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Thread: Overseas players in County Championship

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    Cricket Web Staff Member Woodster's Avatar
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    Overseas players in County Championship

    Was just reading an article about the drop off in quality in County cricket in England and how the quality of the overseas player was generally much higher due to the fact the international schedules were not as demanding and the T20 competitions that coincide with the English season, and reward the better players in this format so handsomely, were not around. Throw in the fact that the regulations have tightened when trying to sign players on the 'Kolpak' ruling (which has benefitted in some areas) and the standard will inevitably suffer.

    Of course on the plus side is the younger players getting more of an opportunity and exposure in first-class and LO cricket. So was just wondering what people's take is on this year's crop of overseas signings so far, focusing mainly on the players available for the County Championship games. There have been 11 confirmed overseas players so far, as follows -

    Derby - Shiv Chanderpaul
    Glamorgan - Jacques Rudolph
    Gloucester - Michael Klinger
    Hampshire - Kyle Abbott
    Leicester - Ramnaresh Sarwan
    Northants - Jackson Bird
    Notts - Peter Siddle
    Somerset - Alviro Petersen
    Surrey - Graeme Smith
    Warwicks - Jeetan Patel
    Yorkshire - Kane Williamson

    It seems a fairly even split. There are the experienced players that will offer the club more than just their performances on the field. The likes of Chanderpaul, Sarwan, Rudolph, Klinger, Smith and Patel who you would all say probably have their best days behind them but can add so much to a club and their younger players coming through and even the experienced players that are still willing and determined to learn and develop.

    The other group are players that may be peaking and still have international and Test aspirations. Abbott, Bird and Siddle all hope to force their way back into their Test teams, with Siddle only very recently losing his spot. Would imagine his workload will be very closely monitored by CA and Darren Lehmann. Petersen and Williamson both vital part of their Test sides and could be permanent fixtures in Test cricket for a good few years yet.

    So while the older days threw up world class performers such as the Richards, Garners, Marshalls, Akrams, Waqars, etc, etc, it is highly unlikely national boards will sanction their key players to compete in an entire domestic season anymore. Is this a decent batch of overseas players or are the supporters of the counties these days still being short-changed ?
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    International Coach Pothas's Avatar
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    I think it is better than we have seen in the recent past, I was starting to think that it had reached the stage where it was really not worth the bother getting an overseas player given that they hardly ever seemed to player more than a few games.

    The time of the great players coming to play county cricket has clearly gone but that list is not a bad one. I still think county cricket is of great value to someone like Kane Williamson and is that sort of player that we should be looking to attract.

  3. #3
    Cricket Web Staff Member Woodster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pothas View Post
    I think it is better than we have seen in the recent past, I was starting to think that it had reached the stage where it was really not worth the bother getting an overseas player given that they hardly ever seemed to player more than a few games.

    The time of the great players coming to play county cricket has clearly gone but that list is not a bad one. I still think county cricket is of great value to someone like Kane Williamson and is that sort of player that we should be looking to attract.
    I absolutely agree that County cricket is an excellent stepping stone in the continued development of players from overseas hoping to enhance their game by playing plenty of decent cricket in foreign conditions. I thought it was an excellent move for Williamson when he came over originally for Gloucester, and likewise for Usman Khawaja when he shared the overseas spot at Derby with another player that I'm sure must have gained from the experience in Martin Guptill. These type of players you'd expect are hungry to learn and push their own cases for international selection with outstanding performances and so may prove excellent signings for the counties, even if they are not world renowned names (though Kane Williamson is going that way).

    I do still firmly believe there is a place in our first-class games for those who have given up hope of Test cricket but have a stellar record at the highest level behind them. Shiv Chanderpaul can be relied upon for not only consistent performances week in, week out, but will surely be a massive presence at a club whose younger players will get so much out of just talking to him and watching how he prepares and goes about his business.

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    International Coach Pothas's Avatar
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    Yeah I don't disagree with that at all, what we don't want is people just coming in for a few weeks and then leaving again, that does nothing for anyone.


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    Cricket Web Staff Member Woodster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pothas View Post
    Yeah I don't disagree with that at all, what we don't want is people just coming in for a few weeks and then leaving again, that does nothing for anyone.
    While the short-term deals can be beneficial for both the county and the player, it's not something I like seeing either. The disruption could surely be a hindrance to a team and I would certainly prefer a player to sign a season-long deal wherever possible.

