...would you sign?
Personally, Pollock & Lara.
...would you sign?
Personally, Pollock & Lara.
RIP Craig Walsh (Craig) 1985-2012
Proudly supporting the #2 cricketer of all time.
I'd like to think, if I were a county coach/selector, I'd be able to resist the charms of carpetbagging Yarps/West Indians, but yeah if one were to go down that route all-time greats like Polly & BCL would have more obvious appeal than yer Benkensteins or yer Ackermans.
Failing that, young blokes who could potentially qualify for England (like McLaren at Kent) have to tick more boxes than 30-somethings who're here for the money. Not, I hasten to add, that I blame them at all for that.
If, however, I were under pressure to get results in the short-term my philosophy might become rather more flexible...
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If it was indeed just for one season (as it now is)? Yep, would go for short-term fixes like those two.
Because Kolpaks are around for just 1 more season. After that, they're history. And it looks like the overall rule on overseas-players is being tightened-up still further, which can only be a good thing.
However all-in-all the counties I admire most are those who have not seeked to bypass the overseas-player rule, have just picked the ECB's "recommendation" of 1, and have focused on developing their ground and players. Nice to see Glamorgan, with the likes of Rees, Harris and hopefully, in time, Tom Maynard and Ben Wright, maybe starting to make some gains from that.
Incidentally, anyone notice the perhaps rather cunning proposed stipulation in the new overseas-player ruling? "Must have played international cricket in the previous 2 years" or something. Hmm, that sounds to me like an ideal way to stop counties signing ICL overseas-players (given that no ICL player will play international cricket) while making it look like you're doing nothing untoward. Smart move.
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Moving on, I dont think having big names that are declining has ever been a good idea. They get paid over what they produce, young local players get into a comfort zone and dont produce and there is no evidence on helpign young players (some like Warne might but they are few and far between) etc.
I think it is a recipe for disaster.
There are 2 areas Id look.
- Id be looking for a quality specialist (regardless of age) to provide a skill difficult to obtain. ie quality spinner
- A quality 2nd or 3rd string International player that can dedicate their career to the County and develop a relationship with the clb and the supporters. eg Benkenstein
Dropping in fading big names looks desperate from the clubs POV and mercinary from the players. It benefits noone.
As for Saqlain, he's now British nationalised via residence and will not be affected by it. As for the sacrifice in quality involved - TBH, we wait to see. Though the likes of Adam Voges, Chris Rogers, Michael di Venuto etc. are unquestionably quality players, I question whether they're of such high quality to justify the increase in expenditure.
Remember, there'll always be British-passport-of-convenience players and EU-passport players. No-one can stop counties wasting money on them so the more that can be stopped from being wasted on official overseas-players, the better.
Spearman isn't actually a Kolpak - he's been playing over here since well before the ruling. IIRR it was 2001 that he first signed. He may be a Kiwi by birth, upbringing and residence, but he has a Welsh grandma so qualifies as British.
I don't think NZ has the requistite trade agreement with the EU to make Kolpak Kiwis possible. Andre Adams, for instance, only qualifies because he has Guyanese (or somewhere Caribbean) parents.
Though I've often wondered how Paul Wiseman gets to play without anyone being allowed to class him as an overseas-player.
Hamish Marshall, the other Kiwi, has IIRR an Irish parent.
It's hard to believe young players could possibly fail to learn anything from the likes of Shaun Pollock. For me, the worst Kolpaks are washed-up internationals who were never that good anyway, Corey Collymore for example.
Corey Collymore is far from "not any good at all". Collymore is a very fine bowler, one who is and always has been only a little short of Test-class. And if he's a good teacher (how good a player is is a completely irrelevant question when considering how good they are at passing-on their skills) he'll be very useful. Nonetheless, as an employed player you're a player first and a coach second.
As to the question of county cricket in general - yes the primary function of counties is indeed to produce players for England. All counties depend completely on the ECB for most of their income and if they can't produce cricketers that people want to watch play for England they'll wither and die. However, yes, county cricket is a competition in itself, and there's no reason the aims of a county and England can't run concurrantly.
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