LV= County Championship, April 12 2013 | Live cricket | ESPNcricinfo.com

LV= County Championship, April 12 2013

  • Close headlines
    • Neil Dexter takes five wickets for Middlesex to leave Notts only 107 ahead with one wicket in hand
    • Somerset, chasing 235 to beat Durham, reach 96-2
    • Yorkshire facing prospect of innings defeat
    • Hampshire on course for innings victory over Leicestershire
    • Rain disrupts several other games

    Today's debate:
    Do county wickets help spinners enough? 
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  • Judging by their recent tour, most Indian players could do with playing county cricket if they are serious about improving. Not that the BCCI would let them, though, too many meaningless ODIs to play.
  • @TimWigmore After Shakib al Hasan's stints at New Road there was a feeling amongst several supporters that it would be good to see promising young Bangladeshis coming over to ply their trade. Great experience for them, wouldn't be hugely expensive for counties and might tap into the Bangladeshi communities in this country. Shakib certainly attracted new supporters to Worcester.
  • @Yorker Notts are the Chelsea of the CC then
  • @TimWigmore and Craig, not only Bangladeshis, but you look at the Afghans like Shapoor Zadran, they would be very handy in the county championship, gain experience, and improve Afgh cricket as they would raise its profile. Surely something the ECB can do to help players from affiliate and associate member countries get some county cricket IN ADDITION to the overseas rule? Maybe 1 overseas and 1 affiliate/associate member player?
  • George Dobell at Nottinghamshire 278 and 93-8 v Middlesex 353

    We’ve had a remarkable passage of play at Trent Bridge. Middlesex, forced to manage without the injured James Harris, instead entrusted the ball to two medium-pacers and have seen them tear the Nottinghamshire batting apart.

    Neil Dexter, who may well not have bowled at all had Harris been fit, claimed four wickets for six runs in 13 balls to give his side an excellent opportunity of securing victory. Gareth Berg, who is rated as 80 percent fit, also chipped in with the wicket of Alex Hales to a fine delivery that left the batsman late.

    Not all the batsmen were so innocent. Samit Patel fell to an ugly attempted pull - top edging to mid wicket - while Riki Wessels, batting with a runner due to a hamstring injury, guided one to slip and Chris Read, set up by away swing, left one that went straight on. James Taylor’s eye lit up when he received a short, wide ball but its lack of pace and his own lack of foot movement saw him manage to edge it to the keeper.

    Andre Adams took Nottinghamshire into the lead with a pull for six but Dexter has just taken his fifth wicket - he has never taken more than three wickets in an innings - as Ajmal Shahzad pushed at one that left him. Notts are currently 18 ahead with only two wickets in hand.

    Andy Flower has just arrived and is talking to Stuart Broad. What he makes of this is anyone’s guess.
  • Notts seem to be leading by about 20 runs with 2 wickets in hand. Think my "anything under 200" prediction was doing Middlesex a dis-service! Then again, who'd have though Neil Dexter would have ripped through the Notts lineup. Stunning figures so far of 5 for 14 off just 5 overs!
  • @JackMendel4 I would go along with that completely Jack, although how would that fit in with the 'England First' policy if a player from an associate member country got in the team ahead of an English player? Worth trying in YB40/T20 perhaps?
  • Tim Wigmore on the possibility of Afghan overseas players

    In response to below comments - under current ECB rules, Afghans are not allowed as overseas players - no matter how good. Qualification for overseas players has a minimum Test or ODI stipulation, and Afghanistan don't play enough ODIs at the moment. Cricket at its worst.
  • I didn't realise Tim, thanks for clearing that up. Very odd and slightly arbitrary, no?
    Could you imagine if Afghanistan found the next Brian Lara and he wasn't able to play county cricket because of his place of birth? Surely Zimbabwean players don't play a huge amount at the moment either?
  • What Andy Flower is talking to Stuart Broad about George is whether Dexter should join Compton in the England set up!
  • Well looks like weather will see no play at Cardiff tomorrow so looks like I will be deprived of watching the Glam! I posted a couple of days back about us office workers gagging to watch a bit of County Cricket now that it has started. Hang on, Brum weather looks slightly promising tomorrow, shall I venture up to Edgbaston or am I just barking mad!
  • Very much like the idea of one overseas, one associate/affiliate player per county side. Would do wonders for the latter #countycricketlive
  • Problem with overseas and affiliate stuff, would Ireland count as an affiliate given they are basically an off-shoot of the ECB? Same with Scotland and Netherlands who play in County tournaments? A better idea is to welcome the Afghan team to play, like the Netherlands, in the YB40 and see how they get on.
  • You all make some very good points about Afghani players, however were a real superstar to emerge, he could surely be signed as a non overseas foreign player along the same lines as the Irish players playing county cricket are.
  • Re the associate affiliate point, not all counties would have to use it. It would just offer an opportunity should they want too.
  • Arul Suppiah hasn't done too bad as a first-class player from an associate member – not that it's done Malaysian cricket any good though.
  • Even if there was no way of working the extra affiliate/associate player on top of an overseas, it would be really interesting to see someone take a punt on Shapoor Zadran or Mohammad Shehzad, to use another Afghan example, for the T20. They'd presumably be much cheaper than most other second overseas and would be a really interesting option. Not allowing Afghan players just seems bizarre.
  • @TimWigmore It seems stupid you can't just sign anyone you like as your overseas player. What justification does that rule have?
  • Are there really enough proper quality associate players to make it work? Don't think so really. Would much prefer to see two properly quality overseas players per side again, but that's hardly likely to happen any more.

