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SPIN

SPIN

T 1 E ORICK NOR C F

WORLD CRICKET MONTHLY

‘WHEN I HEARD THE SQUAD, NOT HEARING MY NAME WAS LIKE A PUNCH IN THE STOMACH…’

‘England snubbed me…’

Andy Caddick’s explosive exit interview

HEROES OR ZEROS Life on

England’s

ODI rollercoaster

NOVEMBER 2009 £3.95

INSIDE

EOIN MORGAN MARK RAMPRAKASH WITH NEEW IMPROV VDE EXCLUSI

HAWKEYE

Blood money?

Gooch & Boycott’s rebel tour of South Africa 11 9 771745 299042

County review

47 NOVEMBER 2009 I SSUE 26 I SSUE DECEMBER 2007

+ Why are Durham so good? + Why are Worcester so bad? + What’s the way back for Surrey?

+ VVS LAXMAN JAMES TAYLOR MICHAEL SIMKINS


G LEA DEIN DGE

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MARK RAMPRAKASH

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PICTURES: PA PHOTOS

QUESTIONS FOR


ramps Surrey maestro, now 40, says he should have been on last two Ashes tours and that he’s still not too old… You’ve averaged 90 again this season – but has it been a frustrating year for Surrey and for you personally? I’ve been very lucky in my career to have played in successful sides and with some very good players, so when you do have tough times like we have at Surrey then it is very frustrating. I’ve always prided myself throughout my career in trying to be a winner, but if not winning, then I’d aim to compete very well. Every year I’ve turned up at the preseason nets, looked at the squad on paper and thought “Right, if we play well here we’ll be in the hunt for a trophy.” I was very disappointed to go down last year, but I looked at our squad this year and thought we’d have a chance of going straight back up. But of course we’ve had this huge change with Chris [Adams] coming in. I think he’s trying to balance results with development. We’ve used something like 25 players this year, he’s having a good look at what we have and already we’ve seen players leave and some new faces come in; there may be yet more who leave. Do you finally now feel your England days are behind you? It was flattering to be in the frame for the final Ashes Test; I was happy with the amount of goodwill there was for me. There were some very nice things written. I would have loved to have played. If I’d been selected it would have been fantastic. I don’t think I had anything to lose and I was looking forward to the

chance: I would have gone and enjoyed the occasion. But in all honesty, I just didn’t see the people who mattered coming back my way. My friends asked me, “Is this door still open for you?” and I say, “The selectors say it is”. But it doesn’t look that way does it? I mean, look at the amount of runs I’ve scored in the past four or five years, I’ve averaged 90 over that time. I always hoped that my performances would do the talking for me, so if I’m not being picked on those performances I have to ask myself, “Why am I not being selected?” I think Geoff Miller was quoted as saying, “It’s

‘I’D LOVE TO HAVE PLAYED IN THE ASHES DECIDER. I WAS LOOKING FORWARD TO IT…’ the same reason we didn’t pick him two years ago: what’s changed now?” If that’s true I think that is so unfair. I was extremely disappointed to hear that because when I was dropped in 2002 it was a fine line as to whether I was left out or not. It’s not as if I hadn’t had success at Test level. I was 31 or 32 back then, but I’ve continued to strive, to work hard and to learn new things. New things have happened to me since then, I’ve completed the Level 4 coaching course, which I enjoyed and got a lot out of. There have been other life experiences too. I feel I’ve continued to develop as a player and a person, so I can

now say that I think I should have been selected for the past two Ashes tours to Australia and that I should have gone to Sri Lanka in 2007 as well. Did being in Division 2 finally finish off your chances? Certain people will use whatever argument suits them at the time. When I left Middlesex [in 2000] David Graveney made the point that it didn’t matter what division you played in, that you still had an equal chance of playing for England. And it certainly hasn’t hurt Alastair Cook and Ravi Bopara to be in Division 2. But I’ve also seen excolleagues of mine tag me in the press and say, “Mentally, he wouldn’t be able to handle it”. I that’s an outdated point of view and I feel I just have to enter the debate to correct that. How did the selectors break it to you that you wouldn’t be playing in the Ashes decider? Geoff Miller came down to our game at Colchester the Wednesday before they announced the team and said to me, “We’ve made our selection, what do you think?” Once again he mentioned my age, yet I’ve got two years left on my Surrey contract