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    Global Moderator Prince EWS's Avatar
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    I think they really need to look at relaxing the regulations a bit, particularly the government-imposed visa regulations preventing players who haven't played international cricket recently from participating as overseas players. The amount of cricket played in the county season is a strength of the English system but it does mean few players can actually make it through the season without suffering injury or burn-out, and this problem is exasperated by the large number of teams. Each team having a couple of experienced or talented players from overseas who are either looking to make a career during their winter or develop the game really helps the standard of the competition and nullifies the problem created by having just a few too many teams for a perfect development system. Not allowing players like McDonald and Copeland to play ahead of the worst two journeymen just hurts the game.
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    Cricket Web Staff Member Woodster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prince EWS View Post
    I think they really need to look at relaxing the regulations a bit, particularly the government-imposed visa regulations preventing players who haven't played international cricket recently from participating as overseas players. The amount of cricket played in the county season is a strength of the English system but it does mean few players can actually make it through the season without suffering injury or burn-out, and this problem is exasperated by the large number of teams. Each team having a couple of experienced or talented players from overseas who are either looking to make a career during their winter or develop the game really helps the standard of the competition and nullifies the problem created by having just a few too many teams for a perfect development system. Not allowing players like McDonald and Copeland to play ahead of the worst two journeymen just hurts the game.
    Yes penalising players that haven't played international cricket recently is a far too strict criteria to not allow quality players come to England. Just as football teams come under scrutiny for resting players for certain games, especially clubs involved in Europe, so must county sides balance the workload of individuals and allow sufficient rest to ensure they are competing at near maximum capability as frequently as is possible. This in itself will help improve standards, but of course counties budgets the way they are struggle to allow a club to afford a large enough squad of the necessary quality to rotate on a regular basis. I do agree that there should be a relaxation in the qualification to bring players of a certain quality over and help make the competition stronger again.

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    Don't take this the wrong way - it isn't a dig at anyone (just a genuine question), but how many South African Kolpaks are playing this year?

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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Furball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prince EWS View Post
    I think they really need to look at relaxing the regulations a bit, particularly the government-imposed visa regulations preventing players who haven't played international cricket recently from participating as overseas players. The amount of cricket played in the county season is a strength of the English system but it does mean few players can actually make it through the season without suffering injury or burn-out, and this problem is exasperated by the large number of teams. Each team having a couple of experienced or talented players from overseas who are either looking to make a career during their winter or develop the game really helps the standard of the competition and nullifies the problem created by having just a few too many teams for a perfect development system. Not allowing players like McDonald and Copeland to play ahead of the worst two journeymen just hurts the game.
    The thing is, the international stipulation is really the only semi-objective measure of quality that there is. If you want a system that's stricter than "any **** can come and play" then how else do you police it other than saying "must be a recent international?"

    I suppose, particularly with someone like Copeland who was excellent for Northants last season, they could look at bringing in a regulation that allows players who lose their international status to remain eligible, but then again you'd need to define it by some sort of arbitrary performance criteria.

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    Eternal Optimist / Cricket Web Staff Member GIMH's Avatar
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    Have them meet statistical benchmarks IMO

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    Global Moderator Prince EWS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Furball View Post
    The thing is, the international stipulation is really the only semi-objective measure of quality that there is. If you want a system that's stricter than "any **** can come and play" then how else do you police it other than saying "must be a recent international?"

    I suppose, particularly with someone like Copeland who was excellent for Northants last season, they could look at bringing in a regulation that allows players who lose their international status to remain eligible, but then again you'd need to define it by some sort of arbitrary performance criteria.
    There's a limit on one overseas player per team already; as far as I'm concerned teams should be allowed to select whoever they like to fill that role.
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    International 12th Man SeamUp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodster View Post
    Was just reading an article about the drop off in quality in County cricket in England and how the quality of the overseas player was generally much higher due to the fact the international schedules were not as demanding and the T20 competitions that coincide with the English season, and reward the better players in this format so handsomely, were not around. Throw in the fact that the regulations have tightened when trying to sign players on the 'Kolpak' ruling (which has benefitted in some areas) and the standard will inevitably suffer.

