Saturday, 22 September 2007

2007 County Awards

As an epic Championship race comes to an end, it's time to review the 2007 county season with Third Umpire's end-of-season awards.

Best player: His side didn't even come close to the honours, but it simply has to be Mark Ramprakash. Averaging 100 in consecutive seasons simply defies belief; an unprecedented achievement for the consummate professional and master technician. And finally, the first man to hit 10 first-class hundreds in a season since, well, himself.

Best batsman: Same again.

Best bowler:A toss up between two 38-year-olds (Andy Caddick and Otis Gibson) and the irrepressible Mushtaq Ahmed. Gibson's superhuman deeds in Divison One, and match-winning Friends Provident display, shade it.

Best performance: Otis Gibson's 10-47 against Hampshire was simply extraordinary.

Best hat-trick: Ryan McLaren's memorable effort in Kent's Twenty20Cup Final win.

Best match: Though ultimately it proved not to be close, for sheer quality and intensity Sussex's crucial victory over Lancashire at Liverpool.

Most valiant run chase: Lancashire's 464 on the final day against Surrey, just beating Surrey's very own 467 against Hampshire which, not coincidentally, were both at the Oval. Now, if only Lancs had showed similar application in the aforementioned Sussex clash.

Most ridiculous rant: Bob Willis, take a bow. His claim that former internationals like Hick, Crawley and Ramprakash were "clogging up" the system was totally nonsensical. On the contrary, they raise the standard - and are invaluable for youngsters to learn from.

Best decision (1): Chris Adams' 11th-hour u-turn when Yorkshire came calling. He was vindicated as, under his astute captaincy, Sussex won the Championship once more.

Best decision (2): Surrey effectively sacking Azhar Mahmood, seldom a first-class match-winner, and signing Harbhajan Singh in his place. Singh, with much to prove after being dropped by India, was the catalyst for their spectacular mid-season change of fortunes, claiming 37 wickets in just six games and providing the penetration his side had so lacked previously.

Worst decision (1): The ECB re-jigging the recruitment rules and banning the second overseas player from next season. They have helped immeasurably in improving the quality of cricket. Better, surely, to introduce serious preventive measures to ensure counties always field at least eight players eligible for England at that time.

Worst decision (2): The London-based dentist who paid for Jimmy Maher to be Glamorgan's overseas player. Maher suffered a sad crisis-in-confidence, averaging a paltry 17 in eight first-class games in a Glamorgan season that went from one nadir to the next. Meanwhile his early season stand-in, Matthew Elliot, was excellent.

Saddest tale: Staying with Glamorgan, Simon Jones' depressing transformation from reverse-swing king to a stuttering run-up - and one first-class wicket for 290. A move may just reinvigorate him but, though he is just 28, you would get long odds on him playing for England again.

Best emerging player: A rare bright spot for Glammy, 17-year-old James Harris took 12 wickets against Gloucestershire, and continued to impress therafter, finishing with 33 wickets at just 23. And, as shown by an 88*, he can bat too.

Biggest red-herring: Sussex suffering innings defeats in games two and three, only to bounce back to record consecutive Championship titles.

Most predictable match-winner: The irrepressible Mushtaq Ahmed was at it again, claiming 90 first-class wickets including 13 in their final Championship win. Whether he is Sussex's finest ever player is certainly up for debate; but he is, surely, their biggest ever match-winner.

Most hyped-up player: Adil Rashid was always in the spotlight after his heroics last season. His batting develop tremendously (average 46) but his leg-spin still lacks control, and he found things mighty tough towards the end. Still, well worth an A tour and near-certain to play for England one day.

Biggest proof of the quality of the county game: The plethora of superb spinners on the circuit, although this was fall next season. Shane Warne, Mushtaq, Muralitharan, Harbhajan, Danish Kaneria, Murali Kartik and Monty Panesar bring immense spinning quality to the game. Hopefully Adil Rashid, whose bowling stuttered somewhat after a fine start, and Mike Munday, who recorded match figures of 10-60 in the season's final game, can learn a thing or two.

Best captain: For a pair of promotions and stamping his authority over a talented but hitherto underachieving side, it has to be Justin Langer, who scored copious runs to boot. Elsewhere, Rob key was excellent in leading Kent's Twenty20 triumph, while Adams was as combative as ever.