    Meanwhile, Bopara batting well again. The Hick/Ramprakash of his era (although not in the same league as either of them) in that he is too good to be languishing in county cricket, but just can't seem to step up to Tests.
  • Under the current rules, Afghans aren't eligible to play as normal overseas players - none of their players fulfil the criteria. It's not a ban as such, but, because Afghanistan don't play enough ODIs to get their players above the arbitrary targets, the rules act as one.
  • Maybe an alternative to them playing YB40 is for the Afghan team to come over and "tour" the country playing against the County sides in FC and 40/50 over games. Gives the County teams a chance to rotate their players and gives the Afghans useful experience. Has to be better than the "sink or swim" approach used on Bangladesh in International cricket?
  • That's the point. At the moment whether there are enough quality associate/affiliate players milling around. But, at least if there was a rule allowing them, we could find out! Perhaps only 4 or 5 would make the cut, that surely would be worth it as it would give exposure in that affiliate/associate member country, and subsequently promote it? Not to mention that if a player is good enough, then who really cares where they are from. If a bowler can bowl 90mph, he will pressurize a batsmen, he dosn't need his passport at the end of his run up.
  • Jon Culley at Warwickshire 25-0 v Derbyshire

    We had some cricket.  It lasted 22 minutes. There were 33 balls and 11 runs and no wickets.  The players have been off again for 40 minutes or so.  The umpires stood on top of the big sheet at the pavilion/grandstand end for some minutes, looking at the sky and the floodlights and the field. They went back inside for a bit, leaving the groundstaff to roll out more covers, but it has brightened up considerably now and there should be more play. 
    by Jon Culley via email edited by Tim Wigmore 4/12/2013 3:35:39 PM
  • I do think that it should be made far easier to welcome affiliate players into English cricket, but they should count as overseas signings. The funding and development of cricket in these countries is the priority and is far more important to the devolopment of these players. The side effects of easing the rules is of losing many young, English talents who give up the game because they aren't getting a match. We shouldn't think about easing the rules, we should thinkn about putting more effort into encouraging cricket's growth in these nations.
  • Meant to be "That's the point. At the moment *we don't know* whether there are enough quality associate/affiliate players milling around."

    Getting a bit caught up..
  • The problem with making associate players full overseas ones is no counties will sign them, simply because they haven't got the performances to back them up. Most overseas players tend to be experience heads or established internationals, by definition that's not going to happen with associate members.
  • As a Somerset fan, I wouldn't have been disappointed if we signed someone like Mohammed Nabi for the T20 (although we wouldn't really need another big-hitting batsman), but obviously no chance of that!
  • Just to clarify: overseas players can only qualify for a work permit if they have played the requisite number of international games in the qualifying period. Yorkshire, for example, were hoping to sign David Miller but he has not, at present, played enough matches.You can read the details here: www.espncricinfo.com

    There are ways around this. Numerous players qualify through a British or European passport. Or because they already had work permits before the rule changes. So it’s not really fair to call it a ‘ban’ on affiliate or associate players. They CAN qualify if they play enough games.

    For the record, Viv Richards would not have qualified for Somerset had the new rules been in place. He played county cricket before he played for West Indies.

    The aim of the rule is to encourage young, England-qualified players and to avoid a repeat of the situation of not so long ago where more than a dozen non-qualified players appeared in the same county game.
  • And this is why I don't think the rules on overseas players should be tightened. I think the regulations that George points out, should be reformed, but the English county system we have now is proven as an efficient breeding ground for young English qualified players.
  • I still think the rules are too rigid - Glen Maxwell, for instance, only qualified for Hampshire last season through his passport.

    For Afghans the rule serves as a de facto ban because NO PLAYER would have played enough internationals (to my knowledge) to qualify, as they simply don't play enough ODIs. Which isn't really their fault.
  • How do you feel when your unproductive allrounder slips town and then takes six wickets on his debut for his new county? That's what happened when Chris Jordan left Surrey for the south coast. Josh Green, from ESPNcricinfo's Supporters' Network, wonders what fate will await him at Sussex.
  • I think the rules on the requirements desired of an overseas player to become legible need to be reformed, but I think the County system as to recruiting players is very lenient as it is. Much more focus should be placed on developing cricket as a whole in these countries, and funding put towards building a decent system and standard their. I don't think things should be changed, that would potentially hinder the development of young English players in order to blood other nation's. It may come off as potentially a bit isolationist, but in sport, it really is about building your strongest national side.
  • Each case would take some investigation, but I think several qualify. Mohammad Nabi, for example.
  • Very murky at Cheter-Le-Street. Off for light now. Someret won't be too disappointed if they have to come back in the morning to make the 139 more runs they need to win.
  • Yorkshire's second innings turning out to be more an Alamo than a Rorke's Drift.
  • A county could be allowed one or two associate players on there books with only one able to play in the first team at a time. Getting those players into second team cricket would be great for both their experience and raising the standard of second team cricket which can be pretty variable.
  • Some hefty blocking action going on from Sidebottom and Ballance right now, in the true Yorkshire style dare I say...
  • Concerning the second team cricket, I think that is an interesting idea.
  • Les Smith at Durham v Somerset 96-2 chasing 234