and my fitness results are still good. In this modern age we’ve got nutritionists and sports scientists who all help prolong your career if you’re willing to do the work, which I am. It is frustrating to me. Players just want to know where they stand. It’s disappointing, but it doesn’t keep me up at night any longer. I’m happy within myself and will try and enjoy my cricket and the other things in my life from here on, because I’m really happy with the balance right now. You have scored 2,000 runs in a season in both divisions of the LV County Championship. Are runs are easier to come by in the lower tier? I remember Steve James writing an article when I scored 2000 runs in 2006 which went along the lines that because I was playing in Division 2 the runs didn’t count. There are two things against that argument; if that’s the case everyone should be doing it. The other thing is I scored 2,000 runs in Division 1 the year after. By definition, there is a difference in the divisions. I understand that, but there also has to be a level playing field when it comes to selection. You can’t have some players picked from Division 2 and others not. Interview: Mark Pennell

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DIARY EOIN MORGAN

THINGS COULD ONLY GET BETTER… England were hammered by Australia at home but then suddenly started to look the part in the Champs Trophy. SPIN’s Eoin Morgan gives the view from inside the camp

We were in a winning position through the whole game at the Brit Oval and we just lost our way at the end. And even in the game at Lord’s it was well within our reach to chase down the 250 we needed. It wasn’t as if we were outplayed in those first two games. But having lost them, the series started to run away from us. I’ve no idea how to explain it. It’s confidence more than anything else. Losing is a habit as well as winning. When you start winning you can just feel the change in atmosphere in the changing room. If you’re losing consistently, you’re not so likely to believe in yourself in the 50-50 situations. During the NatWest Series, the Aussies quickly got to the point where they expected to win all those 50-50 situations. Andrew Strauss: “Everyone’s got a start in the two games but no one’s gone on so I don’t think it’s a lack of confidence. Our bowlers did a very good job. 249 was very chaseable and I thought it was a very flat wicket. To be honest, the batsmen have got to hold up their hands and say we weren’t good enough. Your top six have got to score the bulk of your runs in one-day cricket and we haven’t done that for the last couple of games.”

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ROSE BOWL, SEPTEMBER 9 LOST BY SIX WICKETS LORD’S, SEPTEMBER 12 LOST BY SEVEN WICKETS

Cameron White made 105 in the chase at the Rose Bowl. He was exceptional, coming in for Ricky Ponting. I hadn’t seen very much of him before and was very impressed. At Lord’s we saw that Brett Lee is in a different league. I’d faced him for the Lions in the game just ahead of the Ashes when he was reversing it – and bowling at that pace and reversing it he’s world class. He bowled us out for next to nothing: five wickets, four of them bowled; we were all out for 220. The first ball he bowled to me at Lord’s I didn’t see! The ball was getting quite old, Matt Prior had just been bowled with an inswinging yorker, the ball was just starting to reverse and I didn’t see the first ball. I thought, “This is going to be interesting.” Basically you don’t pick it up out of his hand and you see it late and move late and... you’re obviously at a disadvantage. Do I think now that Brett Lee should have played in the Ashes? Well, I was already talking about that while the Ashes was going on, having faced him at Worcester. If he can bowl a ball like that at any point, he could potentially turn a Test match. So maybe they should have played him.

TRENT BRIDGE, SEPTEMBER 15 LOST BY FOUR WICKETS TRENT BRIDGE, SEPTEMBER 17 LOST BY 111 RUNS

The first game at Trent Bridge was the most disheartening of the series for us. It was the manner of the defeat that was very disappointing. It made us realise we weren’t even in the running. We got 299 and they chased it down, comfortably. It was a real eye-opener as to how far off the pace we were. We thought 299 would be competitive but as soon as we went out there the momentum shifted. We fielded very poorly and didn’t create any opportunities. But my 58 off 41 balls was my first 50 for England. It’s not necessarily my designated role to come in after 35-40 overs and whack it about. My role depends on the state of the game: at the Rose Bowl, I had had to rebuild and get a bit of a partnership going with Paul [Collingwood] and Luke [Wright]. There’s no great difference between my Middlesex role and England role. One-day cricket is similar at whatever level. You have to have a range of options in your game: there’ll always be a period where the spinners look to tie you down, you’ll always have a chance to take a powerplay and then have to face the death bowling. So your game has to be built around dealing with all those. I try to groove my game around that, manipulating the

