26 Feb 2005 14:49:43
Robert Henderson
A lesson for cricket from football



Published in Tribune in 2003

The free market as destructive force - the example of English
football

Robert Henderson

English football has "enjoyed" the benefits of more or less
unrestricted market forces for some ten years. The result
is instructive: a combination of large amounts of new
money (primarily from television, sponsorship, inflated
ticket prices and the cynical merchandising of club strips)
and greatly increased freedom of movement for footballers
has gone a long way to destroying the character of English
professional football and the nature of its support. It now
bids fair to undermine its entire structure in the
foreseeable future.

Before all this happened English league football had
existed very successfully for more than a hundred years -
the Football League was formed in 1888, the first in the
world. With 92 clubs, England supported (and still
supports - just) the largest full-time professional football
system in the world. Despite many alarms about clubs going
bust, very few clubs actually went out of business in those
100 odd years. Their teams were overwhelmingly staffed by
Englishmen and the minority who were not English were almost
always drawn from the rest of the British Isles. Players
frequently stayed with one club for much of their career and
many came up through the youth and reserve teams of the clubs
for which they played. Frequently the players were also
supporters from childhood of their clubs. Ticket prices were
cheap and even the poor could regularly watch their teams. It
was truly a game for all.

The poorer clubs made ends meet by selling players to the
richer clubs. Even if a player was out of contract, a club
could demand a transfer fee or insist on a player continuing
to play for them, provided they had offered the player
another contract not inferior to the one he had previously
had with them. Until the early 1960s, players were subject
to a maximum wage and could not move at all if a club refused
to release their league registration.

Very much a controlled market. The point is it worked.
English club football was stable. After the reforms of the
1960s players had reasonable freedom of movement and decent
wages. The Football League was also strong in footballing
terms. Until they were banned from European competition in
1985 after the Heysel stadium disaster, English clubs
dominated European club competition, winning the European Cup
every year between 1977 and 1984. Although such extravagant
success was not matched at national level, the England side
had a record which was more than respectable - in the 1990
World Cup, despite having been kept out of European club
competition for five years, the England side reached the
semi-finals.

What a change has occurred since then. The leading English
clubs have gone from being staffed overwhelmingly by English
players to a position whereby most Premiership clubs
regularly put out sides with fewer than half the side made
up from English players. In some cases, such as Fulham and
Chelsea, teams frequently take the field with two or fewer
English players. Players move very frequently and the wages
of players have become so astronomical that the future of
many clubs has been placed at risk. The fans have been
milked by ticket prices which have gone through the roof.
Many of the poorer followers who had watched their clubs man
and boy, have found themselves unable to continue going
regularly to games. What has happened in the Premiership
is mirrored in varying degrees by the clubs in the Nationwide
League - it costs ten pounds or more to watch even Third
Division games.

The first corrupting influence was money. In 1990 English
football was beginning its march from being a game to being a
business. In 1992 the teams in the top division of the
Football League resigned and created the Premiership which,
although allowing promotion and relegation to the remaining
divisions in the Football League, insisted on negotiating
their own deals for broadcasting rights and sponsorship
deals. The rump of the Football League was left to make its
own deals. At a stroke the clubs in the lower divisions lost
the advantage they had previously enjoyed of being part of
bargains struck by a united Football League, which included
the most desirable and powerful clubs in the land. Instead
all they could offer were their own rather less tantalising
wares.

If other circumstances had remained the same, things might
not have changed radically. But of course circumstances did
change and, indeed, the Premier League would almost
certainly not have been formed when it was formed if new
media opportunities had not arrived. Satellite television was
in its infancy, but provided a dynamic competitor for the
terrestial channels. The only British satellite broadcaster
BskyB was in severe difficulties in its early years. The
company decided to try to save itself by concentrating on
high class sport. It began paying massive amounts for
sporting events which had previously been seen only on
terrestial TV. No sport was more handsomely rewarded than
Premiership football. The formation of the Premier League
resulted in a five year contract with BskyB worth œ304
million, riches which utterly dwarfed anything which had
gone before. The second BskyB deal more than doubled the
original sum. Not only that, but the amount of televised
football was massively increased. That in turn increased
media exposure generally.

To the new TV money was added much increased sponsorship
deals, itself driven by the additional media exposure
football was getting. Merchandising became a racket with the
larger clubs changing their strips every five minutes.
Clubs also found they could put their ticket prices up
substantially and still fill their stadia. This was not
surprising because Margaret Thatcher had insisted after the
Hillsborough disaster in 1989 that clubs in the higher
divisions become all-seater. That commonly reduced the
capacity of stadia by 50%. By the early 1990s that policy
was taking effect.

So much money came into Premiership football that it changed
utterly the way the top clubs were run. Many floated on the
stock market and became responsible first and foremost to
their shareholders. They could also afford to pay wages which
matched those of the more extravagant clubs on the continent
such as Real Madrid and Inter Milan. If nothing else had
changed, it is a fair bet that the likes of Man United would
still have employed some of the great foreign players of the
world. However, the numbers would have been few and the
quality high. Unfortunately, in the decade in which the
new money became available, two events greatly increased the
mobility of players both domestically and internationally.
These led to the massive influx of foreign players into
England.

The two events were the ever increasing scope of the EU's
single market regulations followed by the "Bosman ruling".
Together they allow free movement within the EU of players
with citizenship of an EU country, provided the player is
out of contract. (Bosman is an obscure Belgian footballer who
in the mid 1990s successfully challenged the right of his
club to prevent him playing at the end of his contract by
refusing to transfer him by holding onto his registration).

The position was worsened by the pusillanimous behaviour of
successive British governments when dealing with players from
outside the EU. In theory any non-EU player can be banned
from playing in Britain. However, the Major government
introduced a system of work permits for such players whereby
any player playing more than 75% of his country's
international matches in the previous year could play in
Britain (the rules were somewhat tighter for the weaker FIFA
ranked nations). Not content with this concession, clubs
began pleading special circumstances, to which the Government
almost invariably acceded if the appeal was from a leading
club. The result was that for the Premiership at least, any
player for anywhere could in practice be employed.

Without the Bosman ruling allied to the Single Market
regulations and government weakness over non-EU players,
the basic form of British football would have remained.
Players would not have been able to move very freely between
countries or even within clubs in England. Football wages
would still have risen, but by nothing like the as much as
they have because the bargaining position of players would
have been much less.

Perhaps most importantly, teams in the higher divisions,
including the Premiership would have spent the money they
have allowed to go out of English football through foreign
transfer fees and wages (very few English players have gone
to foreign clubs) on English players and with English
clubs. A good deal of the transfer money would have gone to
clubs in the lower divisions, strengthening their position
and English football generally. As things stand, Premiership
clubs have virtually ceased buying players from the
Nationwide League.

The effect of the ever growing reliance on foreign players is
the exclusion of not merely established English players but
also the denial of opportunity to the coming generation of
England players. Talented English youngsters are being
denied regular opportunities or any opportunities at all.
Take the case of Jon Harley, who looked such a fine prospect
as a left-sided wing back cum midfielder when he appeared
for Chelsea a few years ago. His career was first stifled by
Chelsea , who first farmed him out to Wimbledon and then sold
him to Fulham where he again has not been given a decent
opportunity.

We know about Harley and co., but of course we are ignorant
of all the other players who might make it at the top level
but who never get their chance. Considerable talent and
character are of course prerequisites for success in the
Premiership, but there are a fair few players possessed of
that. Opportunity is vital. This has always been a problem.
To take a few examples from the 1980s Peter Beardsley nearly
slipped through the net before making it in the big time,
John Aldridge was in his late twenties before being given a
chance in the old First Division and Gary Lineker was a
comparatively late developer who did not play for England
until he was twenty-three. If this occurred when most places
in the top division of English football were available to
Englishmen, it is one greatly magnified today when most
positions are not available to Englishmen.

All the major English clubs have academies with age group
teams running Ajax-style from primary school age upwards.
In the first half of the nineties, Man United's youth
football produced Beckham, Scholes, Butt and the Neville
Brothers for England. Ominously in the last five years, no
other youth player has come through to be a first team
regular. That coincides with the effects of the Bosman ruling
and the growing habit of employing foreign players, a trend
made worse at some of the biggest clubs such as Arsenal and
Chelsea who have employed foreign managers who have proceeded
to employ foreigners wholesale, very often from their own
countries. In the past twelve years, Arsenal have produced
only two players from their own resources (Parlour and Ashley
Cole) to command a regular place in the first team. Chelsea
have produced one - Terry.

The denial of opportunity to English players inevitably
damages the English national side. There are 20 teams in the
Premiership which gives 220 starting places. Most weeks less
than half of those places go to English players. Does
anyone doubt that if another 100 or so English players were
given the opportunity to play in the Premiership, a dozen or
so would not show themselves to be of international quality?

All in all, a very dismal story for anyone who cares about
the long-term health of English football, which is looking
less than rosy. Players' wages have become so grossly
inflated - they have risen 7-fold since 1990 - that they
threaten the viability of many clubs, A few clubs, such as
Blackburn Rovers when they won the Premiership, have managed
to arrive at the absurd situation of playing more in wages
than their total income.

The English Nationwide Football League are currently
discovering the worth of a private contract. They signed an
agreement with ITV digital for a three year contract worth
around œ300 million to show Nationwide games. A year into the
contract, ITV Digital have found that they grossly overpaid
for the contract and have presented the Nationwide with a
take it or leave offer of œ50 million instead of the
contracted œ189 million which is still to be paid. The
Nationwide have as I write (1 April) refused the "offer" and
have been placed in administration. If the Nationwide
cannot force the parent companies of ITV Digital (Carlton TV
and Granada TV) to honour the ITV Digital contract, the
Nationwide clubs are in big trouble. This is so because they
have already in most cases spent the money in advance, mostly
by tying up players in long-term expensive contracts.

