Thursday, October 30, 2008

Get on with the game!

KP wants the week to end, Freddie is sick, the ECB are to review the series, seems everyone is lining up to give the Stanford Super Series a good kicking. The media are loving it of course as they have been vindicated, or in other words they haven't had to change their opinion of the series from before it actually happened. Finally Steve Harmison says he would find the prize money very useful. He bowled very well under pressure, who could imagine him as a T20 death bowler a couple of years ago. How this can't be considered good for his career and for England i don't know.

We've had the ridiculously overblown incident where the WAGs sat on Stanford's lap of course, one considers if Stanford was not a rich American the incident would not have merited a mention. The series is described as tawdry and crass in the media, of course T20 cricket in England is a refined and classy experience. Yes the whole thing leaves a bad taste in the mouth but its not the series or Stanford doing that but the British media doing that.

People complain about the tawdry money aspect but let us remember why England are there in the first place, they went there to try and stop players being lured by the big bucks of the ICL and IPL. Stanford didn't hold a gun to anyone's head to come and play there and the ECB will welcome their cut of the millions. This is the ECB of course who cut off live cricket from a generation of non-Sky Sports subscribers because they could get more money. Well Stanford will give them plenty of what they love and what keeps the county game afloat. Integrity can go out of the window when you have a mortgage to pay, a view shared by millions in jobs they don't like too much but would like sleeping under a canal bridge even less. Such is life.

And as for the players... you are being paid to play cricket in Antigua while England freezes, stop moaning! Rant over.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Bell watch : England vs Trinidad & Tobago

In their last warm-up match England played Trinidad & Tobago, fresh from beating Middlesex to become the T20 Champions of the Universe (or something), and won by 1 run. Bell did well again scoring 37 off 41 balls including 2 sixes. Actually Bell has been the lynch pin of the T20 side for some time but of course doesn't get the plaudits.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Ground redevelopment revealed

The planned £30 million development of Edgbaston has been publicly unveiled, the ground's capacity will be increased by 4000 and will include new changing rooms, bars and restaurants.

Bell run out (Carter) 23

I love cricket!

England vs Middlesex was interesting if not that exciting. The pitch in Antigua is pretty poor. Bell made a creditable 23 off 25 balls and Carter's bowling was pretty decent 1-24. I am in two minds about Carter's performances for Middlesex. I hope he does well but that he doesn't do so well that Middlesex try and poach him!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Bears winter plans unveiled

Players without winter work will be returning next month to resume training 3 days a week. After Christmas the seam bowlers will travel to Bloemfontein in South Africa to train with AD. Meanwhile Gilo has unveiled the terrible state of the club when he took over last year especially in terms of off-field discipline and fitness. Things which have now been ironed out so the focus this year can be on skills.

“The bowlers won’t bowl for a while,” Giles said. “They will step it up in the New Year but between now and Christmas, the batters will hit a lot of balls.” No sniggering at the back please.

Bears lobby ECB about England matches

With time running out to secure finance for the ground redevelopment Warwickshire have lobbied the ECB to get a firm commitment about hosting England matches. The club will need to borrow the money needed and will need to show they have plenty of England matches lined up over the next few years to help pay the loan off.

However despite being supportive the ECB haven't given the club any concrete guarantees, one problem of course being the flux the cricket world is in because of the explosion of T20. Australia, New Zealand and South Africa are the latest to add to the T20 circus with their plans for an "IPL" style tournament. Though with Pakistan looking for venues to host their "home" test matches maybe Edgbaston can get in on the act.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tim Ambrose to visit BCU!

Yeah i work at Birmingham City University, anyway tomorrow Tim Ambrose will be visiting us as part of his role as a Volkswagen ambassador (whatever that means), on Wednesday 22nd October from 12.00pm to help promote a "Volkswagen Group UK Ltd student placement scheme to promote opportunities for business students". Tim "will be onsite for autographs, photos and questions", unfortunately i have a prior engagement so won't be able to get an autograph or photo. Story of my life!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Well done to Tendulkar

Of course a well done to Sachin Tendulkar who broke the record for runs scored in test matches in the current test match between India and Australia. He just needed 15 runs to bear Brian Lara's 11,953 and ended up with 88 so becoming the first (and so far only) player to pass 12,000 runs. An amazing achievement and you wonder, with test cricket getting gradually squeezed by the seemingly insatiable demand for T20 and ODI cricket, whether another will top him. Well Ricky Ponting and Rahul Dravid might but they are both still a long way behind.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Another touch of Frost

Tony Frost, returning because of a wicketkeeping SOS from his new job on the ground staff, ended up our best batsman in the 2008 season and has signed for another year. Heavy run scoring including a career best 242* surely must have been a big factor behind the promotion and D2 title win in the championship and will be needed for the title charge in D1 next year!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tim Groenewald goes to Derby