PICTURES: PA PHOTOS

BRIT OVAL, SEPTEMBER 4 LOST TO AUSTRALIA BY FOUR RUNS LORD’S, SEPTEMBER 6 LOST BY 39 RUNS


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ANALYSIS HAWKEYE

COMING SOON What will England be up against in the ODIs v South Africa, starting on November 13? Plus: lessons from the NatWest Series.

WAYNE PARNELL: THE PRODIGY

WAYNE PARNELL, at age 20, has just seven one-day internationals to his name and yet his ability to take key wickets has already made him a crucial part of South Africa’s one-day line-up. The rapid leftarmer has 17 wickets at 22.58 in his ODI career so far, since 66 SPIN NOVEMBER 2009

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debuting against Australia at Perth in January this year. The ICC Champions Trophy was a disappointing tournament for South Africa but the hosts did manage one win, over New Zealand – and Parnell was a major part of that, taking 5/57 from eight overs, as the Black

Caps were rolled for 214. Graphic 1 is his pitch map (to righthanders) from that game, showing the line and length of four of his wicket balls (white). The three wickets from full balls were late in the innings, two of those were in the 47th over (Graphic 2), as New Zealand

looked to accelerate. Parnell, angling the ball in from over the wicket, was not at his quickest here – the over ranged from 81.5 to 83.7mph – and is prone to stray (red ball, on legs) but the wicket balls (yellow and green) did enough to fool Ross Taylor and Daryl Tuffey respectively.

PICTURES: PA PHOTOS

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JOHAN BOTHA: CONTROL AND BIG TURN 3

EVEN without his potent doosra – ruled illegal by the ICC boffins – off-spinner Johan Botha, belatedly an ODI regular, offers South Africa mid-innings control. He was one of the most economical bowlers at the ICC World Twenty20, conceding just 6.21 runs per over, and managing not only to contain batsmen but remove them.

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Graphic 3 is Botha’s pitch map to India’s left-handers in the game at Trent Bridge – where he finished with 3/16 from four overs, an astoundingly good economy rate for Twenty20; with the wickets of Gambhir, Raina and Harbhajan to boot. It isn’t all that hard to see why he’s hard to combat: all but two of the ten deliveries shown

land on a good length, drawing the batsmen uncertainly forward, with six on a middleleg stump line and two just outside off. Botha is capable of big turn too. Graphic 4 is his delivery to remove Suresh Raina, who was tempted to play a lavish slog sweep to a flighted ball. Raina didn’t quite account for the

amount of turn Botha managed: the white trajectory shows the path of the ball, while the blue trajectory is if the ball hadn’t spun away from the left-handed Raina. The fatal misjudgement resulted in an edged catch to long-on, at a time in the game when India were desperately trying to lift the run rate.

DALE STEYN: SPEED, SWING… AND A NEW CONSISTENCY 5

DALE STEYN IS officially the best Test match bowler in the world, having raced to 170 Test wickets at 23 each in just 33 matches. Steyn showed glimpses of his peak form in the series against Australia last winter, though his match-winning spell at Newlands (featured here) came too late to save the series

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for the Saffers. He took 4/56 as Australia were bundled out for 209, setting the hosts up for a consolation innings victory. Graphic 5 is Steyn’s pitch map to right-handers, showing the wicket balls of Michael Clarke and Bryce McGain – both pitched up (white). Earlier in his career, Steyn was an erratic bowler, even

at peak form, mixing wild wides with late-swinging yorkers. Here, though he bowled a tight and consistent line, just outside off stump, with only two balls pitching in line with the stumps. It prevented Australia’s righthanders from scoring: note the prevalence of dots (red), and just the one boundary (yellow).