In fact, we are probably approaching a watershed. The next
BskyB contract for the Premiership is unlikely to be an
improvement on the current one and may well be less in real
terms. The seemingly inexorable rise in players' wages will
be halted, at least in England. The problem for many clubs is
that the contracts they already have with players extend
beyond the present BskyB contract. What will happen if they
cannot honour them is a good question. The obvious way out
would be to sell the foreign players on high contracts to
foreign clubs. However, that may be easier said than done
because of the high wages being paid to these players. A
few continental clubs could match them, but not that many.
Worse, many of the foreign players on high pay are either
ageing stars or not top-drawer players, some indeed are very
ordinary. Some very prestigious clubs could find themselves
in real trouble - think of the present plight of the double
European Cup winners Nottingham Forest and tremble.

What the present plight of English football shows is that the
market is inappropriate in some spheres of economic
activity. Football is not the same as selling baked beans (as
the MD of Birmingham City, Karen Brady, once said). Football
is about sport. It is about tribal loyalty. The emotional
relationship between the fan and the club is intense. It is
formed most commonly in youth and remains until the fan's
dying day. It is only incidentally about money and
business.

A combination of excessive money and the free movement of
people has turned a social institution, English professional
football, on its head. It has gone from being a sport
available to all even at its highest level to one affordable
only to the better off. The national character of the game
has been tossed aside in the pursuit of money. The long
term interests of the English game have been ignored. And
for what? The satisfaction of businessmen who have no
concern for anything other than the balance sheet.

The ill effect of market forces and free trade on football
illustrate the shortcomings of the market. When selling bake
beans it may be the most efficient and desirable method of
meeting the customers needs. When more than mere material
need or profit are involved, the market is not merely
inefficient in producing the desired ends but is positively
destructive. ?
--
Robert Henderson
philip@anywhere.demon.co.uk
Blair Scandal web site at http://www.geocities.com/blairscandal/
Personal web site at http://www.anywhere.demon.co.uk


27 Feb 2005 03:59:39
Jan Buxton
Re: A lesson for cricket from football


Robert Henderson wrote:
> Published in Tribune in 2003
>
> The free market as destructive force - the example of
English
> football
>
> Robert Henderson
<snip >
> Perhaps most importantly, teams in the higher
divisions,
> including the Premiership would have spent the money
they
> have allowed to go out of English football through
foreign
> transfer fees and wages (very few English players have
gone
> to foreign clubs)

Doesn't that bracket tell you why the rest of your sentence hasn't
occurred. The English aren't good enough, certainly for a price. You've
got about =A36m to spend on a striker, who do you sign Beattie or
Morientes?

> on English players and with English
> clubs. A good deal of the transfer money would have gone
to
> clubs in the lower divisions, strengthening their
position
> and English football generally. As things stand,
Premiership
> clubs have virtually ceased buying players from
the
> Nationwide League.
>
> The effect of the ever growing reliance on foreign players
is
> the exclusion of not merely established English players
but
> also the denial of opportunity to the coming generation
of
> England players. Talented English youngsters are
being
> denied regular opportunities or any opportunities at
all.
> Take the case of Jon Harley, who looked such a fine
prospect
> as a left-sided wing back cum midfielder when he
appeared
> for Chelsea a few years ago. His career was first stifled
by
> Chelsea , who first farmed him out to Wimbledon and then
sold
> him to Fulham where he again has not been given a
decent
> opportunity.

A look at Jon Harley, now at Sheff Utd I believe, tells us he wasn't
that good.

<snip >
> All the major English clubs have academies with age
group
> teams running Ajax-style from primary school age
upwards.
> In the first half of the nineties, Man United's
youth
> football produced Beckham, Scholes, Butt and the
Neville
> Brothers for England. Ominously in the last five years,
no
> other youth player has come through to be a first
team
> regular.

Brown, O'Shea, Fletcher?

<snip >
> The denial of opportunity to English players
inevitably
> damages the English national side. There are 20 teams in
the
> Premiership which gives 220 starting places. Most weeks
less
> than half of those places go to English players.
Does
> anyone doubt that if another 100 or so English players
were
> given the opportunity to play in the Premiership, a dozen
or
> so would not show themselves to be of international
quality?

Yes I do. It would merely dilute the quality that England quality
players were exposed to.

There is no inevitability about it at all. Campbell, A Cole, Hoyte,
Pennant, Barry, Samuel, Ridgewell, Hendrie, McCann, C Cole, Vassell,
Upson, Dunn, Gray, Heskey, Hunt, Nolan, Davies, Fortune, Konchesky,
Young, Murphy, Thomas, Jeffers, Bridge, G Johnson, Terry, J Cole,
Lampard, Parker, Routledge, A Johnson, Martyn, Wright, Hibbert, Stubbs,
Watson, Osman, Bent, Knight, Clark, Kirkland, Carragher, Gerrard,
James, Mills, Barton, Wright-Phillips, Fowler, Brown, Ferdinand, G
Neville, P Neville, Rooney, Smith, Ehiogu, Parnaby, Riggott, Southgate,
Downing, Bowyer, Butt, Dyer, Jenas, Ameobi, Green, Bentley, Beattie,
Crouch, Robinson, Gardner, King, Carrick, Davis, Defoe...+ Beckham,
Owen, Woodgate, Sutton, Thompson, Ball...

If you can't fashion a decent side out of that lot then you must be
Sven Goran Eriksson.
=20
--=20
Jan



27 Feb 2005 17:52:01
Mark Banfield
Re: A lesson for cricket from football

On 27 Feb 2005 03:59:39 -0800, "Jan Buxton" <janb@eidosnet.co.uk > wrote:

>
>Robert Henderson wrote:

[big snip]

>> The denial of opportunity to English players
>inevitably
>> damages the English national side. There are 20 teams in
>the
>> Premiership which gives 220 starting places. Most weeks
>less
>> than half of those places go to English players.
>Does
>> anyone doubt that if another 100 or so English players
>were
>> given the opportunity to play in the Premiership, a dozen
>or
>> so would not show themselves to be of international
>quality?
>
>Yes I do. It would merely dilute the quality that England quality
>players were exposed to.

In fact, this gets us to the heart of one of RH's biggest problems. He has
repeatedly proved that he has so little real understanding of cricket that he's
incapable of telling the difference between a good and a bad player, and this
article suggests that he has the same lack of understanding of football. So for
him, trying to decide whether or not a young player is likely to succeed at
international level is simply a matter of guesswork. And of course, he assumes
that this must also be the case for everyone else.

In fact, the people who are actually involved in developing young players - in
both sports - do, for the most part, understand what they're trying to achieve.
The youngsters who have both real talent, and a genuine desire to harness that
talent, do come through the system. In fact, as both Jermaine Pennant in
football's case, and Chris Schofield in cricket's case demonstrate, just having
the talent can be enough to get you a few years at the top even if you can't be
bothered to really make anything of that talent.
The idea that there are genuinely good English players - in either sport - being
held back by the foreigners joining English clubs is simply a myth. Removing the
foreigners - in both sports - would simply reduce the quality of the domestic
competitions and make it harder for the English players who do come through to
make the step up to international level.

>
>There is no inevitability about it at all. Campbell, A Cole, Hoyte,
>Pennant, Barry, Samuel, Ridgewell, Hendrie, McCann, C Cole, Vassell,
>Upson, Dunn, Gray, Heskey, Hunt, Nolan, Davies, Fortune, Konchesky,
>Young, Murphy, Thomas, Jeffers, Bridge, G Johnson, Terry, J Cole,
>Lampard, Parker, Routledge, A Johnson, Martyn, Wright, Hibbert, Stubbs,
>Watson, Osman, Bent, Knight, Clark, Kirkland, Carragher, Gerrard,
>James, Mills, Barton, Wright-Phillips, Fowler, Brown, Ferdinand, G
>Neville, P Neville, Rooney, Smith, Ehiogu, Parnaby, Riggott, Southgate,
>Downing, Bowyer, Butt, Dyer, Jenas, Ameobi, Green, Bentley, Beattie,
>Crouch, Robinson, Gardner, King, Carrick, Davis, Defoe...+ Beckham,
>Owen, Woodgate, Sutton, Thompson, Ball...
>
>If you can't fashion a decent side out of that lot then you must be
>Sven Goran Eriksson.
>

Or possibly Glen Hoddle, or Kevin Keegan, or Bobby Robson ... however much
Sven's attitude to friendly matches might annoy the tabloids, there are quite a
few England managers of the past who have worse records in games that matter.
Of course, he does have an advantage over his predecssors, in that the players
now coming into his squad are used to playing with, and against, others of real
international quality. And the influx of foreign coaches has helped those
players to understand that, however much the old-timers might bang on about not
turning football into a non-contact sport, the contact that *really* matters is
made with the ball, not your opponents.


27 Feb 2005 18:34:42
Jim Brant
Re: A lesson for cricket from football


"Mark Banfield" <aocg00@xtreme.pipex.net > wrote in message
news:p71421d7h30jrjktdpjr3rdbtoemmj72ds@4ax.com..
.
> The idea that there are genuinely good English players - in either sport -
being
> held back by the foreigners joining English clubs is simply a myth.
Removing the
> foreigners - in both sports - would simply reduce the quality of the
domestic
> competitions and make it harder for the English players who do come
through to
> make the step up to international level.
>
I would be interested in your evidence for that statement, Mark (thinking of
cricket alone - I don't pretend to understand what is happening in soccer
these days). Two overseas players a side is one thing, but the influx of EU
and Kolpak players is relatively recent (relative to the timescale on which
young players are developed), and I doubt whether it has yet had time to be
reflected in the flow of new talent for the England squad. The problem is
that the Kolpak/EU players will inevitably (in my view) block the way to
young cricketers making their initial transfer to CC, when however talented
they may be they simply don't have the experience to compete with those who
are likely to be older and already with some experience of the first-class
game. It is quite a gamble financially for many youngsters to commit to a
career in cricket, and anything that increases the risk (or even the
apparent risk) is bound to have an effect, don't you think?

