Monday, July 20, 2015

The next in line to replace the failing Ian Bell? Our domestic system hasn't produced anyone!

We have the most extensive (and expensive) professional cricket structure in the world. Eighteen domestic clubs each with a fully professional squad of players (that's about 300 of them) coaches, grounds etc. etc etc. 

The Counties spend our money (see below) on too many talentless players, too many foreign imports, too many past-it time-servers. And, as we now see, trying to find a Test cricket prospect from this mob is unsurprisingly difficult. How many genuine international cricket prospects has this moribund system produced in recent years, bar Joe Root? Who is to be Ian Bell's replacement? Is Jos Buttler convincing as Matt Prior's? Or Moeen Ali as Graeme Swann's? Where are the successors to Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad? 

James Whitaker the Chairman of Selectors has a difficult job, one he does with difficulty, but he perhaps deserves some sympathy. The Counties pursue their own interests (mainly survival) and producing home grown talent is low down their list of priorities. Need an opening batsman? Nurture and develop one over the years in your youth system - or buy in a pre-made Kiwi or a Saffer whose looking to play some well-remunerated cricket in the English summer months ? They often take the easy option - and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) pays them to do it.

The hugely costly 18 County system would not exist, could not exist, without generous subsidy from the ECB. That's our money by the way. Our £100 per day Ashes tickets. Our Sky subscriptions... And that money is spent so ineptly that from the 300 professional cricketers it pays for very few are anything like international standard (the overseas players excepted of course). 

Revolution is necessary starting from the imperative that by far the most important requirement of a domestic cricket system is to produce players for the England teams. We are signally failing to do this with the current set up. Some counties have not one player in their squads of true international potential and haven't had one for years. Time for change.


Steve H said...

Spot on.

Alchemist said...

Johnny Bairstow anyone?? Lancashire have some good youngsters although as you correctly point out Prince and Peterson are the main men with the bat and most of the bowlers are slow orthadox (or spinners that bowl straight) There are plenty of good English lads about but they need coaching into superstars and that is what we are lacking.