This is the worst time of year for county cricket fans, as the understanding gradually sinks in that there will be nothing to entertain us for the next six months or so. There will be news emanating from the club, as well as from the county circuit and I'll naturally bring it to you here as I become aware of it.
Realistically I expect to blog two to three times a week over the next few months. I'll also be reviewing some of the best cricket books of recent months in the lead up to Christmas and it might give you a few ideas if your dearly beloveds are wanting to know what you'd like. That's definitely one of the perks of doing the blog - I don't have to pay for any books these days, which is a real bonus!
In the next couple of days I will review one of the best cricket autobiographies I have ever read, so look out for that one.
On the circuit today, Michael Powell left Glamorgan, while Dan Housego left Middlesex. Both are good batsmen at opposite ends of their careers. Powell has been a thorn in Derbyshire sides over the years and has been a fine player. You don't get to 34/35 and average around 40 by being anything else. Whether he finds another county is a good question, as the last couple of season have suggested a slight decline to 25/35 average, but Powell has as good a chance of any player of his age.
Housego at 23 probably has a better chance of being picked up elsewhere. He has done quite well with limited opportunities over the last two seasons and could perhaps be deemed unfortunate. I suspect another opportunity could well come his way, as he is a prolific scorer in Second XI cricket. Having said that, Michael Thorneley is too, yet cannot get a crack at another county as yet. More and more clubs are dependent on the ECB appearance payments and don't want to necessarily lose money to a player raised in another county unless there is real potential . Housego will continue to earn cash for Middlesex wherever he ends up, which I expect to be down south.
Staying down there, the news 'broke' today that Greg Smith was joining Essex, something that I revealed back on September 8 in an article on the player. Given that no one else was in for him, it hardly needed a crystal ball and a shawl to work out that one out. I wish him well, but suspect that he will need to up his performances from their Derbyshire level to merit the rumoured salary.
I bet he wishes that the BBC could have found a more flattering picture for the news release though...
Nothing else today. More (hopefully) tomorrow.