Jim




27 Feb 2005 19:11:05
max.it
Re: A lesson for cricket from football

"Jim Brant" <jim@brantj.freeserve.co.uk >

>
>"Mark Banfield" <aocg00@xtreme.pipex.net> wrote in message
>news:p71421d7h30jrjktdpjr3rdbtoemmj72ds@4ax.com..
>.
>> The idea that there are genuinely good English players - in either sport -
>being
>> held back by the foreigners joining English clubs is simply a myth.
>Removing the
>> foreigners - in both sports - would simply reduce the quality of the
>domestic
>> competitions and make it harder for the English players who do come
>through to
>> make the step up to international level.
>>
>I would be interested in your evidence for that statement, Mark (thinking of
>cricket alone - I don't pretend to understand what is happening in soccer
>these days). Two overseas players a side is one thing, but the influx of EU
>and Kolpak players is relatively recent (relative to the timescale on which
>young players are developed), and I doubt whether it has yet had time to be
>reflected in the flow of new talent for the England squad. The problem is
>that the Kolpak/EU players will inevitably (in my view) block the way to
>young cricketers making their initial transfer to CC, when however talented
>they may be they simply don't have the experience to compete with those who
>are likely to be older and already with some experience of the first-class
>game. It is quite a gamble financially for many youngsters to commit to a
>career in cricket, and anything that increases the risk (or even the
>apparent risk) is bound to have an effect, don't you think?
>
>Jim
>

It's very hard to keep 16 to 24 year olds playing club cricket at senior level.
If they can't get a county place, they are likely to become builders or teachers,
without ever having had the chance to become a cricket pro no matter how good they are.

max.it

>



27 Feb 2005 20:43:05
Mark Banfield
Re: A lesson for cricket from football

On Sun, 27 Feb 2005 18:34:42 -0000, "Jim Brant" <jim@brantj.freeserve.co.uk >
wrote:

>
>"Mark Banfield" <aocg00@xtreme.pipex.net> wrote in message
>news:p71421d7h30jrjktdpjr3rdbtoemmj72ds@4ax.com..
>.
>> The idea that there are genuinely good English players - in either sport -
>being
>> held back by the foreigners joining English clubs is simply a myth.
>Removing the
>> foreigners - in both sports - would simply reduce the quality of the
>domestic
>> competitions and make it harder for the English players who do come
>through to
>> make the step up to international level.
>>
>I would be interested in your evidence for that statement, Mark (thinking of
>cricket alone - I don't pretend to understand what is happening in soccer
>these days). Two overseas players a side is one thing, but the influx of EU
>and Kolpak players is relatively recent (relative to the timescale on which
>young players are developed), and I doubt whether it has yet had time to be
>reflected in the flow of new talent for the England squad.

I'd agree that this is in itself too recent to have had a noticeable effect. But
there have been times in the past when there were more official overseas players
; the reductions in their numbers which were supposedly going to improve the
England side didn't do so. Various other things which have happened recently -
better county academies, the UCCE structure, the national academy and 4-day
cricket in two divisions have had far more of an effect - because they've all
contributed to more competitive cricket between better-prepared sides.

> The problem is
>that the Kolpak/EU players will inevitably (in my view) block the way to
>young cricketers making their initial transfer to CC, when however talented
>they may be they simply don't have the experience to compete with those who
>are likely to be older and already with some experience of the first-class
>game. It is quite a gamble financially for many youngsters to commit to a
>career in cricket, and anything that increases the risk (or even the
>apparent risk) is bound to have an effect, don't you think?
>

The kolpak/EU recruitment isn't happening as an alternative to youth development
though - which is much better now than in the past. The problem is that there
smiply aren't enough genuinely talented youngsters wanting careers as cricketers
to support 18 first-class sides. (There was an item about the MCC young
cricketers programme on he ECB website recently, which included comments about
how few of the youngsters trying to get onto that scheme were really good enough
for a county career).

So there are 3 options : ignore the problem, and let the standard of county
cricket (and consequently the standard of the national side) decline ; reduce
the number of fc sides to improve the standard of competition - which is the
approach that South Africa have recently adopted, but isn't likely to happen
here ; or import more players to maintain standards in the number of teams we
already have.

Yes, anything that raises the current standard is going to make it harder for
young players to break into the game. There is though quite a lot of evidence
that in recent years it's been too easy for the most talented youngsters to get
into county cricket, and then they've been able to coast along without really
exerting themselves. For the long-term good of the game, it needs to be harder
for players to come through ; yes, you lose some youngsters that way. You're
relying on competent youth development to ensure that the loss of potential
journeymen is outweighed by the gain from the real talents being stretched so
that they realise their full potential.



27 Feb 2005 22:31:03
Jim Brant
Re: A lesson for cricket from football


"Mark Banfield" <aocg00@xtreme.pipex.net > wrote in message
news:qs9421pbeh755obk35mqt7ckcjqsf7sjcn@4ax.com...
> Various other things which have happened recently -
> better county academies, the UCCE structure, the national academy and
4-day
> cricket in two divisions have had far more of an effect - because they've
all
> contributed to more competitive cricket between better-prepared sides.
>

As a Yorkshire member I have to say that I wish it was that simple!

Jim




28 Feb 2005 13:03:41
Mark Banfield
Re: A lesson for cricket from football

On Sun, 27 Feb 2005 22:31:03 -0000, "Jim Brant" <jim@brantj.freeserve.co.uk >
wrote:

>
>"Mark Banfield" <aocg00@xtreme.pipex.net> wrote in message
>news:qs9421pbeh755obk35mqt7ckcjqsf7sjcn@4ax.com...
>> Various other things which have happened recently -
>> better county academies, the UCCE structure, the national academy and
>4-day
>> cricket in two divisions have had far more of an effect - because they've
>all
>> contributed to more competitive cricket between better-prepared sides.
>>
>
>As a Yorkshire member I have to say that I wish it was that simple!
>
>Jim
>

Well, there is of course a lot that can be said about Yorkshire's current
position, of which the most important might be that you've got no hope of fixing
a problem if you won't even admit that it exists.

Perusing the 2004 CC averages, I see that the leading wicket-takers amongst
Yorkshire's legendary pace attack were Kirby (with 31) and Blain (30). Perhaps
if your coaches spent a little less time prattling on about the latest county
academy output being guaranteed future England stars, and a little more time
actually teaching them to bowl, some of them would be more successful ?



28 Feb 2005 14:05:31
Jim Brant
Re: A lesson for cricket from football


"Mark Banfield" <aocg00@xtreme.pipex.net > wrote in message
news:7a56219ltum9i38ob93jtpko61ph5icd98@4ax.com...
> On Sun, 27 Feb 2005 22:31:03 -0000, "Jim Brant"
<jim@brantj.freeserve.co.uk >
> wrote:
>
> >
> >"Mark Banfield" <aocg00@xtreme.pipex.net> wrote in message
> >news:qs9421pbeh755obk35mqt7ckcjqsf7sjcn@4ax.com...
> >> Various other things which have happened recently -
> >> better county academies, the UCCE structure, the national academy and
> >4-day
> >> cricket in two divisions have had far more of an effect - because
they've
> >all
> >> contributed to more competitive cricket between better-prepared sides.
> >>
> >
> >As a Yorkshire member I have to say that I wish it was that simple!
> >
>
> Well, there is of course a lot that can be said about Yorkshire's current
> position, of which the most important might be that you've got no hope of
fixing
> a problem if you won't even admit that it exists.
>
> Perusing the 2004 CC averages, I see that the leading wicket-takers
amongst
> Yorkshire's legendary pace attack were Kirby (with 31) and Blain (30).
Perhaps
> if your coaches spent a little less time prattling on about the latest
county
> academy output being guaranteed future England stars, and a little more
time
> actually teaching them to bowl, some of them would be more successful ?


When Yorkshire finish third from bottom of the CC, you can rest assured that
the supporters, members, officials, and players all admit that something is
terribly wrong. In fact if Yorkshire finish any season out of the top three
there would be something terribly wrong. So I am pleased that you think we
have some hope of fixing it.

I think your second point is a little divorced from reality. The Yorkshire
Academy has produced Gough, Silverwood, Hoggard, White, Sidebottom, and
Dawson to name only those bowlers who have gone on to play for England. Not
to mention Batty and Wharf. If you were looking for evidence to support your
original statement - (ref "better county academies") - I suggest you would
find it there. My point was that in spite of the Academy's undoubted
success, that has not translated into consistent success for the County
side.

For what it is worth, the reasons for Yorkshire's lack of success since 2001
have been (in no particular order) a higher than normal incidence of injury,
the crass management that led to Sidebottom's departure, England calls,
terrible luck with the weather at critical times, awful club administration,
and maybe (just maybe) less than brilliant post-Academy coaching. And yet
even at this low-point in the club's fortunes we still provide more England
players than anybody else.

Jim




28 Feb 2005 16:11:49
Mark Banfield
Re: A lesson for cricket from football

On Mon, 28 Feb 2005 14:05:31 -0000, "Jim Brant" <jim@brantj.freeserve.co.uk >
wrote:

>
>"Mark Banfield" <aocg00@xtreme.pipex.net> wrote in message
>news:7a56219ltum9i38ob93jtpko61ph5icd98@4ax.com...
>> On Sun, 27 Feb 2005 22:31:03 -0000, "Jim Brant"
><jim@brantj.freeserve.co.uk>
>> wrote:
>>
>> >
>> >"Mark Banfield" <aocg00@xtreme.pipex.net> wrote in message
>> >news:qs9421pbeh755obk35mqt7ckcjqsf7sjcn@4ax.com...
>> >> Various other things which have happened recently -
>> >> better county academies, the UCCE structure, the national academy and
>> >4-day
>> >> cricket in two divisions have had far more of an effect - because
>they've
>> >all
>> >> contributed to more competitive cricket between better-prepared sides.
>> >>
>> >
>> >As a Yorkshire member I have to say that I wish it was that simple!
>> >
>>
>> Well, there is of course a lot that can be said about Yorkshire's current
>> position, of which the most important might be that you've got no hope of
>fixing
>> a problem if you won't even admit that it exists.
>>
>> Perusing the 2004 CC averages, I see that the leading wicket-takers
>amongst
>> Yorkshire's legendary pace attack were Kirby (with 31) and Blain (30).
>Perhaps
>> if your coaches spent a little less time prattling on about the latest
>county
>> academy output being guaranteed future England stars, and a little more
>time
>> actually teaching them to bowl, some of them would be more successful ?
>
>
>When Yorkshire finish third from bottom of the CC, you can rest assured that
>the supporters, members, officials, and players all admit that something is
>terribly wrong. In fact if Yorkshire finish any season out of the top three
>there would be something terribly wrong. So I am pleased that you think we
>have some hope of fixing it.
>
>I think your second point is a little divorced from reality. The Yorkshire
>Academy has produced Gough, Silverwood, Hoggard, White, Sidebottom, and
>Dawson to name only those bowlers who have gone on to play for England. Not
>to mention Batty and Wharf. If you were looking for evidence to support your
>original statement - (ref "better county academies") - I suggest you would
>find it there. My point was that in spite of the Academy's undoubted
>success, that has not translated into consistent success for the County
>side.

