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Geoff B
(Login Coastalview)

Re: BREAKING NEWS l Gary Ballance called up to the England Lions

June 26 2017, 9:51 AM 

With the bowling resources available I think it was quite natural that Plunkett was not selected in the Yorkshire squad.

Doubt he has had time to practice with a red ball let alone a pink one all season, and rushing him up from Cardiff to get some practice in would have been totally unnecessary.

Hopefully the practice with the Lions, if it doesn't get him into the Test side, will be ideal preparation to get him into red ball mode ready for the Scarborough game next week.

 
 
Stu
(Login StuartRA)
Assistant Moderator

Re: BREAKING NEWS l Gary Ballance called up to the England Lions

June 26 2017, 10:09 AM 

Seadog73 ---- "Don't back off, Phil. The forum needs your common sense approach to ECB conspiracy theories! (In my humble opinion, anyway).

Agree there is no conspiracy by the ECB. They have not enough brain cells between them to actually plot anything and conspire against anyone. They could not plan or organise a **** up in a brewery, so for them to deliberately come up with a plan to disrupt Yorkshire is just not possible. They just do not think anything out or what the implications are, when going ahead with their plans for England and England Lions.

 
 
Dewsburian
(Login Dewsburian)

Re: BREAKING NEWS l Gary Ballance called up to the England Lions

June 26 2017, 10:17 AM 

It isn't so much "conspiracy theories" with the ECB (last year's championship decider excepted) as chaos theory. I don't know if anyone else saw Eoin Morgan's interview with Sky yesterday, but his reasons for a) omitting himself, b) selecting various other players and c) omitting Overton were incomprehensible. At one point, he was so incoherent as to suggest that, if England had wanted to play Craig Overton, they would have had to have left out Jos Buttler! (In fact, that was one of the few understandable things that he said).
Before the Champions' Trophy, we heard the argument that Bairstow couldn't possibly play because that would disrupt a settled side. Then, for the first game, they disrupted the settled side by leaving out Adil Rashid. And, having said that Roy would not be omitted under any circumstances, they dropped him. Meanwhile, a player like Sam Billings is getting the treatment Jonny Bairstow had for a couple of seasons: plenty of drinks carrying, punctuated by the occasional requirement to bat in a crucial position at a key point in an innings. By my calculations, Billings had played three competitive innings in the UK this summer before the SA series. If I were Kent, I would be concerned about his progress, since he's not showing any great signs of developing as a result of this regime. I suspect the same thing is about to happen to Liam Livingstone.

I don't think we've got the England Lions thing right. It was originally supposed to make up for the fact that the County Championship wasn't competitive enough. But county batsmen can currently expect to come up against Anderson, Broad, Sidebottom or Finn, not to mention the likes of Kyle Abbot. And county bowlers may be bowling against Sangakarra or Chanderpaul, recent test players like Trott, Bell, Vince or Ballance, and even present ones like Handscomb, Voges, Root or Bairstow. There's no guarantee that the touring team's mid-week side will make for more competitive cricket. In many cases, the England Lions are meeting players they've already encountered in county cricket - often under greater competitive intensity.
If Team England were under severe constraints due to pressures from the counties, to the point where their plans were at times disrupted, then the ineptitude of some of their decisions would be excusable. As things stand, they have apparently dictatorial powers but still seem to be doing a job that is a touch substandard - and sometimes self-defeating - at the national level, while also being disruptive at county level. It's not especially controversial to suggest that someone ought to look to structure the season in such a way as to integrate these two levels and consign the idea of "test trials", which is effectively what the Lions games are, to the 1950s where it belongs. An England manager who had the time and inclination to see some county cricket might also help.

 
 
Stu
(Login StuartRA)
Assistant Moderator

Re: BREAKING NEWS l Gary Ballance called up to the England Lions

June 26 2017, 10:25 AM 

Good post Dewsburian. A tad more detailed than mine, but I agree fully with the sentiments expressed.

All it needed was for this week matches with a pink ball to be played two weeks before the day/night test in August, leaving this week free for a 4 day match for the Lions, with them selecting from the 16 counties not involved in the RLODC. It`s not rocket science!!

It seems that everything the ECB do is due to muddled thinking.


