Welcome to 2017’s international cricket season. Welcome to the longest international season any of us will remember here in England. Welcome to the summer that really matters for 50 over white ball cricket. It’s the Champions Trophy at the beginning of June, and we’ve put half our chips on this one. The other half we’ll hold back until 2019. Building. Always building.
Now I know that the 50 over game doesn’t exactly float the boats of all of the punters on here. Sometimes I feel the same, but for all that, I still prefer this to the fluff that is most of your T20 cricket. There are all sorts of games of 50 over cricket, and although it gets a bad knock now because of its youthful, more irritating little brother, there are always things to watch. At least I hope so.
Tomorrow we kick off against Ireland in Bristol (now I know why Lawrence was moaning about a quiet carriage this morning) with, what I believe, is our first ODI v Ireland in England. We’ve been over there a couple of times, lost hilariously in the World Cup in India to them, and there was a game in the West Indies World Cup which, according to some wags, is still going on. There’s plenty of feeling as Eoin Morgan plays against the country of his birth while Ed Joyce plays against the country he once made an ODI ton for. The weather appears to be OK, if a little on the cool side, and there should be a full match. England are without Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes. Sam Billings has come back from the IPL and appears to have caught some sort of ailment where he’s speaking twaddle, but he’ll keep wicket, and there are rumours Moeen Ali may well be left out.
I could go on, but I’m trying to watch a dreadful play-off match with my team in it, and really it feels like a bit of a pre-season friendly, but no doubt any good England performances by a “fringe” player will get lauded beyond the stars, and any loss to Ireland, or even a duff performance, will be over-analysed.
Here on BOC we’ll try to set up and report on each day’s play this summer, but it’s a difficult task for us to do with three of us. If anyone fancies doing it for us for some of the days this summer, please let us know.
So, in the age old, time honoured tradition on BoC…..
Fair enough if this is a temporary measure to manage workload:
Not fair enough if it’s anything else. Root had one poor T20 series in India but his career T20I SR is better than Roy’s and identical to Morgan’s. If this indicates that T20 is going to become totally a hitters’ game and there’s no place in it for even one batsman of Root’s type, then I think I may well be done with it (and I’ve defended T20 up to now). I also have a lurking suspicion that taking Root down a peg or two may be a way of managing the different-captains-in-different-formats scenario.
If it’s purely about workload, what about Stokes and Woakes? Are they playing every game?
I’ve no problem with trying Buttler as a T20 opener, by the way. I’m not sure it’ll work but it seems an experiment worth trying in the gap between WCs.
So the ECB wants to now “manage players work load.” Remember when KP requested this option, and he was told to shut up and do what your told.
Of course that presupposes that this isn’t just another excuse for in fact “dropping” a player for reasons of poor form. Im not against players being rested , if that is in fact why they are not playing. (Although that opens another can of worms about value for money for paying fans.) Will fans get a discount when top players are “rested?” (Silly Mark, of course not.)
I’m not sure I am quite as sanguine about some of the players Lawerence puts forward as replacements. And why would Hales not play 20/20 to rest for 50 over? It’s not as if he plays test cricket anymore, so why does he need a rest? He is proven as an ODI player so surely he can open in 20/20. Or is he still in the dog house for upsetting Olie Holt and his chums?
I certainly hope T20 doesn’t become purely a hitter’s game. You only have to look at the success of Steve Smith, Hashim Amla and Kane Williamson in this year’s IPL to realise that you don’t have to be a massive six-hitter to be successful in the format, simply by remaining busy and hitting out more selectively.
I wouldn’t have sent Root, Woakes or Stokes to the West Indies a couple of months ago after the ridiculous schedule that they had over the winter but I guess that the powers that be didn’t figure out that this was a good time to rest players.
ICC hasn’t decided when the next world t20 is going to take place so that any one off game/small series is hardly a big deal if it gives Root a bit more down time. I am guessing he won’t get to play any games in the blast this year, given England’s schedule from July onwards.
There have been some ICC announcements about the 2020 T20 WC (especially that the top ten ranked teams will automatically qualify) – so it looks unlikely that there will be a 2018 T20 WC.
I would have the T20 WC every two years, by the way. It’s a rare example of an under-exploited opportunity in cricket. Can’t have getting in the way of the precious domestic T20 leagues, I suppose…..
I guess your last line says it all. The last 2 world t20s took place in the sub continent just before the IPL and I guess it might have been a bit of a come down for a worldwide audience to watch the IPL afterwards.
Incidentally after a promising start by Ireland and being 40-0 in the 6th over, they have now lost 2 quick wickets and are 46-2 after 7.
Ah how I’ve missed Ed Joyce on TMS…that said I do have my Sydney Ashes tickets c/o family connections and the ACF 🙂
Apologies, I of course meant Ed Smith…now Lovejoy. Balls!
Genius scheduling before an away Ashes:
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They’re then away solidly for 4 months with the Ashes and NZ tours. If we haven’t ruined our players by the end of the summer, then certainly will have by March next year…
One of the best pieces of cricket-writing I’ve read this year, Wigmore majestic on both the history of cricket in Ireland and where they stand now:
Afraid it’s turning into a bit of a procession for England…
Rashid has looked superb though. Doubt he’ll have many people shouting “fragile” today…
Nasser is going on and on about confidence though. As i write, another one goes.
As an aside why does his signature on the 677 doc look like Adolfs Hip?
Perhaps not “fragile” but I won’t be at all surprised to hear a few “It’s only Ireland….” asides.
Which I suppose is fair enough comment, really. So long as it’s consistently applied to all the players that do well.
Actually, I’m sitting here with the window open; warm sunshine streaming into the room, listening to Vic Marks while trying to ignore The Plagiarist, and I have to admit I’m sort of enjoying it. Perhaps there is some hope left that cricket can still be a nice bit of my life and not just another illustration of the downward spiral of Western Civilization?
Maybe it’s just such a lovely day outside I’m finding it hard to locate my inner cynic.
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