Gough : fc debut 1989 ; Test debut 1994
White : fc debut 1990 ; Test debut 1994

Silverwood never really made the grade ; Sidebottom and Dawson are blatant
examples of quite ordinary bowlers who were hyped into the England side purely
because they were from Yorkshire ; and you really ought to be grateful that
Yorkshire aren't also taking the blame for Batty and Wharf.

So that's one genuine international-quallity bowler in the last decade. Which
doesn't come anywhere near justifying the incessant claims of the inherent
superiority of Yorkshiremen we hear from you and so many others like you.

>
>For what it is worth, the reasons for Yorkshire's lack of success since 2001
>have been (in no particular order) a higher than normal incidence of injury,
>the crass management that led to Sidebottom's departure, England calls,
>terrible luck with the weather at critical times, awful club administration,
>and maybe (just maybe) less than brilliant post-Academy coaching. And yet
>even at this low-point in the club's fortunes we still provide more England
>players than anybody else.
>
Oh yes ; now that I look back at the 2004 season, I see that no other county
suffered any injuries, no other county lost playing time due to the weather, no
other county had management problems ; and as you've made so abundantly clear,
no other county had to put up with as many as 2 of their playing staff being
absent on England duty. How silly of me not to have noticed that before.


28 Feb 2005 19:56:48
Jim Brant
Re: A lesson for cricket from football


"Mark Banfield" <aocg00@xtreme.pipex.net > wrote in message
news:3tf621pidvjutes3ep1jabbg85bai6uvg4@4ax.com...
> On Mon, 28 Feb 2005 14:05:31 -0000, "Jim Brant"
<jim@brantj.freeserve.co.uk >
> wrote:
>
> >
> >"Mark Banfield" <aocg00@xtreme.pipex.net> wrote in message
> >news:7a56219ltum9i38ob93jtpko61ph5icd98@4ax.com...
> >> On Sun, 27 Feb 2005 22:31:03 -0000, "Jim Brant"
> ><jim@brantj.freeserve.co.uk>
> >> wrote:
> >>
> >> >
> >> >"Mark Banfield" <aocg00@xtreme.pipex.net> wrote in message
> >> >news:qs9421pbeh755obk35mqt7ckcjqsf7sjcn@4ax.com...
> >> >> Various other things which have happened recently -
> >> >> better county academies, the UCCE structure, the national academy
and
> >> >4-day
> >> >> cricket in two divisions have had far more of an effect - because
> >they've
> >> >all
> >> >> contributed to more competitive cricket between better-prepared
sides.
> >> >>
> >> >
> >> >As a Yorkshire member I have to say that I wish it was that simple!
> >> >
> >>
> >> Well, there is of course a lot that can be said about Yorkshire's
current
> >> position, of which the most important might be that you've got no hope
of
> >fixing
> >> a problem if you won't even admit that it exists.
> >>
> >> Perusing the 2004 CC averages, I see that the leading wicket-takers
> >amongst
> >> Yorkshire's legendary pace attack were Kirby (with 31) and Blain (30).
> >Perhaps
> >> if your coaches spent a little less time prattling on about the latest
> >county
> >> academy output being guaranteed future England stars, and a little more
> >time
> >> actually teaching them to bowl, some of them would be more successful ?
> >
> >
> >When Yorkshire finish third from bottom of the CC, you can rest assured
that
> >the supporters, members, officials, and players all admit that something
is
> >terribly wrong. In fact if Yorkshire finish any season out of the top
three
> >there would be something terribly wrong. So I am pleased that you think
we
> >have some hope of fixing it.
> >
> >I think your second point is a little divorced from reality. The
Yorkshire
> >Academy has produced Gough, Silverwood, Hoggard, White, Sidebottom, and
> >Dawson to name only those bowlers who have gone on to play for England.
Not
> >to mention Batty and Wharf. If you were looking for evidence to support
your
> >original statement - (ref "better county academies") - I suggest you
would
> >find it there. My point was that in spite of the Academy's undoubted
> >success, that has not translated into consistent success for the County
> >side.
>
> Gough : fc debut 1989 ; Test debut 1994
> White : fc debut 1990 ; Test debut 1994


And your point is? From memory, the Yorkshire Academy was set up in 1987.
Both Gough and White attended the Academy. They both played for England.

> Silverwood never really made the grade ; Sidebottom and Dawson are blatant
> examples of quite ordinary bowlers who were hyped into the England side
purely
> because they were from Yorkshire ; and you really ought to be grateful
that
> Yorkshire aren't also taking the blame for Batty and Wharf.

Well those are clearly your opinions, but irrelevant to this particular
discussion. My point was that Yorkshire have had an Academy for many years,
which has been able to produce a very significant number of players at least
good enough to be considered (and picked by judges perhaps at least as good
as you) for international cricket - and I named only the bowlers - but that
success has not produced the results for the county that you had suggested.
>
> So that's one genuine international-quallity bowler in the last decade.
Which
> doesn't come anywhere near justifying the incessant claims of the inherent
> superiority of Yorkshiremen we hear from you and so many others like you.

I assume that you are referring to Hoggard, and excluding Gough and White on
the technicality that they first played for England 10 and a little bit
years ago? That seems to me to be extremely artificial. Even accepting your
views of the rest (which I don't ) I would count perhaps 2.5 "genuine
international-quality bowlers" who have played for England during the last
decade (White being the 0.5). Which other England bowlers might be so
described (Fraser? Flintoff? Caddick? Giles? Headley? Harmison ?), and has
any other county produced more than one such??

As for your last comment, I know that you can't actually see the big lump in
my cheek, and I'm sorry that I don't use smileys, but I would have thought
that by now you would have been able to recognise the Yorkshire Ubermensch
position as non-serious. I know it annoys some people. Tough.
>
> >
> >For what it is worth, the reasons for Yorkshire's lack of success since
2001
> >have been (in no particular order) a higher than normal incidence of
injury,
> >the crass management that led to Sidebottom's departure, England calls,
> >terrible luck with the weather at critical times, awful club
administration,
> >and maybe (just maybe) less than brilliant post-Academy coaching. And yet
> >even at this low-point in the club's fortunes we still provide more
England
> >players than anybody else.
> >
> Oh yes ; now that I look back at the 2004 season, I see that no other
county
> suffered any injuries, no other county lost playing time due to the
weather, no
> other county had management problems ; and as you've made so abundantly
clear,
> no other county had to put up with as many as 2 of their playing staff
being
> absent on England duty. How silly of me not to have noticed that before.

What is really silly is to assign daft statements to me which you can then
knock down. I didn't say any of those things.

Jim




28 Feb 2005 19:44:51
Dr A. N. Walker
Re: A lesson for cricket from football

In article <qs9421pbeh755obk35mqt7ckcjqsf7sjcn@4ax.com >,
Mark Banfield <aocg00@xtreme.pipex.net > wrote:
>On Sun, 27 Feb 2005 18:34:42 -0000, "Jim Brant" <jim@brantj.freeserve.co.uk>
>wrote:
[...]
>>young cricketers making their initial transfer to CC, when however talented
>>they may be they simply don't have the experience to compete with those who
>>are likely to be older and already with some experience of the first-class
>>game.

We don't *necessarily* have to worry about the difficulties of
"young cricketers" vs those who are "already with some experience".
Increasingly, our most talented young people are completing their
education first. I see nothing clearly better about 16yos starting
out with a county than 21yos who have a degree [and prospects of a
career after cricket, presumably] and some experience of playing for
their universities. We need to make both routes possible.

>> It is quite a gamble financially for many youngsters to commit to a
>>career in cricket, and anything that increases the risk (or even the
>>apparent risk) is bound to have an effect, don't you think?

Indeed. Which makes the 21+degree perhaps less risky than the
16yo or 18yo.

> [...]. (There was an item about the MCC young
>cricketers programme on he ECB website recently, which included comments about
>how few of the youngsters trying to get onto that scheme were really good enough
>for a county career).

How many do we *need* on that scheme? We used to have decent
enough county cricketers before there even was a MCC YPP! A good county
career lasts around a decade+, so each county needs just one decent new
cricketer per year -- not even that if there are two O'seas/other players
and if some of the locals have 15- or even 20-year careers.

>So there are 3 options : ignore the problem, and let the standard of county
>cricket (and consequently the standard of the national side) decline ;

This [partly] makes the assumpion that the decline in *very* top
players mirrors decline lower down. It may well be that more marginal
players, given the counter-attractions of university, careers, etc., are
dropping out preferentially compared with the potential Test stars.

> reduce
>the number of fc sides to improve the standard of competition - which is the
>approach that South Africa have recently adopted, but isn't likely to happen
>here ; or import more players to maintain standards in the number of teams we
>already have.

And more assumptions here! If you reduce the number of f-c sides,
then you are driven, more-or-less inexorably, to regional teams; in my
case, presumably an East Midlands team based at Trent Bridge. That's not
going to be attractive even to Notts supporters, who feel no affinity at
all for "East Midlands", and even less to those in other counties; and
it will make it harder and harder for youngsters to *see* live f-c cricket
at first hand, and develop the interest to take up the game themselves.
In the very short term, zapping teams or importing players causes a few
top players to switch to the remaining sides; but it is far from clear
that it does anything to help the sport long term.

> Yes, anything that raises the current standard is going to make it harder for
>young players to break into the game. There is though quite a lot of evidence
>that in recent years it's been too easy for the most talented youngsters to get
>into county cricket,

Care to tell us that that evidence is?