Most heart-warming story: Worcestershire overcoming floods and Championship thrashings to win the Pro40 league was a tremendous show of character.

Easiest scapegoat: The Pro40. Derided primarily for being 40 overs (how much difference does the loss of 10 middle overs really make?) it provided some enthralling action during the summer holidays. As Worcestershire illustrated, a competition starting in mid-season can reinvigorate a county. With only eight games, it is short and sweet; and, above all, it proved a lot of fun.

Dream Championship XI (both divisions, based on first-class form only):
Justin Langer (captain)
Michael Di Venuto
Mark Ramprakash
Stuart Law
David Hussey
Cameron White
Tim Ambrose (wicket-keeper)
Andy Bichel
Otis Gibson
Mushtaq Ahmed
Andy Caddick

(With Murali replacing Bichel on turning tracks)

What are your thoughts on this campaign? Share your views by leaving a comment below.

If you're interested in writing a season review for your county, please email it cricketingworld@hotmail.com. If possible please follow the template of last season's Surrey review.

85 comments:

River Taff End said...

Difficult to argue too much with any of those Tim!

I'll do a separate piece about Robert Croft passing 1,000 first class wickets and 10,000 runs - a pretty worthy achievement.

Tim said...

Cheers River - glad you agree!

Looking forward to your Glamorgan review also mate.

Tne Tooting Trumpet said...

Yes, interesting stuff. I'd have Mushtaq Ahmed as bowler and player of the season - his 90 wickets are the equal of Ramps' runs and bowlers win matches.

No substitute for experience eh?

My Division One only team of the year at http://www.thegoogly.com/2007/09/county-champi-6.html.

Cheers Ump!

Richard Lake said...

You'll have to wait for my review of the season Tim, but my team will be very different to yours!

Interesting what you say about Rashid - and I'd agree to an extent. However, given the weather has not really produced pitches that suit his bowling (althoug with experience he will learn how to deal with this) he's had a pretty reliable season.

Tim said...

I considered Mushtaq heavily, but just felt Ramps was too good to ignore.

Look forward to your review Richard. Fair point about Rashid - he was still very valuable overall, but his bowling did disappoint slightly towards the end.

Anonymous said...

There's always that worry with players like Adil Rashid that they may transform from legspinners who bat well to batsmen who occasionally bowl funny stuff. Eventually they may become like Kim Barnett, Atherton & even (stretching it a bit) Nasser Hussain - "he used to bowl as well, you know". As Rashid is already batting regularly at 6 for his county this is a real risk.

Paul
Wakefield UK

Tim said...

Paul - I agree totally; that's a very astute point. The problem is, unless you're an outstanding spinner, then it's hard to have much of an impact until about July, so he may work more on his batting to make sure he gets in the team.

That said, he could be an ideal number 8 (or even higher).

Anonymous said...

wow gold
wow gold
wow power leveling
wow power leveling
wow power leveling
wow powerleveling
wow powerleveling
wow powerleveling
World Of Warcraft power leveling
World Of Warcraft power leveling
World Of Warcraft power leveling
World Of Warcraft powerleveling
World Of Warcraft powerleveling
World Of Warcraft powerleveling
wow power level
wow power level
wow power level
cheap wow power leveling
cheap wow power leveling
cheap wow powerleveling
cheap wow powerleveling
codeheart article
Warcraft Gold
World of Warcraft Gold
cheap wow gold

PaydayLoans said...

i32rDr You have a talant! Write more!

Auto insurance company said...

JZeW4z actually, that's brilliant. Thank you. I'm going to pass that on to a couple of people.

Hydrocodone said...

HOkT7e The best blog you have!

car cheapest in insurance uk said...

rJk59c actually, that's brilliant. Thank you. I'm going to pass that on to a couple of people.

allied tour pro said...

Magnific!

fioricet tablet said...

Magnific!

medication celecoxib celebrex said...

Good job!

peterson pharmacy said...

Wonderful blog.

phentermine home said...

Wonderful blog.

north philly xanax syrup said...

Thanks to author.

cod sold tramadol said...

Thanks to author.

