After England’s success in the Ashes betting odds, perhaps the last man to return home victorious may reassess some of his comments. Mike Gatting, in his role as Managing Director of Cricket Partnerships at the ECB, has been disparaging about Minor Counties cricket. However, with captain Andrew Strauss ex-Oxfordshire, and vice captain Alistair Cook ex-Bedfordshire both giving the side an excellent start and strike bowler Steve Finn (ex-Hertfordshire) the leading wicket taker after three Tests, perhaps the Minors deserve some credit among betting fans.
Add to that the fact that the County Championship has been lifted by a player who started his career at Minor Counties level in each of the last two years and the case just grows further. In 2009, Will Smith (ex-Bedfordshire) had the honour, whilst last year it was Chris Read of ex-Devon fame who led his side to glory.
It does not stop there, as James Taylor (ex-Shropshire) was the first teenager for 18 years to reach 1,000 runs in a first class season, emulating Sachin Tendulkar’s feat with Yorkshire and, with Taylor in the development squad, the two players could meet in the International arena in the next 12 months as England host and then travel to India.
Meanwhile, Worcestershire gained promotion in the Championship with Jack Manuel ex-Staffordshire leading the batting and Jack Shantry ex-Shropshire their leading wicket taker in all competitions.