> and then they've been able to coast along without really
>exerting themselves.

Why? And why do you claim, if you do, that this applied to f-c
counties, but not, for example, to football, or to club cricket? I
suspect that the most you can say is that they don't always measure
up to the standard we would like, esp when given a chance at the next
higher level. Answers on a postcard ....

> For the long-term good of the game, it needs to be harder
>for players to come through ; yes, you lose some youngsters that way. You're
>relying on competent youth development to ensure that the loss of potential
>journeymen is outweighed by the gain from the real talents being stretched so
>that they realise their full potential.

You are in danger of assuming -- perhaps you are *already*
assuming -- that journeymen are somehow not full citizens. There is
nothing wrong with being *no more than* a player who, for a season or
three, just about holds down a place in a county side. That is already
a standard well beyond what the vast majority of us can ever hope to
achieve. One of the best ways to stretch the real talents is to make
them prove that they are better than the journeymen; *that* contest
will very likely turn a few of the journeymen into real talents.

--
Andy Walker, School of MathSci., Univ. of Nott'm, UK.
anw@maths.nott.ac.uk


28 Feb 2005 20:30:25
Jim Brant
Re: A lesson for cricket from football


"Dr A. N. Walker" <anw@maths.nott.ac.uk > wrote in message
news:cvvsbj$cb5$1@oyez.ccc.nottingham.ac.uk...
> In article <qs9421pbeh755obk35mqt7ckcjqsf7sjcn@4ax.com>,
> >On Sun, 27 Feb 2005 18:34:42 -0000, "Jim Brant"
<jim@brantj.freeserve.co.uk >
> >wrote:
> [...]
> >>young cricketers making their initial transfer to CC, when however
talented
> >>they may be they simply don't have the experience to compete with those
who
> >>are likely to be older and already with some experience of the
first-class
> >>game.
>
> We don't *necessarily* have to worry about the difficulties of
> "young cricketers" vs those who are "already with some experience".
> Increasingly, our most talented young people are completing their
> education first. I see nothing clearly better about 16yos starting
> out with a county than 21yos who have a degree [and prospects of a
> career after cricket, presumably] and some experience of playing for
> their universities. We need to make both routes possible.
>

It isn't often that I think I can detect an error in your logic, Dr W, but I
think I do so here. Firstly, you seem to make the implicit assumtion that a
high proportion of our talented young cricketers are also talented enough
academically to go into higher education, and you seem to see evidence for
this in the fact (I think it probably is a fact) that an increasing number
of county cricketers go to university before committing themselves to a
career in county cricket. But surely there is at least one alternative
explanation for this, which is that those not academically qualified for
university then take the rational decision at a relatively early age, before
their talent is fully visible, not to take the risk but to train to be an
electrician or whatever?

In any event, I wouldn't accept, just because somebody has been to
university and has reached the ripe old age of 21 and has played for their
university, they therefore have experience equivalent to those who have
already played first class cricket for three or four seasons in Aus or SA.

Jim




28 Feb 2005 22:53:53
Mark Banfield
Re: A lesson for cricket from football

On 28 Feb 2005 19:44:51 GMT, anw@maths.nott.ac.uk (Dr A. N. Walker) wrote:

>In article <qs9421pbeh755obk35mqt7ckcjqsf7sjcn@4ax.com>,
>Mark Banfield <aocg00@xtreme.pipex.net> wrote:
>>On Sun, 27 Feb 2005 18:34:42 -0000, "Jim Brant" <jim@brantj.freeserve.co.uk>
>>wrote:
>[...]
>>>young cricketers making their initial transfer to CC, when however talented
>>>they may be they simply don't have the experience to compete with those who
>>>are likely to be older and already with some experience of the first-class
>>>game.
>
> We don't *necessarily* have to worry about the difficulties of
>"young cricketers" vs those who are "already with some experience".
>Increasingly, our most talented young people are completing their
>education first. I see nothing clearly better about 16yos starting
>out with a county than 21yos who have a degree [and prospects of a
>career after cricket, presumably] and some experience of playing for
>their universities. We need to make both routes possible.
>
>>> It is quite a gamble financially for many youngsters to commit to a
>>>career in cricket, and anything that increases the risk (or even the
>>>apparent risk) is bound to have an effect, don't you think?
>
> Indeed. Which makes the 21+degree perhaps less risky than the
>16yo or 18yo.
>
>> [...]. (There was an item about the MCC young
>>cricketers programme on he ECB website recently, which included comments about
>>how few of the youngsters trying to get onto that scheme were really good enough
>>for a county career).
>
> How many do we *need* on that scheme? We used to have decent
>enough county cricketers before there even was a MCC YPP! A good county
>career lasts around a decade+, so each county needs just one decent new
>cricketer per year -- not even that if there are two O'seas/other players
>and if some of the locals have 15- or even 20-year careers.
>
>>So there are 3 options : ignore the problem, and let the standard of county
>>cricket (and consequently the standard of the national side) decline ;
>
> This [partly] makes the assumpion that the decline in *very* top
>players mirrors decline lower down. It may well be that more marginal
>players, given the counter-attractions of university, careers, etc., are
>dropping out preferentially compared with the potential Test stars.

Partly, yes. But even the best young players are going to be effected by the
standard of competition they find when they get into county cricket. And I think
there's something of a vicious circle here : very often, the potential future
cricket stars are also potential stars in other sports. So, which way they
decide to go will be affected to some extent by the profiles of the various
different options. Now, that's an area where cricket hasn't done too well
lately, and the new TV deal may make things even worse - although there is at
least a chance that Twenty20 will help to limit the damage. But the more that
cricket apears to be a slightly dull, and even marginal, sport the less chance
there is of continuing to attract the best sporting talent in future.

>
>> reduce
>>the number of fc sides to improve the standard of competition - which is the
>>approach that South Africa have recently adopted, but isn't likely to happen
>>here ; or import more players to maintain standards in the number of teams we
>>already have.
>
> And more assumptions here! If you reduce the number of f-c sides,
>then you are driven, more-or-less inexorably, to regional teams; in my
>case, presumably an East Midlands team based at Trent Bridge. That's not
>going to be attractive even to Notts supporters, who feel no affinity at
>all for "East Midlands", and even less to those in other counties; and
>it will make it harder and harder for youngsters to *see* live f-c cricket
>at first hand, and develop the interest to take up the game themselves.

I'd agree that that is the situation in England, which is partly why I think
it's so unlikely to happen here, even though it's cerrtainly been proposed -
wasn't the Botham/Willis/Parkinson grouping suggesting something along the lines
of regional sides ?

>In the very short term, zapping teams or importing players causes a few
>top players to switch to the remaining sides; but it is far from clear
>that it does anything to help the sport long term.

Well, with regard to zapping teams, we can follow the progress of SA's
experiment from a safe distance.

As for importing players, this is of course a debate that's ongoing with regard
to the number of foreign players now taking part in English professional
football - though in fact you can also look out at the Spanish and Italian
leagues in particular ; and perhaps also at the increasing number of Major
League Baseball players from Latin America and now even Japan. Personally, I
think there's ample evidence that this does indeed help to raise the level of
the game played in the host country. Does that in turn feed into a sustained
improvement ? Probably only if either, 1) you're able to continue this over the
long term ; or 2) if you're able to raise the sport's profile to a point where
you get significantly more children wanting to take it up. I'm actually hoping
for a bit of both - boosted, ideally, by an increasing number of players from
fringe countries as the ICC successfuly takes the sport into new markets.

>
>> Yes, anything that raises the current standard is going to make it harder for
>>young players to break into the game. There is though quite a lot of evidence
>>that in recent years it's been too easy for the most talented youngsters to get
>>into county cricket,
>
> Care to tell us that that evidence is?

This is actually all one point with the comment below ; apologies if my
punctuation caused confusion.

>
>> and then they've been able to coast along without really
>>exerting themselves.
>
> Why? And why do you claim, if you do, that this applied to f-c
>counties, but not, for example, to football, or to club cricket?

Well, there's one very topical example in Chris Schofield. I'm tempted to throw
the name of Bilal Shafayat into the ring too, though you'd most likely know more
about what's going on in his case than I do.

It's not actually very hard to find examples of promising youngsters who have
stagnated over several seasons in county cricket, and it goes back a fair few
years ; and when the National Academy was originally set up one of the major
aims was to catch the real talents before they fell into bad habits, and ensure
that they did continue to develop.

It certainly applies less to football than to cricket, simply because there is
so much more competition for a career in professional football - and from all
around the world, rather than the comparatively small number of countries which
produce professional-quality cricketers.

As for club cricket, I know from personal experience that there are far more
clubs now happy to have a complete duffer who can at least be relied upon to
turn up than was the case 15 years ago or so. So yes, I conclude that the number
of interested/active cricketers is declining.

But back to professional cricket ; I don't think there's any room for doubt that
there are - and have been probably for a very long time - players who could be
better than they are but are quite happy doing just enough to keep their
conrtracts.
Of course, that applies to any profession. But good management should always try
to minimise it ; and it does seem like more of a waste when it happens in
professional sport.

> I
>suspect that the most you can say is that they don't always measure
>up to the standard we would like, esp when given a chance at the next
>higher level. Answers on a postcard ....
>
>> For the long-term good of the game, it needs to be harder
>>for players to come through ; yes, you lose some youngsters that way. You're
>>relying on competent youth development to ensure that the loss of potential
>>journeymen is outweighed by the gain from the real talents being stretched so
>>that they realise their full potential.
>
> You are in danger of assuming -- perhaps you are *already*
>assuming -- that journeymen are somehow not full citizens. There is
>nothing wrong with being *no more than* a player who, for a season or
>three, just about holds down a place in a county side. That is already
>a standard well beyond what the vast majority of us can ever hope to
>achieve.

Well, I'd actually call them fringe players rather than journeymen, whom I'd
expect to have fairly substantial careers.