Steyn’s dismissal of Clarke was the most impressive. Graphic 6 shows the three balls Pup faced in his innings – all from Steyn. Ball 1 (red, 90mph) beat the outside edge. Ball 2 nipped back (blue, 78.4mph) before Ball 3 (yellow, 88.5mph) straightened and collided with the off stump. NOVEMBER 2009

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GRAPHIC FREELANCE FREDDIE

IF THIS IS MONDAY, THIS MUST BE… MUMBAI

Will freelance Freddie have it easier than his fixture congested predecessors? SPIN does the maths JACK HOBBS 1913/1914

MARCH 11 MARCH 28: on boat home Total 18 days

Pre-season break: 5 weeks MAY 2 Start of 1914 season

MAY 8 – SEPT 17 1913 ENGLISH SEASON Played 32 threeday games Total 96 days

MATCH DAYS: 153 DAYS HEDLEY VERITY 1938/39

MARCH 16 APRIL 1: on boat home Total 17 days

APRIL 30 – SEPT 13 ENGLISH SEASON Played four four-day Tests 27 three-day games TOTAL: 97 DAYS MAY 3 Pre-season Start of 1939 free: 32 days English season

MATCH DAYS: 145 DAYS FRANK TYSON 1954/1955

MARCH 26 APRIL 20: on boat home Total 24 days

MAY 7 Start of English season

Pre-season free: 14 days

MAY 8-SEPT 8 ENGLISH SEASON 27 three-day games, 1 five day Test Total 88 days

MATCH DAYS: 150 DAYS IAN BOTHAM (1981/82)

MAY 6-SEPT 17 ENGLISH SEASON MAY 5 1982: Somerset v Sussex, start of English season

Pre-season free: 11 weeks

PAUL COLLINGWOOD 2008/2009

TRAVEL 2 DAYS TOTAL 111 DAYS

APRIL 19-28 IPL (South Africa) On bench for six games for Delhi Daredevils

JAN 29-APRIL 3 WEST INDIES TOUR Five Tests; five ODIs (plus one T20)

MATCH DAYS: 106 (+6) DAYS FUTURE FREELANCE FLINTOFF JANUARY T20 BIG BASH in Australia

FEBRUARY PRO20 in South Africa

MARCH-APRIL IPL

MAXIMUM MATCHDAYS*: 79 *13 ODIs, six domestic 40-overs, 11 international T20s, 49 club T20s. ‘Travel’ denotes one return trip from England to each overseas tour/tournament. Flintoff’s future year is intended as an illustration of his potential workload

APRIL 30MAY 16 Plays for England in ICC World T20

TRAVEL 12 DAYS

Pre-season free: 2 days MAY 2 Start of English season: Derbyshire v Durham

MAY 7-SEPT 3 ENGLISH SEASON

TRAVEL10 DAYS JUNE Plays for England, 3 ODIs v Bangladesh

TOTAL 91 DAYS

PICTURES: PA PHOTOS

MATCH DAYS: 109


Jack Hobbs spent five months

VERDICT away from home in the winter

of 1913-14, a large proportion of them on the boat to and from South Africa. And he, along with all other cricketers pre-1963 when one-day cricket came in, had plenty more matchdays than the modern cricketer too. Not to mention

the logistical challenges of the day: after finishing Surrey’s last championship game at Hastings on September 3, Hobbs played for the Players v Gentleman at Scarborough – on the 4th. By comparison, modern players can make as many as six short-sharp overseas tours in a winter. Modern matchdays are fewer and

OCTOBER 21– NOV 7: On boat Total 18 days

12-MONTH TALLY 4094 runs, including 14 hundreds

TOTAL 185 DAYS OCTOBER 22– NOV 7: On boat to South Africa Total 17 days

TRAVEL 31 DAYS

NOV 8- 10 MARCH SOUTH AFRICA TOUR five 4-day Tests; 11 three-day games; 2 two-day games Total: 57 days

NOV 8- MARCH 14 SOUTH AFRICA TOUR Four four-day Tests; one nine-day Test (!); one two-days game; seven three-day games. Total: 48 days