JohnBraun said...

bXcsn2 write more, thanks.

college amatuer sex said...

Nice Article.

during pregnancy sex said...

Hello all!

ani mial sex said...

Wonderful blog.

lean muscle sex said...

Please write anything else!

easygal anal blowjob said...

Thanks to author.

set of sex said...

actually, that's brilliant. Thank you. I'm going to pass that on to a couple of people.

eros sex magazine said...

Please write anything else!

oral sex instructions said...

Wonderful blog.

beastilty sex stories said...

Hello all!

beastly sex mpegs said...

Hello all!

craxy sex videos said...

actually, that's brilliant. Thank you. I'm going to pass that on to a couple of people.

hot guy sex said...

Nice Article.

rachel ligon sex said...

Thanks to author.

mariska hargitay sex said...

If ignorance is bliss, you must be orgasmic.

nj group sex said...

Good job!

dildo mature sex said...

I don't suffer from insanity. I enjoy every minute of it.

free pantyhose porn galleries said...

Give me ambiguity or give me something else.

boy sex animatied said...

640K ought to be enough for anybody. - Bill Gates 81

bondage forced sex said...

Give me ambiguity or give me something else.

ala sex offenders said...

Suicidal twin kills sister by mistake!

japanese sex vids said...

Calvin, we will not have an anatomically correct snowman!

hydrocodone meds m said...

Please write anything else!

cialis potenzmittel said...

When there's a will, I want to be in it.

payday lo said...

Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

japanese sex machine said...

Oops. My brain just hit a bad sector.

big sex tit said...

Give me ambiguity or give me something else.

gilbertsville sex offenders said...

Oops. My brain just hit a bad sector.

arab indian sex said...

Wonderful blog.

all sex cartoons said...

Ever notice how fast Windows runs? Neither did I.

sex around you said...

When there's a will, I want to be in it.

danny ember sex said...

I don't suffer from insanity. I enjoy every minute of it.

onyx sex game said...

When there's a will, I want to be in it.

cocaine and vicodin said...

Suicidal twin kills sister by mistake!

name said...

When there's a will, I want to be in it.

find free downloads for phone porn said...

I'm not a complete idiot, some parts are missing!

r rated porn said...

Thanks to author.

anima porn free said...

I don't suffer from insanity. I enjoy every minute of it.

lesbian sex toy said...

Build a watch in 179 easy steps - by C. Forsberg.

babe sex workout said...

Please write anything else!

free wap porn videos said...

Nice Article.

teen teen porn magazines for free said...

A lot of people mistake a short memory for a clear conscience.

gmx porn said...

Give me ambiguity or give me something else.

anal sex prepare said...

If ignorance is bliss, you must be orgasmic.

frot sex pictures said...

Hello all!

porn radio station said...

Build a watch in 179 easy steps - by C. Forsberg.

hentai sex doll said...

Suicidal twin kills sister by mistake!

imitrex sample said...

The gene pool could use a little chlorine.

chastity video sex said...

A lot of people mistake a short memory for a clear conscience.

pink sex pics said...

Calvin, we will not have an anatomically correct snowman!

butt teen sex said...

Give me ambiguity or give me something else.

cartoon submissive sex said...

Energizer Bunny Arrested! Charged with battery.

free excruciating sex said...

Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

huge pussy lips cunt shot porn said...

What is a free gift ? Aren't all gifts free?

interracial flash sex said...

Build a watch in 179 easy steps - by C. Forsberg.

vintage porn blog said...

Give me ambiguity or give me something else.

kalakal sex videos said...

Suicidal twin kills sister by mistake!

porn sex violent said...

Suicidal twin kills sister by mistake!

austrian porn sites said...

Friends help you move. Real friends help you move bodies

korean sex thumbs said...

640K ought to be enough for anybody. - Bill Gates 81

blonde porn galleries said...

Oops. My brain just hit a bad sector.

locking anal butt plug harness said...

Calvin, we will not have an anatomically correct snowman!

parker posey sex said...

Give me ambiguity or give me something else.

phentermine with out a prescription overnite said...

Lottery: A tax on people who are bad at math.

phentermine success story said...

Magnific!

order phentermine no script united states said...

I'm not a complete idiot, some parts are missing!