Firstly, though, I'm not suggesting that there is anything inherently wrong with
having fringe players trying to make their way in the game. This comment is
specifically aimed at the danger of losing potential players as it becomes
harder to reach professional standards. Basically, I'm of the opinion that the
real talents will have been identified as such, and will still have the
confidence to try for a future in the game anyway, The players who will decide
not to bother will be those who are receiving more mixed messages from their
coaches . So, whilst obviously some will fulfill the hopes invested in them, and
others who are put off would have gone on to be better than expected ; if your
coaches know what they're doing, you shouldn't be losing genuine prospects at
this stage.

And secondly ; there is the question of what should be required to reach that
standard. Of course the bottom line in any sport is that you're only good enough
to be a professional if people are willing to pay to watch you play. But what
are we being expected to pay to watch nowadays, by historical standards ? You
have a better knowledge of the history of the game than I ; are today's fringe
players as good as those of the 1950's, for instance ?

> One of the best ways to stretch the real talents is to make
>them prove that they are better than the journeymen; *that* contest
>will very likely turn a few of the journeymen into real talents.

I'd disagree with this though. Mostly, you improve by competing against your
betters, so I don't see how this would help the real talents very mch. And the
higher the qualifying standard becomes, the harder the potential journeymen will
have to work to reach it, so you get that effect anyway.


28 Feb 2005 17:31:20
Robert Henderson
Re: A lesson for cricket from football

In article <1109505579.829255.80370@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com >, Jan
Buxton <janb@eidosnet.co.uk > writes
>
>Doesn't that bracket tell you why the rest of your sentence hasn't
>occurred. The English aren't good enough,


No, it means that they stay where the money is. RH

> certainly for a price. You've
>got about 6m to spend on a striker, who do you sign Beattie or
>Morientes?

--
Robert Henderson
philip@anywhere.demon.co.uk
Blair Scandal web site at http://www.geocities.com/blairscandal/
Personal web site at http://www.anywhere.demon.co.uk


01 Mar 2005 07:09:59
Robert Henderson
Re: A lesson for cricket from football

In article <cvvv0c$tu9$1@newsg2.svr.pol.co.uk >, Jim Brant
<jim@brantj.freeserve.co.uk > writes
>
>It isn't often that I think I can detect an error in your logic, Dr W, but I
>think I do so here.

I am afraid that Dr Walker strayed into unbounded mind territory and
consequently lost his way. RH
--
Robert Henderson
philip@anywhere.demon.co.uk
Blair Scandal web site at http://www.geocities.com/blairscandal/
Personal web site at http://www.anywhere.demon.co.uk


01 Mar 2005 10:17:25
Toby Briggs
Re: A lesson for cricket from football

Robert Henderson wrote:
>
> Published in Tribune in 2003
>

>
> The effect of the ever growing reliance on foreign players is
> the exclusion of not merely established English players but
> also the denial of opportunity to the coming generation of
> England players. Talented English youngsters are being
> denied regular opportunities or any opportunities at all.
> Take the case of Jon Harley, who looked such a fine prospect
> as a left-sided wing back cum midfielder when he appeared
> for Chelsea a few years ago. His career was first stifled by
> Chelsea , who first farmed him out to Wimbledon and then sold
> him to Fulham where he again has not been given a decent
> opportunity.
>

Remember he was playing at the club the same time that Graeme le Saux
was in the side, who was just as good. But because he was English and
left footed, everybody got excited! Thinking he could play for England,
etc, etc!

He did get a bad injury too, which didn't help things.

Chelsea do have some top youngsters in the reserves, majority are
English, but since Mr Abramovich has invested in us, I'd doubt we'll see
some of them pop into the first team. However, with UEFA's new ruling on
number of players in the match day squad who have come through the
club's academy - we could see an end to lack of opportunities.

--


"That slow motion replay doesn't show how fast the ball was travelling"
- Richie Benaud


01 Mar 2005 14:01:15
David North
Re: A lesson for cricket from football

"Jim Brant" <jim@brantj.freeserve.co.uk > wrote in message
news:cvvt1b$qt7$1@news6.svr.pol.co.uk...
>
> "Mark Banfield" <aocg00@xtreme.pipex.net> wrote in message
> news:3tf621pidvjutes3ep1jabbg85bai6uvg4@4ax.com...
> > On Mon, 28 Feb 2005 14:05:31 -0000, "Jim Brant"
> <jim@brantj.freeserve.co.uk>
> > wrote:
> >
> > >
> > >"Mark Banfield" <aocg00@xtreme.pipex.net> wrote in message
> > >news:7a56219ltum9i38ob93jtpko61ph5icd98@4ax.com...
> > >> On Sun, 27 Feb 2005 22:31:03 -0000, "Jim Brant"
> > ><jim@brantj.freeserve.co.uk>
> > >> wrote:
> > >>
> > >> >
> > >> >"Mark Banfield" <aocg00@xtreme.pipex.net> wrote in message
> > >> >news:qs9421pbeh755obk35mqt7ckcjqsf7sjcn@4ax.com...
> > >> >> Various other things which have happened recently -
> > >> >> better county academies, the UCCE structure, the national academy
> and
> > >> >4-day
> > >> >> cricket in two divisions have had far more of an effect - because
> > >they've
> > >> >all
> > >> >> contributed to more competitive cricket between better-prepared
> sides.
> > >> >>
> > >> >
> > >> >As a Yorkshire member I have to say that I wish it was that simple!
> > >> >
> > >>
> > >> Well, there is of course a lot that can be said about Yorkshire's
> current
> > >> position, of which the most important might be that you've got no hope
> of
> > >fixing
> > >> a problem if you won't even admit that it exists.
> > >>
> > >> Perusing the 2004 CC averages, I see that the leading wicket-takers
> > >amongst
> > >> Yorkshire's legendary pace attack were Kirby (with 31) and Blain (30).
> > >Perhaps
> > >> if your coaches spent a little less time prattling on about the latest
> > >county
> > >> academy output being guaranteed future England stars, and a little more
> > >time
> > >> actually teaching them to bowl, some of them would be more successful ?
> > >
> > >
> > >When Yorkshire finish third from bottom of the CC, you can rest assured
> that
> > >the supporters, members, officials, and players all admit that something
> is
> > >terribly wrong. In fact if Yorkshire finish any season out of the top
> three
> > >there would be something terribly wrong. So I am pleased that you think
> we
> > >have some hope of fixing it.
> > >
> > >I think your second point is a little divorced from reality. The
> Yorkshire
> > >Academy has produced Gough, Silverwood, Hoggard, White, Sidebottom, and
> > >Dawson to name only those bowlers who have gone on to play for England.
> Not
> > >to mention Batty and Wharf. If you were looking for evidence to support
> your
> > >original statement - (ref "better county academies") - I suggest you
> would
> > >find it there. My point was that in spite of the Academy's undoubted
> > >success, that has not translated into consistent success for the County
> > >side.
> >
> > Gough : fc debut 1989 ; Test debut 1994
> > White : fc debut 1990 ; Test debut 1994
>
>
> And your point is? From memory, the Yorkshire Academy was set up in 1987.
> Both Gough and White attended the Academy. They both played for England.
>
> > Silverwood never really made the grade ; Sidebottom and Dawson are blatant
> > examples of quite ordinary bowlers who were hyped into the England side
> purely
> > because they were from Yorkshire ; and you really ought to be grateful
> that
> > Yorkshire aren't also taking the blame for Batty and Wharf.
>
> Well those are clearly your opinions, but irrelevant to this particular
> discussion. My point was that Yorkshire have had an Academy for many years,
> which has been able to produce a very significant number of players at least
> good enough to be considered (and picked by judges perhaps at least as good
> as you) for international cricket - and I named only the bowlers - but that
> success has not produced the results for the county that you had suggested.
> >
> > So that's one genuine international-quallity bowler in the last decade.
> Which
> > doesn't come anywhere near justifying the incessant claims of the inherent
> > superiority of Yorkshiremen we hear from you and so many others like you.
>
> I assume that you are referring to Hoggard, and excluding Gough and White on
> the technicality that they first played for England 10 and a little bit
> years ago? That seems to me to be extremely artificial. Even accepting your
> views of the rest (which I don't ) I would count perhaps 2.5 "genuine
> international-quality bowlers" who have played for England during the last
> decade (White being the 0.5). Which other England bowlers might be so
> described (Fraser? Flintoff? Caddick? Giles? Headley? Harmison ?), and has
> any other county produced more than one such??

If White is 0.5, then Tufnell must be at least 0.5, and Middlesex can also claim
Headley at least partly.
--
David North
Email to this address will be deleted as spam
Use usenetATlaneHYPHENfarm.fsnet.co.uk




01 Mar 2005 14:29:53
Jim Brant
Re: A lesson for cricket from football


"David North" <dnorth@abbeymanor.fsbusiness.co.uk > wrote in message
news:38jatbF5ltl8oU1@individual.net...
> "Jim Brant" <jim@brantj.freeserve.co.uk> wrote in message
> news:cvvt1b$qt7$1@news6.svr.pol.co.uk...
> >
> > I assume that you are referring to Hoggard, and excluding Gough and
White on
> > the technicality that they first played for England 10 and a little bit
> > years ago? That seems to me to be extremely artificial. Even accepting
your
> > views of the rest (which I don't ) I would count perhaps 2.5 "genuine
> > international-quality bowlers" who have played for England during the
last
> > decade (White being the 0.5). Which other England bowlers might be so
> > described (Fraser? Flintoff? Caddick? Giles? Headley? Harmison ?), and
has
> > any other county produced more than one such??
>
> If White is 0.5, then Tufnell must be at least 0.5, and Middlesex can also
claim
> Headley at least partly.
> --
The only possible cases that I could see were Middlesex with the two you
name plus Fraser; Lancashire with Flintoff and some combination of fractions
from deFreitas, Anderson, and Fraser (I don't know enough about his career
to allocate between Middlesex and Lancs); and Derbyshire with Cork and
Malcolm. I don't know whether any of those combinations would add up to more
than one full equivalent though. The only others who might be accounted
"genuine international-quality bowlers" in the period would be Mullally (who
came out of Australia), Caddick (a New Zealander), Croft, Giles, and
Harmison. I think.