    This match is nicely balanced, and the brief passage of play we've had this afternoon has been as intriguing as what we saw on the first two days. Somerset have dug in and with the weather tomorrow likely to be the best of the match they are probably favourites to win, but Durham have a dangerous attack, as we saw in Somerset's first innings. We've had 35 overs of cricket since play started at 1.40, but they're off for bad light again and it's difficult to see it getting any lighter.
    by Les Smith via email edited by Tim Wigmore 4/12/2013 4:01:10 PM
  • Alex Winter at Essex 101-2, 308 behind Gloucestershire

    We're doing alright here. I daresay any major rain has passed us by and we might be ok for a decent period. Gloucestershire have been too loose with the ball, Bopara and Westley have played their strokes and moved the scoring along at a good lick. They have wrested back some of the initiative and the odds on a draw have come tumbling in with no wicket to fall today.

    The naming-rights deal with Ford came to an end last year and without branding, Essex seem to be pushing the Australian abbreviation, ECG, as the new name for their home. Being open 365 days of the year must have been at Alastair Cook's request, he could do with a net on Christmas Day.

  • George Dobell at Nottinghamshire 278 and 159-8 v Middlesex 353

    We’ve had yet another twist in this remarkable game. Nottinghamshire’s ninth-wicket pair of Andre Adams and Luke Fletcher have thumped a 50-run stand for the ninth wicket to give their side just a little bit of hope.

    Adams has been particularly effective. Surviving a drop on 28 - Neil Dexter putting down a tough chance at deep square leg - he pulled the next two deliveries for six off the flagging Toby Roland-Jones and has helped put his side more than 80 ahead. Paul Fletcher has looked increasingly impressive, too.

    With James Harris unable to bowl in the second innings, the Middlesex seamers have looked jaded in the last hour or so. The off-spin of Ollie Rayner has just been introduced into the attack.
  • Vithushan Ehantharajah at the Surrey press day

    When you flex your financial muscle in county cricket, you set about a series of shifts.


    A shift of feeling; the envy of your peers countered, albeit less vociferously, by the goodwill of the glory-hunters and neutrals.


    A shift of talent; Chris Jordan (right arm, don’t you know) took six wickets on debut, Laurie Evans is touted for big things at Warwickshire and Matthew Spriegel could be so much more than just a medieval surname in Steelback clothing.


    But the biggest – and arguably most important – is the shift in aesthetics.


    Filing into a shmancy suite at The Oval for Surrey’s press day, the first thing you notice is the variety of haircut on offer. For every Jason Roy – a coiffed, reverse-front arrangement with immaculate sides – there’s now a Vikram Solanki – his no nonsense bouffant, worthy of a “Just For Men” ad.


    This is where Graeme Smith comes in.


    Combining the sensibility of a man entering his latter cricketing years, with the twinkly eyes, puffed chest and caricature chin of a Disney bully, his shaped back and sides provide the support for a quiff reinforced with hydrolysised England captains.


    On paper, Surrey are formidable. On the pitch they may take time to gel.


    Follicly, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone better. 

  • George Dobell at Nottinghamshire 278 and 182-9 v Middlesex 353

    We’re off for bad light at Trent Bridge. Nottinghamshire lead by 107 runs with one wicket left in their second innings.
  • Andre Adams making a late bid for an IPL contract. #LVCC #countycricketlive
  • Poor show from Middlesex, unable to finish off the tail after getting themselves in such a good position. Having said that, Andre Adams has been a thorn in the side of many teams down at number nine. Giving up 47 to Luke Fletcher is less forgivable, though. Hope it doesn't cost Middlesex.
  • Tim Wigmore at Lancashire 186-3 v Worcestershire 334

    This may be a Division Two match meandering towards a rain-soaked draw, but the standard remains impressive: Alan Richardson, who has just had Karl Brown caught behind, bowling to a pair of proven internationals, in Ashwell Prince and Simon Katich. Brown played with commendable discipline in his 34, and it was an admirable show of faith from Peter Moores to allow him to continue at three even with the addition of Kaitch.
  • You can read Alan Gardner's interview with Graeme Smith here. Seems like he's in it for the long haul.
  • Typical Sussex, just when the job looks done we make it hard for ourselves. Plus ca change.
  • @Yorker I assume not, seeing as Irish players (Dockrell, Stirling, Porterfield, etc.) currently play as domestic players for their counties.
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