    Of course on the plus side is the younger players getting more of an opportunity and exposure in first-class and LO cricket. So was just wondering what people's take is on this year's crop of overseas signings so far, focusing mainly on the players available for the County Championship games. There have been 11 confirmed overseas players so far, as follows -

    Derby - Shiv Chanderpaul
    Glamorgan - Jacques Rudolph
    Gloucester - Michael Klinger
    Hampshire - Kyle Abbott
    Leicester - Ramnaresh Sarwan
    Northants - Jackson Bird
    Notts - Peter Siddle
    Somerset - Alviro Petersen
    Surrey - Graeme Smith
    Warwicks - Jeetan Patel
    Yorkshire - Kane Williamson

    It seems a fairly even split. There are the experienced players that will offer the club more than just their performances on the field. The likes of Chanderpaul, Sarwan, Rudolph, Klinger, Smith and Patel who you would all say probably have their best days behind them but can add so much to a club and their younger players coming through and even the experienced players that are still willing and determined to learn and develop.

    The other group are players that may be peaking and still have international and Test aspirations. Abbott, Bird and Siddle all hope to force their way back into their Test teams, with Siddle only very recently losing his spot. Would imagine his workload will be very closely monitored by CA and Darren Lehmann. Petersen and Williamson both vital part of their Test sides and could be permanent fixtures in Test cricket for a good few years yet.

    So while the older days threw up world class performers such as the Richards, Garners, Marshalls, Akrams, Waqars, etc, etc, it is highly unlikely national boards will sanction their key players to compete in an entire domestic season anymore. Is this a decent batch of overseas players or are the supporters of the counties these days still being short-changed ?
    Woodster, I reckon we will see more and more relationships formed now for overseas players. Chanderpaul, Klinger, Sarwan, Petersen, Smith, Patel, Williamson all are returning to the counties they were with last season.

    If it is not personal relationships, it may be international. Like Bird in for Copeland and something like Elgar coming on for Petersen last season.

    Personally, I would prefer South Africans to choose playing county cricket over IPL every day of the week. Play proper cricket and learn more about their games. So chuffed for Kyle Abbott that he is getting this opportunity for example.

  13. #13
    International 12th Man SeamUp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuller Pilch View Post
    Don't take this the wrong way - it isn't a dig at anyone (just a genuine question), but how many South African Kolpaks are playing this year?
    Not sure how many of these are Kolpak but I actually don't think there are that many from my understanding. Many players have SA or African connections but have European passports though a parent or grandparent and are considered English or European. But I do think there are a few Aussies and Kiwis like Jaques, H. Marshall, Magoffin, Hogan etc What about Bollinger, is he playing as an overseas ?

    Durham: Keaton Jennings, Michael Richardson
    Lancashire: Ashwell Prince (Kolpak), Andrea Agathagelou, Kyle Jarvis (Zim Kolpak)
    Yorkshire: Gary Ballance (Zim born) (ENG Int)
    Notts: Michael Lumb (ENG Int), Rikki Wessels (AUS born)
    Warwickshire: Jonathan Trott (ENG Int)
    Middlesex: Dawid Malan, Neil Dexter, Gareth Berg, Stephen Eskinazi (grew up in AUS), Ryan Higgins (Zim born)
    Sussex: Matt Prior (ENG Int), Michael Rippon
    Somerset: Nick Compton (ENG Int), Alviro Petersen (overseas), Johann Myburgh, Craig Kieswetter (ENG Int), Craig Meschede, Alfonso Thomas
    Worcestershire: Alexei Kervezee (Namibian born)
    Northants: Andrew Hall (Kolpak)
    Leicestershire: Anthony Ireland (Zim born)
    Gloucestershire: Gareth Roderick, James Fuller
    Glamorgan: Jacques Rudolph (overseas), Chris Cooke
    Essex: Ryan ten Doeschate, Greg Smith
    Surrey: Graeme Smith ("overseas"), Kevin Pietersen (ENG Int), Jason Roy, Tom Curran, Jade Dernbach (ENG Int), Stuart Meaker (ENG Int)
    Kent:
    Hampshire: Sean Ervine (Zim Kolpak), Kyle Abbott (overseas)
    Derbyshire: Stephen Moore, Wayne Madsen, Tim Groenewald

    * Neil Mac needs rest so not returning to Hampshire. I'm sure most Hampshire fans loved him at their club. A real team man and great for young players to sponge off.
    * Quite interesting that Kent has not a single Saffer connection. In the past they were riddled with them.

  14. #14
    International Coach Pothas's Avatar
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    Someone (think it was Pickup) did a list of all foreign born players in county cricket last season.

    You could not be more right about Neil McKenzie, was great across all formats for Hampshire

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    State 12th Man Valer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Furball View Post
    The thing is, the international stipulation is really the only semi-objective measure of quality that there is. If you want a system that's stricter than "any **** can come and play" then how else do you police it other than saying "must be a recent international?"
    Extending the time period of recent?

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