Jim




01 Mar 2005 14:55:44
Mark Banfield
Re: A lesson for cricket from football

On Mon, 28 Feb 2005 19:56:48 -0000, "Jim Brant" <jim@brantj.freeserve.co.uk >
wrote:

>
>"Mark Banfield" <aocg00@xtreme.pipex.net> wrote in message
>news:3tf621pidvjutes3ep1jabbg85bai6uvg4@4ax.com...
>> On Mon, 28 Feb 2005 14:05:31 -0000, "Jim Brant"
><jim@brantj.freeserve.co.uk>
>> wrote:
>>

[snip]

>> Gough : fc debut 1989 ; Test debut 1994
>> White : fc debut 1990 ; Test debut 1994
>
>
>And your point is? From memory, the Yorkshire Academy was set up in 1987.
>Both Gough and White attended the Academy. They both played for England.
>

So you're claiming that because the academy produced two good players who made
their fc debuts 16 and 15 years ago, that should be enough to make Yorkshire a
top side now ?

>> Silverwood never really made the grade ; Sidebottom and Dawson are blatant
>> examples of quite ordinary bowlers who were hyped into the England side
>purely
>> because they were from Yorkshire ; and you really ought to be grateful
>that
>> Yorkshire aren't also taking the blame for Batty and Wharf.
>
>Well those are clearly your opinions, but irrelevant to this particular
>discussion. My point was that Yorkshire have had an Academy for many years,
>which has been able to produce a very significant number of players at least
>good enough to be considered (and picked by judges perhaps at least as good
>as you) for international cricket - and I named only the bowlers -

OK, just for a laugh, compare the list of international batsmen from Yorkshire
in the last 10 years (or longer, if you think that players from 20 years ago,
for instance, are relevent to the county's current position) with that from some
other counties - Surrey, say ; or Middlesex ; or even Kent ...
you might actually find that a useful exercise, because there's quite a big clue
to Yorkshire's current troubles lurking in that comparison.

> but that
>success has not produced the results for the county that you had suggested.
>>
>> So that's one genuine international-quallity bowler in the last decade.
>Which
>> doesn't come anywhere near justifying the incessant claims of the inherent
>> superiority of Yorkshiremen we hear from you and so many others like you.
>
>I assume that you are referring to Hoggard, and excluding Gough and White on
>the technicality that they first played for England 10 and a little bit
>years ago? That seems to me to be extremely artificial. Even accepting your
>views of the rest (which I don't ) I would count perhaps 2.5 "genuine
>international-quality bowlers" who have played for England during the last
>decade (White being the 0.5). Which other England bowlers might be so
>described (Fraser? Flintoff? Caddick? Giles? Headley? Harmison ?), and has
>any other county produced more than one such??

Since we're actually discussing why Yorkshire are currently where they are in
the CC, you're going to have to stop obsessing about players you don't have any
more, though, and take an honest look at what you've actually got now. And for
all the proud boasts about those wonderful Yorkshire pace bowlers, the truth is
that the most successful last season were two rejects from other counties.
Doesn't that tell you anything ?

>
>As for your last comment, I know that you can't actually see the big lump in
>my cheek, and I'm sorry that I don't use smileys, but I would have thought
>that by now you would have been able to recognise the Yorkshire Ubermensch
>position as non-serious. I know it annoys some people. Tough.

Well, Bernard Manning isn't funny ; Jim Davidson isn't funny ; and you're not
funny. And no, I don't really belive it is all tongue in cheek. You have far too
long a history of persistently rubbishing any non-Yorkshire players who get
picked for England ahead of your favourites for that to wash.

>>
>> >
>> >For what it is worth, the reasons for Yorkshire's lack of success since
>2001
>> >have been (in no particular order) a higher than normal incidence of
>injury,
>> >the crass management that led to Sidebottom's departure, England calls,
>> >terrible luck with the weather at critical times, awful club
>administration,
>> >and maybe (just maybe) less than brilliant post-Academy coaching. And yet
>> >even at this low-point in the club's fortunes we still provide more
>England
>> >players than anybody else.
>> >
>> Oh yes ; now that I look back at the 2004 season, I see that no other
>county
>> suffered any injuries, no other county lost playing time due to the
>weather, no
>> other county had management problems ; and as you've made so abundantly
>clear,
>> no other county had to put up with as many as 2 of their playing staff
>being
>> absent on England duty. How silly of me not to have noticed that before.
>
>What is really silly is to assign daft statements to me which you can then
>knock down. I didn't say any of those things.
>
>Jim

Well, no, of course not. You certainly implied them as strongly as possible
though. If other counties have the same problems and still finish above
Yorkshire - which they do - then you're still just dodging the real issue.



01 Mar 2005 21:10:29
David North
Re: A lesson for cricket from football

"Jim Brant" <jim@brantj.freeserve.co.uk > wrote in message
news:d01u91$35p$1@newsg3.svr.pol.co.uk...
>
> "David North" <dnorth@abbeymanor.fsbusiness.co.uk> wrote in message
> news:38jatbF5ltl8oU1@individual.net...
> > "Jim Brant" <jim@brantj.freeserve.co.uk> wrote in message
> > news:cvvt1b$qt7$1@news6.svr.pol.co.uk...
> > >
> > > I assume that you are referring to Hoggard, and excluding Gough and
> White on
> > > the technicality that they first played for England 10 and a little bit
> > > years ago? That seems to me to be extremely artificial. Even accepting
> your
> > > views of the rest (which I don't ) I would count perhaps 2.5 "genuine
> > > international-quality bowlers" who have played for England during the
> last
> > > decade (White being the 0.5). Which other England bowlers might be so
> > > described (Fraser? Flintoff? Caddick? Giles? Headley? Harmison ?), and
> has
> > > any other county produced more than one such??
> >
> > If White is 0.5, then Tufnell must be at least 0.5, and Middlesex can also
> claim
> > Headley at least partly.
> > --
> The only possible cases that I could see were Middlesex with the two you
> name plus Fraser;

I was implying the inclusion of Fraser as one.

> Lancashire with Flintoff and some combination of fractions
> from deFreitas, Anderson, and Fraser (I don't know enough about his career
> to allocate between Middlesex and Lancs);

I didn't even know that he was born in Lancashire. According to his Cricketer's
Who's Who entry, all of his schooling was in Harrow and Edgware, and there does
not appear to be any association with Lancs CCC, so AFAICS Lancashire can take
even less credit for him than they can for Vaughan, who at least started school
in Lancashire.

> and Derbyshire with Cork and
> Malcolm. I don't know whether any of those combinations would add up to more
> than one full equivalent though.

I'm not a Cork fan, but his record seems to be slightly better than Hoggard's is
so far.

> The only others who might be accounted
> "genuine international-quality bowlers" in the period would be Mullally (who
> came out of Australia), Caddick (a New Zealander), Croft, Giles, and
> Harmison. I think.

That's about it.

--
David North
Email to this address will be deleted as spam
Use usenetATlaneHYPHENfarm.fsnet.co.uk




01 Mar 2005 21:58:26
Jim Brant
Re: A lesson for cricket from football


"Mark Banfield" <aocg00@xtreme.pipex.net > wrote in message
news:tgv821ho185p2pkhvffltcmnur99fu9477@4ax.com...
> On Mon, 28 Feb 2005 19:56:48 -0000, "Jim Brant"
<jim@brantj.freeserve.co.uk >
> wrote:
>
> >
> >"Mark Banfield" <aocg00@xtreme.pipex.net> wrote in message
> >news:3tf621pidvjutes3ep1jabbg85bai6uvg4@4ax.com...
> >> On Mon, 28 Feb 2005 14:05:31 -0000, "Jim Brant"
> ><jim@brantj.freeserve.co.uk>
> >> wrote:
> >>
>
> [snip]
>
> >> Gough : fc debut 1989 ; Test debut 1994
> >> White : fc debut 1990 ; Test debut 1994
> >
> >
> >And your point is? From memory, the Yorkshire Academy was set up in 1987.
> >Both Gough and White attended the Academy. They both played for England.
> >
>
> So you're claiming that because the academy produced two good players who
made
> their fc debuts 16 and 15 years ago, that should be enough to make
Yorkshire a
> top side now ?

No. This discussion started when you stated that the development of county
academies was one reason why you thought that we would be seeing 'more
competetive cricket between better prepared sides'. I simply pointed out
that Yorkshire have had a very successful Academy since 1987, which has
produced a string of players good enough to be picked for England, and yet
that success has not translated into consistent success for the county side.
>
> >> Silverwood never really made the grade ; Sidebottom and Dawson are
blatant
> >> examples of quite ordinary bowlers who were hyped into the England side
> >purely
> >> because they were from Yorkshire ; and you really ought to be grateful
> >that
> >> Yorkshire aren't also taking the blame for Batty and Wharf.
> >
> >Well those are clearly your opinions, but irrelevant to this particular
> >discussion. My point was that Yorkshire have had an Academy for many
years,
> >which has been able to produce a very significant number of players at
least
> >good enough to be considered (and picked by judges perhaps at least as
good
> >as you) for international cricket - and I named only the bowlers -
>
> OK, just for a laugh, compare the list of international batsmen from
Yorkshire
> in the last 10 years (or longer, if you think that players from 20 years
ago,
> for instance, are relevent to the county's current position) with that
from some
> other counties - Surrey, say ; or Middlesex ; or even Kent ...
> you might actually find that a useful exercise, because there's quite a
big clue
> to Yorkshire's current troubles lurking in that comparison.

An interesting exercise indeed. In the last 10 years I would reckon that
Lancashire (Atherton), Essex (Hussain), Somerset (Trescothick), Middlesex
(Strauss), and Yorkshire (Vaughan) have each produced one "international
quality" (your phrase) batsman. Two more, Hick and Smith, were not from an
England county. The outstanding performance is by Surrey, who produced
Thorpe, Butcher, Stewart, and Knight. I don't see that there is anything in
those comparisons that would explain Yorkshire's failure.
>
> > but that
> >success has not produced the results for the county that you had
suggested.
> >>
> >> So that's one genuine international-quallity bowler in the last decade.
> >Which
> >> doesn't come anywhere near justifying the incessant claims of the
inherent
> >> superiority of Yorkshiremen we hear from you and so many others like
you.
> >
> >I assume that you are referring to Hoggard, and excluding Gough and White
on
> >the technicality that they first played for England 10 and a little bit
> >years ago? That seems to me to be extremely artificial. Even accepting
your
> >views of the rest (which I don't ) I would count perhaps 2.5 "genuine
> >international-quality bowlers" who have played for England during the
last
> >decade (White being the 0.5). Which other England bowlers might be so
> >described (Fraser? Flintoff? Caddick? Giles? Headley? Harmison ?), and
has
> >any other county produced more than one such??
>
> Since we're actually discussing why Yorkshire are currently where they are
in
> the CC, you're going to have to stop obsessing about players you don't
have any
> more, though, and take an honest look at what you've actually got now. And
for
> all the proud boasts about those wonderful Yorkshire pace bowlers, the
truth is
> that the most successful last season were two rejects from other counties.
> Doesn't that tell you anything ?

