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Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club

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  • Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club

    So I’ve yet to have a good long save on Cricket Captain this year and now that the English season is over and we can sit back and review the summer gone by I figured now was as good a time as any to get into one and document my travails.

    As a Nottinghamshire fan the less reviewing the better really after a dismal first class season saw a record of P14 W0 D4 L10 and a spot at the bottom of the table, predictably the limited overs competitions saw better performances but two defeats in semi-finals ensured there was no trophy to bring consolation to the season.

    Over the past few years I’ve been getting more and more annoyed with how Nottinghamshire have been run and I think they’ve become a bit emblematic of some of the problems that I perceive there to be at county level: the signing of ‘Kolpack’ players limiting the chances for home grown players, scooping up the best young English talents from nearby smaller counties whilst not developing their own talents and the lack of Test Match quality players being produced.

    So I plan to take charge of Nottinghamshire to try and rectify the above problems and sort out the mess that has been the first class team over the past few years and win a few limited overs trophies on the way. In doing so I plan to stick to the self-imposed rule of signing no players except overseas pros where I plan to gain continuity with the same players coming back multiple years (think Jeetan Patel at Warwickshire).

    We begin the season with the option to sign players but given the aforementioned limitation and the fact we are well stocked in the overseas players department no signings were made and instead all three budgets were maxed out at £50k. A review of the squad showed its aging nature and the need to bring more players into the starting XI of the squad of 20 players (not including overseas players) there were eight aged 30 or over and just two aged 21 or under.

    As we begin the season I have selected the following five key young players to watch:
    • Joe Clarke
    • Tom Moores
    • Luke Wood
    • Matt Carter
    • Zak Chappell
    These players are all aged 23 and under but don’t include our two players aged 21 or under (Jack Blatherwick and Lyndon James) as whilst I do hope to give these two game time they are probably too young and inexperienced to be playing multiple matches at this stage.

    So finally looking ahead to the 2019 summer

    My expectations:
    • County Championship: Avoid relegation
    • Royal London One Day Cup / Twenty20 Vitality Blast: Win one of the limited overs competitions
    My goals:
    • Have a player reach 1,000 championship runs
    • Have a player reach 50 championship wickets
    • Break a record Nottinghamshire partnership in any format
    • Break at least 5 records for either individual or team performances against particular counties
    • Have a player (not called Stuart Broad) make an England appearance
    As always I will be handing out awards at the end of the season for Nottinghamshire County Cricket Player of the Year, First Class Player of the Year, One Day Player of the Year and Twenty20 Player of the Year. 1, 3 and 5 points will be awarded each game for the three best perfoming players with the formats being weighted 3:2:1 respectively in calcuating the Nottinghamshire County Cricket Player of the Year award.

    So with nothing else to do but play our first game, let's get cracking!

  • #2
    The season is neatly split into a 7 different, distinct, and varying sized, periods as seen below:
    • Warm-up game & 2 County Championship fixtures
    • The whole of the Royal London One Day Cup
    • 8 County Championship fixtures
    • 10 Twenty20 Vitaliy Blast fixtures
    • 1 County Championship fixture
    • 4 Twenty20 Vitaliy Blast fixture
    • 3 County Championship fixtures
    The above depends on potential limited over knock-out games, so depending on those or any high stakes County Championship games I plan to do a post per period.

    Period 1

    Cambridge MCCU (Home)

    Despite my temptations to give some younger players some first class experience I opted to play what will likely be my first XI heading into the season proper.

    Slater, Mullaney*, Nash, Clarke, Libby, Patel, Moores**, Pattinson, Broad, Fletcher. Carter

    There are arguably a few contenious issues in the above the main selection decisions focused on:

    Ben Duckett vs Jake Libby – I was set on my top three which meant Duckett would have to play in the middle order and with Clarke, Patel and Moores I felt we had enough stroke players but not enough grafters so Libby was chosen

    Frontline bowling split, 4:0 vs 3:1 – This was a tricky one but with the medium pacers of Mullaney I felt we had just enough seam options and I liked the idea of two fingers spinners spinning it in opposite directions (i.e. Patel and Carter)

    Jake Ball vs Luke Fletcher – With the decision above made and Pattinson and Broad certainties I opted for the bowler I felt could best provide a support role and get through more overs allowing the two stars to be used more sparingly

    Batting order – I’m a firm believer in the openers, and to a lesser extent the top three, having solid defensive techniques and blunting the new ball therefore the top three somewhat picked itself. Clarke I see as the real star and future of this betting line-up and so he slotted in at four, with Moores destined for seven it just left Libby and Patel and I opted for Libby first with the more aggressive Patel to come in after as we seek batting points.

