Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Midweek musings

So its adieu to Anthony McGrath, an all-rounder of some considerable talent for Yorkshire and the middle-order ballast on which many a Yorkshire lower order recovery was built.

I reckon that he will be sorely missed by our northern neighbours as they also prepare for the top tier. He gave them both experience and class and they will find it hard to replace. With Joe Root looking increasingly likely to be a part of England's summer plans, the Yorkshire batting will need a bit of a revamp, with additional responsibility thrust on the shoulders of Gary Ballance.

We'll see pretty soon, but I don't think they will find life especially easy this season. Taking 20 wickets regularly could be an issue for them, but much will depend, for them as for all sides, on keeping their main bowlers fit. Nor will their batting be quite as prolific in the

Elsewhere it is sad to see Matt Coles of Kent and Ben Stokes of Durham being sent home from the England Lions tour for indiscretions. It is not spelled out why, but reading between the lines isn't too difficult. In days gone by players went a little wild between and in the course of games, as a read of the autobiography of most old players will tell you.

It's a different game now though and the importance of proper preparation is instilled in players from youth appearances upwards. I know how much work Tom Knight put into proper preparation after his somewhat premature elevation to the Derbyshire side and he lost a lot of weight in preparation for the Under-19 World Cup.

Players can no longer turn it on or off at a whim and must maintain a professional attitude at all times, in fairness to themselves, their team mates and, of course supporters. I'm pretty sure that Derbyshire's players will have partied hard after last season's final match, but am equally sure that they worked very, very hard all summer to fully deserve that.

I hope that Coles and Stokes, talented cricketers both, get an opportunity at international level again.

They've just not given themselves the best of starts.

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