    
This message has been edited by StuartRA on Jun 26, 2017 10:29 AM


 
 
Ball Sup Phil
(Login ball_sup)

Re: BREAKING NEWS l Gary Ballance called up to the England Lions

June 26 2017, 10:27 AM 

Heartfelt Stu. I hear you Brother.
But, I'm a dog with a bone at the moment.
Your post allows me to say. WE are the ECB. As Members, we vote Denison in. He employs Arthur. They vote for & with ECB Board Members. The ECB are not appointed by God. They are appointed by US. At Noon today, at the EGM, we, the Members will roll over, our tummies will be tickled. And "we'll" vote for yet more ECB inspired nonsense. Plunging us further into unsustainable debt. And the next time & the next time & the next time.

The price of a cup of Tea in The Long Room may be held constant until the end of the season however.

 
 
Dewsburian
(Login Dewsburian)

Re: BREAKING NEWS l Gary Ballance called up to the England Lions

June 26 2017, 10:37 AM 

Oddly enough, I was looking up the Lions squad for Thursday and I came across this wonderful statement from James Whittaker, chock full of the kind of contradictions I was talking about:

Whittaker: "We did not consider players from Nottinghamshire or Surrey because the last day of the game clashes with the Royal London One-Day Cup final on July 1, and as ever we were mindful that all 18 first-class counties have important fixtures in the Specsavers County Championship day-night round which runs from Monday to Thursday. Gary Ballance has had an excellent start to the season with Yorkshire, impressing with both his batting and his captaincy, and we wanted to give him this opportunity to lead the Lions against international opposition. Similarly for Sam Billings, it is a chance for him to show what he can do both as a batsman and a wicketkeeper in a first-class fixture for the Lions after several months playing one-day and T20 cricket for England and in the IPL."

Two glaring illogicalities in this:
1) If you're "mindful" of the county championship day-nighters, then why on earth take Ballance out of them? Why does he need to lead anyone against international opposition? Is Joe Root's position in doubt?
2) If you want to see what Sam Billings can do in "red ball" cricket, what is the point of selecting him when he hasn't been playing any? How is that part of a coherent plan?

Perhaps the ECB should just stop issuing statements. Trying to rationalize what they're doing just makes them look more "weak and wobbly", to coin a phrase.

 
 
Guest
(Login ThirdUmpire)

Re: BREAKING NEWS l Gary Ballance called up to the England Lions

June 26 2017, 11:49 AM 

With apologies to Phil the whole thing is a potential balls up.

Whitaker needs to be careful not to refer to red ball cricket when some of it is pink ball cricket....

 
 
Dewsburian
(Login Dewsburian)

Re: BREAKING NEWS l Gary Ballance called up to the England Lions

June 26 2017, 12:40 PM 

Contradictions exist in all walks of life (as it happens, I'm trying to make time to go to Worcester on Thursday). But if you're managing something, you set clear priorities at the outset, so as not to be overwhelmed by every little minor contradiction that presents itself. If I were managing the ECB, I'd definitely prioritize the first division over the second. So I wouldn't say, as Whittaker implied, that there are nine priority games during this period. In my view, there are four - the first division games. That gives a bit more scope for manoeuvre.
I'd also avoid talking about giving players who aren't even in the test team captaincy experience against international opposition. It might be something that I'd DO, but it wouldn't be something that I'd MENTION. Does the ECB really want to send out the message that a one-day batsman's place can be set in stone for the foreseeable future (Roy), but, so far as the England test captain is concerned, we're building up some alternative options?
In this same vein - and this relates more to Morgan - I'd also avoid talking about being "loyal" to players. By all means, tell certain players that you're going to keep selecting them for a certain number of matches. But don't equate selection with loyalty in your statements to the press: it adds a needless complication and immediately led to people asking why the selectors who were being "loyal" to Roy were happy to be "disloyal" to Rashid in that first Champions Trophy game.

I see Sam Robson is back with the Lions. It was said of Vince last year that he did his Test chances a lot of good by making runs against Yorkshire. It really would be worth the ECB reviewing whether Lions matches have actually made a beneficial difference to any aspect of selection. There was a bit of a shoot-out a few years back between Bairstow, Stokes and Taylor. Bairstow pretty much won that, but he'd surely have been the player selected on the basis of his county performances anyway. I suppose Duckett was a player selected largely on the basis of Lions matches...

 
 
Guest
(Login Fraisse10)

Re: BREAKING NEWS l Gary Ballance called up to the England Lions

June 26 2017, 1:55 PM 

I see, too, that Middlesex have not selected Robson in view of his Lions call up, saying they want aplayer who can focus fully on the 4-day (County) game.

Good for them!

 
 
Guest
(Login ThirdUmpire)

Re: BREAKING NEWS l Gary Ballance called up to the England Lions

June 26 2017, 2:35 PM 

Suspect they may regret it when 2-2....

 
 
 
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