TOTAL 176 DAYS SEPT 13OCTOBER 8 Boat to Australia (SEPT 30 game in Ceylon on way to Australia) Total 25 days

TRAVEL 50 DAYS

OCTOBER 11-MARCH 25 AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND TOUR six three-day games; seven Test matches; two two-days games; one one-day game Total: 61 days

TOTAL 200 DAYS

Six five-day Tests v Australia + three ODIs v Australia, + 9 Championship games and 17 one-day games (9 John Player League, 6 B&H Cup, including the final, 2 NatWestTrophy) for Somerset (plus Somerset v Australia). Also four one-day invitational/exhibition games Playing days: 57

Three Tests v New Zealand; three Tests v South Africa; four ODIs (plus one T20)v New Zealand, four ODIs v South Africa; two Championship games for Durham; seven one-day games for Durham (four FP Trophy, three NatWest Pro40) plus three T20s. Playing days: 57

NOV 11-FEB 17 TOUR OF INDIA AND SRI LANKA Six five-day Tests v India; oneTest v Sri Lanka; four tour games; three ODIs v India, two ODIs v Sri Lanka Playing days: 52

26 OCTOBER1ST NOVEMBER: STANFORD SUPERSERIES, Antigua Three T20s

9 NOV-26NOV: INDIA ODI TOUR Two warm-up games; five ODIs

11 DEC-23 DEC INDIA TEST TOUR Two Tests

TOTAL 124 DAYS JULY-AUGUST Plays for Lancashire in T20 Cup and 40-over comp (10 T20s, 6 40-overs)

SEPTEMBER Plays for England v Pakistan, five ODIs, 2 T20s

OCTOBER Plays for one of his clubs in T20 Champions League

NOVEMBER-DECEMBER ENGLAND ODI TOUR 5 ODIs, 2 T20s

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NB: ‘TRAVEL’ DENOTES ONE RETURN TRIP FROM ENGLAND TO EACH OVERSEAS TOUR

TRAVEL 32 DAYS

shorter and more highly pressured: where Hobbs, Tyson and even Botham would turn out for low-intensity ‘friendlies’ for select XIs, there will be no fat on the Flintoff schedule, as he cruises the world from one big match to the next. Is that easier than the overnight trip to Scarborough? You be the judge.


FIRST PERSON ANDY CADDICK

HandyAndy Andy Caddick, who retired at the end of the season, shares the lessons of 19 years in first-class cricket with SPIN

As a boy I wanted to play for New Zealand

But first-class cricket was still amateur in New Zealand at that time and it didn’t seem I was rated that highly there anyway. It all seemed to have been about going to the right school. I came to England on a student exchange. I would spend six months of the year working my backside off in New Zealand to spend six months playing cricket in England. Gradually it dawned on me that it would be easier to do something I loved for a living. I didn’t think about playing for England. I wasn’t looking that far ahead and I didn’t know I was good enough. If I hadn’t been a cricketer I guess I would have worked in the family building business. I was a plasterer and tiler. 58 SPIN NOVEMBER 2009

Middlesex could have signed me

I spent three years in London and played for Middlesex young cricketers and their seconds. But the club never really showed any interest in signing me. In the end I had trials at Somerset. In the first game I was smashed to all parts, but I took 8/46 in my second and the club offered to support me while I qualified. The money was terrible. I think I was paid £1,200 a season for the first couple of years. Surrey were keen – Alec Stewart tried to persuade me to join them – but I couldn’t bear the thought of living in London. Coming from New Zealand, I’m not really a guy who likes big cities.

I always had confidence

Arrogance, even. But you need that. I started to think I could make it when I took 96 wickets in 1991 and was the second XI player of the year. From there things moved quickly. Eighteen

months later I was picked for England A and then made my Test debut against Australia [in 1993]. It was a big step-up and I was knocked back a peg or two. But I’ve always been motivated by proving people wrong – the media, the selectors, even some of my younger team-mates in recent times – and I worked hard and came back stronger.

I was at my peak between 1999 and 2003

I formed a great opening partnership with Darren Gough, one of the best England have ever had. We’re good friends. We were competitive with one another, but I knew he was trying his best to be England’s best bowler and he knew I was. That’s what the team needs. He was a bloody good bowler and always worked his backside off. I think he’d say the same about me.