Tim Groenewald has left Warks with a year on his contract remaining with mutual consent to join Derbyshire. Meanwhile Scottish bowler Calum MacLeod has signed a 2 year contract with the Bears and will be off to have some intensive training with AD in South Africa this Winter. Jolly nice!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

FP Trophy Group of Death

The groups for the 2009 FP Trophy have been announced and we are in Group B. And here is the full line-up :


So we have the 2008 T20 champions, the 2008 FP runner-up and Somerset too who are a good one-day side on their day. Excellent its the "Group of Death"!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Boyd Rankin in action for Ireland

Ireland are currently playing Kenya in the ICC Intercontinental Cup, the first class competition for below-Test level countries, and the Bears' own Boyd Rankin is playing for Ireland. Ireland look to be on top at Day 2, making 578-4dec and in reply Kenya are 62-3 with Boyd on 1-22.

This blog will try and keep a track on Warwickshire players who are playing around the world this winter (as well as with England of course), 1 or 2 often end up playing in New Zealand or South Africa.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Warks not looking to add to the playing squad

Ashley Giles has said Warwickshire will not be looking to sign players from other counties to augment the squad, maybe because most of the names we are linked with don't come anyway. All the King of Spain is looking at is a good overseas bowler, a paceman to spearhead the attack. Unfortunately we seem to be looking for such a rare beast every year for the last few years and haven't got one yet. A few signings have looked good for a short period before having to leave due to international commitments or just gone off the boil.

Gilo is keeping faith with the current squad, 12 month contracts have been offered to Chris Woakes, Calum MacLeod, Andy Miller, Ian Salisbury and Ant Botha. Tony Frost could play for 1 more year too. Hoorah!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Stanford T20

It has trouble in the courts and Brian Halford writing for the Birmingham Post is against it but personally i have no trouble with the upcoming Stanford T20 taking place, i do worry though that the winner takes all and high stakes could cause ruptions in the England team and if they win this could cause a divide between the winners and other England players who don't play ODIs/T20s.

However professional sportsmen are always just 1 tackle/slip/ball away from a career ending injury so if some American tycoon wishes to throw millions at them for a few hours work then good luck to them! I am more interested in some of the warm-up games, especially England vs Middlesex. Neil Carter will be playing for Middlesex so we could have the sight of Carter bowling at Ian Bell. I don't know about you but that sounds rather cool to me.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Ateeq Javed named in England junior squad

Ateeq Javed, Warwickshire's 16 year old future batting star (hopefully) has been named in England's U18 squad. That is the good news, unfortunately there are no other Warwickshire players in there with him. It is a difficult situation for the club especially the time, effort and money spent on youth development but is it a situation the current regime inherited and they should be able to improve matters. We shouldn't forget Chris Woakes of course who is surely a future senior England player.

Bowling averages - CC

Warwickshire bowling statistics for the county championship this year, figures show overs bowled, runs conceded, average, best return and wickets taken. Well done to Chris Woakes who was #9 in the overall CC D2 stats!

1 CR Woakes 287 864 20.57 6-68 42
2 DL Maddy 152 438 25.76 4-25 17
3 IDK Salisbury 268.4 865 27.90 6-100 31
4 WB Rankin 86.3 362 30.16 4-80 12
5 NM Carter 373.4 1278 31.17 6-100 41
6 JE Anyon 228.2 844 32.46 6-82 26
7 CS Martin 159.1 580 36.25 5-84 16
8 LM Daggett 91 322 40.25 3-69 8
9 M Zondeki 96.2 381 42.33 4-125 9
10 R Clarke 18 87 43.50 2-49 2

Batting averages - CC

The top 10 batting averages for Warwickshire players in the county championship this season, Tony Frost was #1, Ian Bell #3 and Jon Trott #7 in the overall D2 stats. Stats show the matches played in, total number of runs, highest score and average.

1 T Frost 13 1003 242* 83.58
2 IR Bell 4 436 215 72.66
3 IJL Trott 16 1240 181 62.00
4 TR Ambrose 7 333 156* 47.57
5 JO Troughton 12 581 138* 41.50
6 R Clarke 2 122 81 40.66
7 DL Maddy 13 678 138 35.68
8 IDK Salisbury 13 393 81 32.75
9 NM Carter 13 430 84 30.71
10 IJ Westwood 11 506 176 29.76

Rikki's figures are just for his Warks games, he also played a few games for Derbyshire. Bell's and Ambrose's stats do not include their England runs.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Carter signs for Middlesex... on loan for CL

Neil Carter has been signed by Middlesex on loan to replace Dirk Nannes in their side for the T20 Champions League to be held in December. Nannes will be playing for Victoria instead so can't make the gig so Carter has been signed as a replacement left-arm seamer so could be going to make a lot of cash, the Champions League winners will win $2.5 million.

Heads up to Kim for finding this.