As I blissfully watch Leicestershire versus Nottinghamshire in the 2012 Friends Life Twenty20. Michael Lumb almost, metaphorically walks out from my television and asks me why he hasn’t been picked for the upcoming ODIs against the Windies. Superlative hitting, troublesome to dismiss from a bowlers point of view and a good professional to have in the dressing room with the youngsters. Even if not used in the 50 over format of the game, I could happily see both himself and Ian Bell open the batting for England in the Twenty20 against the dismal West Indies bowling attack.
Now, THE LAST THING I’M HINTING is that
the ECB and the selectors are poor and make controversial selections.
Personally, I find that the ECB, alongside the Australian Cricket
Board, are the best there are due to a number of factors:
- The wages in contrast to the work are fair.
- They demand the absolute best from the team and players otherwise they are dropped.
- No player is bigger than the team. Take Pieterson’s ego for example. A
player of the highest quality yet his contract is set and should not be
changed. The fact he purely wants to play the Twenty20s is near
insulting for any club cricketer, including myself, who would give
their right arm to play one minute for England.
- For me, the
most important factor that makes the ECB successful is their work on
the England Lions and their control of that. In fact…I think it needs
its own separate paragraph.
As so often that ever
changing weather in Britain rains off a beautiful game of Test Cricket
in England, David Gower presents a small tape on The England Lions
performance training. The humorous factor was how it was shown directly
after a conversation including Michael Holding on the current failures
of the West Indies Cricket Board. It showed the Batsmen and Spinners
off to the challenging conditions of Bangladesh and the Pace Bowlers
off to South Africa. What I enjoyed seeing was how the ECB inter-linked
both the Lions and the First team players to learn from each other.
the ECB have treated the matches against the Windies as an appatizer
before the anticipating main course meal of South Africa this summer.
This means they are giving the first cap to Jonny Bairstow at the
tender age of 22 as a specialist number six batsman. Regardless of his
average run score being below par in how the selectors would have
wanted it (12.66 per match). There is no better way of improving what
is to be a world class player, which he certainly has the potential to
be, by throwing him at the deep end after a cracking average (45.21 per
match) for his county Yorkshire.
So I’ve spoken and
given my opinion on Michael Lumb and Jonny Bairstow. However, I must
now touch on a subject which I speak many a time in conversations,
which can lead in to arguments, on the ever growing, media
conversations rather than height, on the superb efforts made by James
Taylor with his former club Leicestershire and now his
club…well…funnily enough Nottinghamshire. Scoring what the pundits
call, the best century in a county cricket match with a tantalising
115* in only 77 balls on the 31st of May showing the England selectors
he is the perfect candidate to replace Kevin Pieterson. Alongside his
performance, he is the hot topic of
discussion in the media for his cracking captivating captaining ‘Quoted
from Andy Flower…I couldn’t have made that gold up’ in the England
Lions A team leading them to a 3-2 victory in Sub-Continent conditions.
And to be completely blunt, the England First team didn’t perform like
the world beaters of test cricket and looked like a bunch of primary
school children playing rounders, whilst the school bully on the other
team (In this case Saeed Ajmal) was demolishing everyone.
see how the youngsters perform against the Windies in the first ODI on
Saturday with the likes of Gayle, Pollard, Narine, Dwayne Bravo and if
Tino Best and Marlon Samuels are playing, then the cricketing world
will be watching a fantastic spectacle of athletes performing at the
highest of the high. Can Alistair Cook do it?
We’ll wait and see.