I do feel I should have played a lot more Tests.

I’d like to have played 100 [he

played 62] and think I should have done. After all, who else took 10 wickets in their final Test? I did. And against Australia. But I never got another call. I would have love to have gone out on my own terms, walking off and acknowledging the crowd. But I’ve been lucky to have such a great career and I’d rather focus on the good things – the places, the people, the success – that think about what might have been.

I had a wilderness period between 1994 and 1999

I definitely warranted a place in the England team. I became quite disillusioned and remember thinking, “What more do they want?” It didn’t seem to matter how many wickets I took, the selectors ignored me. The most frustrating moment came at the end of 1998 when I took 105 first-class wickets and was left out of the Ashes tour. I was out on the pitch when I heard the squad and not hearing my name was like a punch in the stomach. I know Alec Stewart said I became a better bowler for being left out, but that’s bollocks. They put me on standby for that tour in the end. I thought to myself, “I’ll take the money, but you can stick the stand-by up your arse.”

I was close to a recall in 2004

“Who else took 10 wickets in their final Test? I did. And against Australia. I never got another call…”

The selectors told me I was first on the list if anyone was injured. Then Simon Jones got injured and they picked Martin Saggers. I was on the phone to Geoff Miller saying, “What the hell is going on?” It was very frustrating. I was close to playing at The Oval in 2007, too. I’d have loved one more

PICTURES: PA PHOTOS INTERVIEW: GEORGE DOBELL

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here is, former Somerset chief executive Peter Anderson said, only one sight better than Andy Caddick running in from the Pavilion End at Taunton. And that’s Caddick running in from the Old Pavilion End. Now, however, after a remarkable career spanning the best part of 20 years, 40-year-old Caddick has finally bowed to the inevitable and retired. It has been a remarkable career. Not only did Caddick claim 234 Test wickets (only seven Englishmen have more) but he amassed 1,180 in all first-class cricket. He may just be the last seamer to ever achieve the 1,000 wicket milestone. Here he tells Spin’s chief writer, George Dobell, about his life in cricket….


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PHOTO ESSAY CRICKET FROM THE AIR

Sky plus‌ SPIN presents a special preview of a new project, showcasing aerial views of nearly every first-class venue in England


PHOTOGRAPHY IAN HAY

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ngland’s cricket grounds are changing: Surrey are building a hotel at the Brit Oval; Kent are building houses at the St Lawrence Ground; Somerset are spending £60m on Taunton, adding new stands, office space and restaurants. Old Trafford blasts even that out of the water with a £200m modernising development. And the ECB is paying for everyone to have floodlights… The remarkable pictures on these pages, however, have a timeless appeal. They come from a brilliant new book: Cricket Grounds From the Air, for which photographer Ian Hay has hovered above nearly every firstclass ground in the country to come up with a compelling series of images. For the accompanying text, authors Zaki Cooper and Daniel Lightman have spoken to an array of players, gathering memories of particular grounds – from Clive Lloyd on Old Trafford (“When I was a kid in Guyana I used to imagine I was playing there…”), to Alan Knott on Maidstone (“the nearest to a Test match wicket that you could get on a county ground”) and Ian Botham on Taunton (“With 10,000 supporters packed in there, it felt like the opposition just didn’t want to come out of their dressing room.”) Hard to imagine that any cricket fan would not want, at the very least, to dip in and find a new perspective on their own favourite grounds. Cricket Grounds From The Air by Zaki Cooper and Daniel Lightman, with photographs by Ian Hay is published by Myriad Books at £9.99. It’s in shops now and also available via amazon.co.uk or from Mayfield Books (01142 889522) for £14 (incl. P&P). Above The Brit Oval, Kennington. The pitch was first laid in 1844, Surrey CCC was founded in 1845 and the gasometers arrived in the early 1850s… Surrey’s ambitious redevelopment plans have transformed the ground in recent years: the OCS Stand at the Vauxhall End (top) was

Below The St Lawrence Ground, Canterbury, where Kent first played in 1847. (Note Canterbury Cathedral at top of picture)

opened in 2005, while plans for a further £35m development were approved this summer.This will see a new 168-bedroom fourstar hotel at the pavilion end, as well as a new stand – to the right of the pavilion – increasing the stadium’s capacityfrom 23,000 to 25,000.

