Hella late on this thread, especially the topic regarding Auckland and the need for a clear out, an idea that IMO is long overdue. As someone who was part of the age group setup up until U19's, its a shame to see Auckland Cricket (and to some extent, Paul Strang's) reluctance to persevere with the immense talent coming through the ranks. How on Earth Auckland cricket does not look at itself and wonder why guys like Jeet Raval, Jimmy Neesham, both Brad and Carl Cachopa, Tarun, James Fuller, Ronnie, Ish etc who seem to be making the most of their talents elsewhere, but were denied opportunity because of guys like Mcintosh etc. holding up spots. And these are just the guys who are playing first class cricket, not even speaking of the likes of Andrew De Boorder, who I still rate as one of he best bats in Auckland, along with a slew of others who could walk into first class setups elsewhere.
Reece Young, and great as a servant he has been for Auckland, is in the team as a specialist bat, which astounds me. Why we continue to get Lou Vincent astounds me as well.
The problem Auckland and tbh most of NZ domestic cricket face is that as much as I love the longer form of the game, the continued success of the Aces at limited overs and T20 (which also has the Champions League meal ticket), there is no chance in hell that the focus will shift away from limited overs cricket. You just have to look at he fact that as nice a guy Colin De Grandhomme is, the fact that he has cemented himself as a FC all rounder in the longer version is a microcosm of NZ cricket in general. The emphasis on bits and pieces cricketers not specialists, particularly of the batting allrounder ilk (dare I say James Franklin-esque) seems to be an accepted thing in domestic cricket. Middle order musclers are preferred over top order grinders and its of no surprise that there are guys struggling to reach 50, let alone triple figures.
We simply do not produce enough cricketers, or select enough, that are catered to the longer version of the game, instead we try turn limited overs batsman into test players which is a difficult adjustment to successfully make, even moreso with the player pool we have. Guptill being the prime example.
The world just doesn't understand leg spin