    The warm up game was straightforward enough and I don’t have a great desire to go into too much detail for what was a somewhat meaningless game, the scorecard can be seen below

    Click image for larger version  Name:	Warm Up.png Views:	0 Size:	138.4 KB ID:	69096

    Yorkshire (Home)

    The first real test was a home game against Yorkshire. With Rashid and Maharaj avaiable for selection their spin attack worried us so we prepared a nice seam friendly strip to attempt to blunt it as much as possible. The line-ups are below
    Slater, Mullaney*, Nash, Clarke, Libby, Patel, Moores**, Pattinson, Broad, Fletcher. Carter
    Fraine, Anjam, Ballance, Root, Kohler-Cadmore, Leaning, Tattersall, Rashid, Maharaj, Coad, Olivier

    We remain unchanged from our routine warm-up win.
    Yorkshire boast a very strong line-up obviously headlined by the England captain Joe Root, although in somewhat of a surprise have selected a four man bowling attack featuring only two pace men given us hope that if we can get on top of the spinners in unfriendly conditions we might have ourselves an advantage.
    Click image for larger version  Name:	Yorkshire.png Views:	0 Size:	185.2 KB ID:	69097
    We won the toss and batted first but all our well thought out plans went wrong, our top three fell cheaply to the opening bowlers leaving our middle order to face two international spinners under no pressure and with plenty of men around the bat, and even on day one the predictable happened as we were skittled for less than 200.

    From there we were always behind and despite a reasonable bowling showing and much improved batting effort in the second innings Yorkshire only needed 204 to win and Joe Root guided them home comfortably.

    On a side note Luke Fletched picked up a 3 week injury after I extended a fine bowling spell, in which he dismissed both Will Fraine and Joe Root, one over too many.

    Hard to award points for a comprehensive defeat but rules are rules

    Steven Mullaney – 5, first century of the year for us and helped to offer some respectability to the score

    Stuart Broad – 3, great bowling in the first innings let down my a poor opening spell the second which quelled any hopes of victory early doors

    Luke Fletcher – 1, only bowled 17 overs in the game owing to my mismanagement but his crucial double strike reigned Yorkshire in when it looked like they were heading for 400+

    Somerset (Home)

    After a poor opening performance the last thing you want is to face off against last season’s runners-up, but alas Somerset were coming to visit. As with Yorkshire spin was the main concern for me, with Leach, Bess and van der Merwe, so we prepared another nice seam friendly strip. In addition to the surface the cloudy conditions expected made sure this was four days for the seamers. The line-ups are below

    Slater, Mullaney*, Nash, Clarke, Libby, Patel, Moores**, Pattinson, Broad, Ball. Carter
    Banton, Trescothick, Abell, Hildreth, Rouse, Davies, van der Merwe, Gregory, Overton, Bess, Leach

    Despite being the only bowler to have gone wicket less in the second team match played as were played Yorkshire we stuck with Ball as the replacement for Fletcher.
    A very strong tea again headlined by an international class two pronged spin attack.
    Click image for larger version  Name:	Somerset.png Views:	0 Size:	183.7 KB ID:	69098
    Somserset opted to bowl first and straight away set about getting on top of us.

    All three important innings had sub-par all-round team efforts somewhat saved by one individual performance. And the fourth innings was merely playing out an already known result.
    Patel, Clarke and Broad all produced good performances to mask poor team performances however this was not nearly enough to avoid another comprehensive defeat.

    Again it is hard to award points for a comprehensive defeat but rules are rules

    Samit Patel – 5, the only batsman to stand up in the first innings where runs really are the most important to shape a game

    Joe Clarke – 3, the only batsman to stand up in the second innings where if we had scored about 75 more runs Somerset would have had a tricky chase under dark clouds

    Stuart Broad – 1, 4 wickets however his figures were helped by picking up wickets towards the end of the innings when the lead was well established.

    So the first of 7 periods ends with a routine warm-up victory against a University XI followed by two heavy losses against two teams who are likely to be at the opposite end of the table to us come the season end. Probably best not to worry about these two games much and focus more on the games against the likes of Hampshire. Kent and Warwickshire, who are more likely to be teams we arefighting relegation with.

    *denotes captain
    **denotes wicketkeeper
    Last edited by Nottsboy118; 03-08-2020, 11:24 AM.