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INTERVIEW COUNTY REVIEW INDIA’S SURREY PACE REVOLUTION START FROM SCRATCH

The long road back

County cricket’s most successful captain took over at the country’s richest club in 2009. But, as Surrey managed just eight wins in all formats,Chris Adams realised there’s a mountain to climb at the Brit Oval. Story: Matthew Pryor

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omewhere between scratching the surface and putting a mechanical digger into action you hit something solid at The Oval surprisingly quickly. It is not rock bottom. This may have been one of Surrey’s worst seasons for the first XI since being formed in 1845, but a defiant finish in the LV County Championship saw them avoid collecting a most unwelcome first wooden spoon. (Only Surrey, Middlesex and Lancashire have avoided ever finishing bottom since the Championship was created in 1890.) New cricket manager Chris Adams, brought in to sprinkle some of the magic dust he conjured up whilst captaining Sussex to three Championship titles in five seasons, may count that as the smallest of mercies. And with the Under-19 side and a young Second XI side winning trophies this season, he may feel he can start to see some light at the end of the tunnel. The inevitable decline and fall of great empires was emphasised in the last round of the Championship this year, with the relegation of Sussex, despite winning the Twenty20 Cup and Pro40. Surrey did exactly the same in 2003 after winning three Championships in four seasons (1999, 2000 and 2002) and have won nothing since. The last time Surrey were relegated, in 2005, they cruised back to the First Division in almost disdainful fashion. This time they never looked likely to be promoted. They finished bottom of the NatWest Pro40

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Second Division, were second from bottom in Group C of the Friends Provident and second from bottom in the South Division of the Twenty20. Club captain Mark Butcher finally retired after a long-term injury and in his place – possibly for want of alternatives – was named Stewart Walters, an Aussie batsman averaging in the low 20s. Though highlyrated, Walters had only recently hit his maiden first-class century in his fifth season at the club. The evergreen Mark Ramprakash averaged 90 in the Championship and Usman Afzaal 57.68, but beyond them there was little suggestion that Surrey were overly blessed with match-winners, especially with the ball: leading wicket-taker Jade Dernbach’s 37 Championship scalps cost 39 apiece. All of which has led to, as Surrey managing director Gus McKay puts it, to a clearing of the decks. “With the risk of having a go at previous management,” McKay says, before proceeding to have a go, “what Surrey have been guilty of is shortterm gain and short-term success rather

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Number of players fielded by Surrey in Championship games in 2009, as Adams scouted his future options

than short-term pain for long-term gain. Our goal now is to be the team of the decade by 2019 and I think if you look at other county sides – Durham, Sussex – it’s a cycle you have to go through. We’re at Year zero in terms of sorting those foundations out. ADAMS SEEMS TO have been looking, logically, for a captain in his own mould at Sussex – someone of great quality, who is not going to disappear off to international cricket. Neil McKenzie, the former South Africa batsman, has been rumoured. Rob Key is apparently the chief target now, but McKay is quiet on this. “We’ve had three captains this season, which is not ideal,” he says. “Mark Butcher, an outstanding captain, retired. That is big shoes to fill. Stewie Walters has come in and done well. It could be a number of people. [Rob Key] is under contract with Kent and until people become free agents we’re not a position to talk to them. We did have discussions with Martin Van Jaarsveld and he opted to stay at Kent. Unfortunately there are very few good captains, so it’s not easy. Do you just go down the route of backing Stew Walters or Matthew Spriegel? “I’ve just done a summary of results: we’ve won six Championship games in three years, one game in two years. Now that’s pretty damning. Our percentage wins in one-day games is 45 per cent. We know where we are. I think all the members can ask for is to see a steady improvement. They want to see young batsmen like Spriegel and Arun Harinath coming through. What


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SPIN November Sampler  

SPIN November 2009 Sampler