Decent knock in his defense though.
Decent knock in his defense though.
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.
I'm not sure how you can fix this though. If you don't have a central contract system then the players have no certainty of income - and that would have even worse implications.
Like the rant, but don't agree with all of it. I don't think you can complain about lack of focus on FC cricket and then also complain about Tim Mac holding up a spot. He is a good FC batsman. I also think CdG is a good FC batting all rounder, better so far in his career than he has been at the short forms. From what I have seen of him, while he plays aggressive, it is orthodox aggressive and suited to 6 in FC cricket.
I do think Steang or whoever is in charge is missing out in the longer term succession planning though, and O'Donnell being kept around squad as 13th man while missing entire Prov A tournament and now first 2 matches if U19 tournament strikes me as extremely poor planning and coordination. I hated the Mustard selection for that FC match v Canterbury. Also I seem to rate Bartlett much higher than Strang/Hopkins. But tbh I'm not fussed if he is missing t20.
They have kept playing out of form batsmen on wrong side of 30; Vincent and Young. Will be interesting when Plunket returns ...
Also Auckland always so much depth and exports to other provinces, can't complain about that. Just like M Horne, Wiseman, Richardson going to Otago back in the 90s, Neesham getting a head start by going to Otago when still far too raw to get in Auckland team, is a good thing
Colin is a destructive bat, and to an extent you are right, a number 6 is a genuine spot for him, but an average of 16 this summer thus far is hardly something to hawk about but theres alot of cricket to be played. I think my point is that Colin is an example of the skill set of the type favoured player going around the scene these days.
I like you, am a Dean Bartlett fan, genuine swinger of the ball and continues to work on his gam and take his talent alot more seriously, considering a fe years back he sorta put cricket on the backseat for his social life ala Michael Bates early on. As a friend of Dean, I personally think he deserves that spot for his performances as well this season, especially in the longer form.
Fully agree with your assessment on bad planning, but hey, as someone who knows that setup to an extent in and out, and various others who are in it or left it, I mean I still see it happen when Anaru is available for us in club cricket, yet they would have him be 13th man, because he is a contracted player they would be essentially losing money on not playing him.
From what I read about CdG from before he made the move, playing when he was a teenager, and around the time he started playing at the higher level is that he's supremely talented, and that the longer stuff would be more his bag, and that he was more of a specialist bat than any kind of all-rounder. How he's been at Auckland almost seems as if he's been railroaded into the role of a late-order biffer and a bowler, which may have ruined his FC game. That was from a couple of articles a few years ago so I may be completely wrong, but looking at him play in Domestic T20 a few times and you can see he could be better than he is.
Also, send Lou Vincent down to Otago please.
Yes, it would be ideal if teams like Auckland had a better mix of youth and experience, but we can't just treat the provinces purely as NZ development XI's. If they're the best players available, then they should be playing.
Obviously it would be better if New Zealand had a full 2nd XI domestic competition (like in the county championship) to reduce the jump up from club cricket to PS and help identify which players are most likely to cope, but we have to live in the real world: the NZC can't afford it. It's good that they've at least put together a truncated A competition this year. Seems like it might have awakened Siddons to fact that it's worth giving the local players a try every now and then.
I hadn't realised CdG had had such a bad Plunket this year, with Young, Vincent and CdG all under performing that was a lot of dead weight. Munro and Cachopa took up the slack.
Looks like CDG has hit is way back into some form in the HRV though.
On the subject of the 2nd XI/Provincial B competition.
I must say I’m really depressed that this competition is done and dusted in the space of 8 days, consisting of 5 one-dayers and 3 T20s and zero 3-dayers.
A while ago I looked up Jamie Fuller on the cricket archive, and was very envious of how he was ‘able’ to play basically 2 seasons of week-in/out professional 2nd XI cricket for Glouc, before making his way into the first XI.
I’m interested to know, and some guys on here may know, what cricketers who are below that central contract level do for jobs? Yet some/most of them still have the flexibility to play a game of say 4 day cricket if called up.
What I am thinking about is what is the viability of an amateur/semi-pro 2nd XI competition that lasts a few months. And also what are people opinions of 2-day cricket (single innings only, 100 overs each, ) as a form of the game at this level?
For example, while keeping the one week LO tournament at Lincoln during early Jan, how about also scheduling 2 day cricket during Dec, late Jan and early Feb? Preferably I would be thinking this would not clash with Saturday club cricket, so definitely an element of semi-pro - missing part of the working week is involved. I am talking 3 months here, not the 6 and half month retainer of the 12 Provincial Contracted guys
Calling all school teachers, university students, and early 20s guys still ambitious for a future contract …..
Then there is funding …. No retainers, but match/day fees, travel & accommodation.
So I am asking;
- Would that be financially viable from an NZC and the Provincial Associations POV?
- Would that be financially viable from those cricketers at that level POV?
- Would there likely to be issues with availability? Are these guys 5 days a week white collar workers, or are they ‘club pros’ etc, and students with time and flexibility
- Do people hate the idea of single innings circket (e.g. not good for spinners etc) or think it is still a good bridge between the levels?
My immediate feeling is that it just wouldn't be financially viable to do on a national scale outside of the tournament at Lincoln. Apart from the A tournament the provinces tend to just organise fixtures between themselves both pre-season and during the season. Neither the provinces nor NZC have the cash to fund what you've suggested I don't think.
Availability would be a pretty major issue too I suspect, most blokes have normal 9-5 jobs unless they're still studying. I imagine that's why the A tournament is held right at the end of the holiday season so more guys are available.
I know that Shane Bond has a very negative opinion of 2 day cricket, particularly it's affect on spin bowler (who generally are brought on late on the day, with rubbish field settings, so that the batting side can have a slog and make an early declaration).
Then they seemed to go in the other direction with Conference Cricket, just 3 sides: North, Central & South. I think Greatbatch said it was some of the most intense FC cricket he'd had in NZ. That lasted a few seasons, but I suppose it wasn't financially viable.
At the time there was also a concern about retaining older players in the game and knowledge not getting passed on. I guess with the contracts they have achieved that to some extent, with a lot of guys in their 30's continuing to play. Although as you say, the older guys need to be performing too.