return of England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff, remember the name? Flintoff has been in and out of international and county cricket for some time now with a string of injuries with his ankle and his side. Yesterday was a miserable match for him, not only did he get a duck, which would of been bad enough, but Lancashire losing by four runs to Yorkshire wouldn’t of helped the cause.
Flintoff is still not fit enough to bowl but did take an awesome diving catch on the outfield. At the moment I can’t see where Flintoff will fit in this England side. With Swann now playing in the ODI’s as an all-rounder and the batting of Collingwood and Bell slightly getting better Flintoff’s return might hold some worries for the selectors.
Australia vs West Indies
The West Indies have played some of their best cricket they’ve played in the past few years on this tour. This Twenty20 victory, despite the overs being reduced to 11 per side, will be one which give them immense confidence. They dominated the match chasing the Australians 97 for 3. They finished up with 102 for 3 with 11 balls to spare.
It was a good, clean, professional performance from a side that didn’t hold any of those assets this time last year. The West Indies are a side that is improving. Australia did play a few inexperienced players but so did the West Indies.
The next few weeks are indeed Twenty20 time. A part of the summer where cricket fans dedicate themselves to watching/listening to the matches with great anticipation of big sixes, wickets and cracking catches. Past Point takes a look at the regional group stages.
This region hosts twice previous winners Leicestershire who despite losing Stuart Broad have no reason why they can’t win the trophy again. There biggest challenge is likely to be the regional stages. Derbyshire are also a county who will be looking forward to this years trophy following there big spending winter. Nayan Doshi, one of the best Twenty20 bowlers around, has joined along with hard hitting Kolpak Hinds. There captain is ex-Surrey and England Rikki Clarke. Charl Langeveldt is also likely to send batsman into meltdown with his bowling. Durham’s Twenty20 chances have been strengthened with Shaun Pollock and with Steve Harmison they might be able to bowl sides out easily. Yorkshire have expect death bowler and captain Darren Gough at their disposal along with a decent chance of going somewhere in this competition. Lancashire always seem to be the favourites, and why not? Andrew Flintoff is a good enough reason in himself. Notts have a chance with Broad and Swann but will have to be at their best throughout the competition.
Somerset hold all the cards. Marcus Trescothick, Ian Blackwell and Justin Langer are three good reasons along with the fact that there the only side in this ground to be previous winners, in 2005. Northamptonshire will have to work hard to get anywhere and Glamorgans chances are with Gibbs.
Surrey have an explosive batting order, strengthened with ex-England all-rounder Chris Lewis. Sussex have Chris Adams and Matt Prior to carry their chances. Hampshire have a fairly good chance with Pieterson and Dimitri Mascarenhas who will only able to play when not with England. Essex with have the same problems with Bopara and Middlesex don’t seem to have a Twenty20 side.
ECB bosses have been meeting with each to discuss the situation of county cricket. Three of the main points they’ve been addressing is County Cricket competitions, the possibility of a new English Cricket Twenty20 League and Kolpak players.
The tournament problem that the ECB has lies in the One Day competitions. There is nothing wrong with the 4 day game, leave that as it is. At the moment there’s the Twenty20, Pro 40 and the Friends Provident trophy. I don’t think we should have the Pro40 game, one of county crickets objectives is to produce international players. There’s not a competition in International Cricket that has 40 overs in it, so why have it? Keep the FP trophy with 50 overs, the same as ODI cricket and have the Twenty20 league.
What’s your opinions on the condition of County Cricket, leave your comments…
South African all-rounder Shaun Pollock has joined Durham for the Twenty20 cup. Pollock is the next name added to a list of players who have decided to come out of retirement to play in the Twenty20. Chris Lewis, an ex-England all rounder, has joined Surrey for the Twenty20 this year at the age of 40. Pollock has a lot to give to Twenty20 cricket. His tight bowling will certainly tie batsman down and his lower order hard hitting will accelerate totals.
He’ll join Durham in June after returning from the IPL where he’ll be playing for Mumbai Indians. Pollock retired not long ago and the fact that he’ll be playing in the IPL shows that he’s definitely up to match fitness at this level.
The 2008 County Championship is well under way as already it looks like Surrey are the favourites for the title. Surrey have steam rolled the Lancashire attack thanks to centuries from Butcher, Ramprakash and Afzaal. Ramprakash looks set to equal the fantastic heights of the past two seasons where he’s gone past 2,000 Championship runs.
This match also hosts the return of Andrew Flintoff but he’s struggled for bowling form; taking just one wicket in the innings.
The English County cricket season starts tomorrow with the first fixtures of the season. County Cricket has become a tradition; despite the poor crowds, at times poor grounds and poor weather in April county cricket looks stronger than ever. The pick of the matches from tomorrow is Surrey vs Lancashire. The two sides I think hold the strongest chances of winning it. Sussex also have a fairly good chance but I think Surrey have the added bonus of Saqlain Mushtaq who’s making a return to The Oval. Lancashire might have Andrew Flintoff in their side which will undoubtedly strengthen it.