Yes. It tells me that Hoggard was playing for England, Silverwood and White
were both injured for most of the season, and Sidebottom had been
(criminally) allowed to leave.
>
> >
> >As for your last comment, I know that you can't actually see the big lump
in
> >my cheek, and I'm sorry that I don't use smileys, but I would have
thought
> >that by now you would have been able to recognise the Yorkshire
Ubermensch
> >position as non-serious. I know it annoys some people. Tough.
>
> Well, Bernard Manning isn't funny ; Jim Davidson isn't funny ; and you're
not
> funny. And no, I don't really belive it is all tongue in cheek. You have
far too
> long a history of persistently rubbishing any non-Yorkshire players who
get
> picked for England ahead of your favourites for that to wash.

Well of course neither Manning nor Davidson is from Yorkshire, otherwise
like me they would be hilarious.
>
> >>
> >> >
> >> >For what it is worth, the reasons for Yorkshire's lack of success
since
> >2001
> >> >have been (in no particular order) a higher than normal incidence of
> >injury,
> >> >the crass management that led to Sidebottom's departure, England
calls,
> >> >terrible luck with the weather at critical times, awful club
> >administration,
> >> >and maybe (just maybe) less than brilliant post-Academy coaching. And
yet
> >> >even at this low-point in the club's fortunes we still provide more
> >England
> >> >players than anybody else.
> >> >
> >> Oh yes ; now that I look back at the 2004 season, I see that no other
> >county
> >> suffered any injuries, no other county lost playing time due to the
> >weather, no
> >> other county had management problems ; and as you've made so abundantly
> >clear,
> >> no other county had to put up with as many as 2 of their playing staff
> >being
> >> absent on England duty. How silly of me not to have noticed that
before.
> >
> >What is really silly is to assign daft statements to me which you can
then
> >knock down. I didn't say any of those things.
> >
>
> Well, no, of course not. You certainly implied them as strongly as
possible
> though. If other counties have the same problems and still finish above
> Yorkshire - which they do - then you're still just dodging the real issue.

So you agree that you have assigned statements to me that I didn't make.
Fine. Now point me to a county with the same level of crass management and
poor administration as Yorkshire (problems which I identified above) who
finished above Yorkshire in last year's championship. I think you will have
some difficulty in doing so. As to the other problems I mentioned, they are
not absolutes but relatives, and their impact can be cumulative.

Jim





02 Mar 2005 23:00:47
Andrew Dunford
Re: A lesson for cricket from football


"Jim Brant" <jim@brantj.freeserve.co.uk > wrote in message
news:d01u91$35p$1@newsg3.svr.pol.co.uk...
>
> "David North" <dnorth@abbeymanor.fsbusiness.co.uk> wrote in message
> news:38jatbF5ltl8oU1@individual.net...
> > "Jim Brant" <jim@brantj.freeserve.co.uk> wrote in message
> > news:cvvt1b$qt7$1@news6.svr.pol.co.uk...
> > >
> > > I assume that you are referring to Hoggard, and excluding Gough and
> White on
> > > the technicality that they first played for England 10 and a little
bit
> > > years ago? That seems to me to be extremely artificial. Even accepting
> your
> > > views of the rest (which I don't ) I would count perhaps 2.5 "genuine
> > > international-quality bowlers" who have played for England during the
> last
> > > decade (White being the 0.5). Which other England bowlers might be so
> > > described (Fraser? Flintoff? Caddick? Giles? Headley? Harmison ?), and
> has
> > > any other county produced more than one such??
> >
> > If White is 0.5, then Tufnell must be at least 0.5, and Middlesex can
also
> claim
> > Headley at least partly.
> > --
> The only possible cases that I could see were Middlesex with the two you
> name plus Fraser; Lancashire with Flintoff and some combination of
fractions
> from deFreitas, Anderson, and Fraser (I don't know enough about his career
> to allocate between Middlesex and Lancs); and Derbyshire with Cork and
> Malcolm. I don't know whether any of those combinations would add up to
more
> than one full equivalent though. The only others who might be accounted
> "genuine international-quality bowlers" in the period would be Mullally
(who
> came out of Australia), Caddick (a New Zealander), Croft, Giles, and
> Harmison. I think.

If Craig White is a product of the Yorkshire Academy, then Andrew Caddick
was developed by Somerset.

Andrew




02 Mar 2005 10:10:01
John Hall
Re: A lesson for cricket from football

In article <d02oi0$k2$1@news6.svr.pol.co.uk >,
Jim Brant <jim@brantj.freeserve.co.uk > writes:
>An interesting exercise indeed. In the last 10 years I would reckon that
>Lancashire (Atherton), Essex (Hussain), Somerset (Trescothick), Middlesex
>(Strauss), and Yorkshire (Vaughan) have each produced one "international
>quality" (your phrase) batsman. Two more, Hick and Smith, were not from an
>England county. The outstanding performance is by Surrey, who produced
>Thorpe, Butcher, Stewart, and Knight. I don't see that there is anything in
>those comparisons that would explain Yorkshire's failure.

Kind of you to give us Knight, but AFAIK he has never had any Surrey
connection.

Incidentally, I'd say that the time period that you are considering is
more like 15 years than 10 - and you would need to make it 20 if you
want to include Smith.
--
John Hall
"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism
by those who have not got it."
George Bernard Shaw


02 Mar 2005 14:57:29
Colin Reed
Re: A lesson for cricket from football


"Andrew Dunford" <adunford@artifax.net > wrote in message
news:42258ed9$1@clear.net.nz...
>
>
> If Craig White is a product of the Yorkshire Academy, then Andrew Caddick
> was developed by Somerset.
>
> Andrew
>
>

IIRC Craig White came back to Yorkshire from Australia as a batsman who
bowled a bit of off-spin. He didn't start bowling seam-up until he started
at the Yorkshire academy. So on the basis of his development as a bowler
for England I think he could be claimed as a product of the Yorkshire
Academy.

Colin




02 Mar 2005 18:58:23
Dr A. N. Walker
Re: A lesson for cricket from football

In article <cvvv0c$tu9$1@newsg2.svr.pol.co.uk >,
Jim Brant <jim@brantj.freeserve.co.uk > wrote:
>It isn't often that I think I can detect an error in your logic, Dr W, but I
>think I do so here. Firstly, you seem to make the implicit assumtion that a
>high proportion of our talented young cricketers are also talented enough
>academically to go into higher education,

Well, yes. Or, more precisely, that a high proportion of
those *known* to be talented young cricketers are likely to go into
HE. The days when our 14yos went down the pit and emerged into the
daylight as pale but strong fast bowlers are over. Those picked up
are going to be those whose schools still have playing fields, where
sport is still important, those playing school or club cricket. They
will, today, overwhelmingly be middle-class. Many will be at private
schools. They will not be "thick" -- in the first place, cricket is
a "thinking" sport, and in the second place the "mens sana in corpore
sano" stuff applies just as much the other way around. So, yes, they
will, overwhelmingly, be university-bound these days.

> and you seem to see evidence for
>this in the fact (I think it probably is a fact) that an increasing number
>of county cricketers go to university before committing themselves to a
>career in county cricket. [...]

Sure. I also see an increasing number of applicants here
who are playing sports to a very high level -- county standard or
even international. Not that many are cricketers, but I'd bet the
top UCCE univs are creaming those.

>In any event, I wouldn't accept, just because somebody has been to
>university and has reached the ripe old age of 21 and has played for their
>university, they therefore have experience equivalent to those who have
>already played first class cricket for three or four seasons in Aus or SA.

No, but that's not really the comparison. Mark's query was
about "young" cricketers making their "initial" transfer to the CC.
It is quite possible there are fewer of those, and that they are
indeed finding it harder to force their way in. But as a counter,
there are now lots of 21yos who have played cricket at a high level
[some UCCE cricket is f-c, after all], made their mark, and been
head-hunted by the counties. After all, if you want to get a game
for Yorks, what better way than to score a century or take a few
wickets against them in a UCCE game to grab their attention? Used
to be just Oxbridge with that opportunity.

--
Andy Walker, School of MathSci., Univ. of Nott'm, UK.
anw@maths.nott.ac.uk


02 Mar 2005 19:30:21
Jim Brant
Re: A lesson for cricket from football


"Andrew Dunford" <adunford@artifax.net > wrote in message
news:42258ed9$1@clear.net.nz...
>
> If Craig White is a product of the Yorkshire Academy, then Andrew Caddick
> was developed by Somerset.
>
White was converted from an off spinner to a seam bowler in the Academy, as
I understand it. I don't think that Somerset did anything to change Caddick.

Jim




02 Mar 2005 19:37:34
Jim Brant
Re: A lesson for cricket from football


"John Hall" <nospam_nov03@jhall.co.uk > wrote in message
news:5LbzyqC5DZJCFwNT@jhall.demon.co.uk...
> In article <d02oi0$k2$1@news6.svr.pol.co.uk>,
> Jim Brant <jim@brantj.freeserve.co.uk> writes:
> >An interesting exercise indeed. In the last 10 years I would reckon that
> >Lancashire (Atherton), Essex (Hussain), Somerset (Trescothick), Middlesex
> >(Strauss), and Yorkshire (Vaughan) have each produced one "international
> >quality" (your phrase) batsman. Two more, Hick and Smith, were not from
an
> >England county. The outstanding performance is by Surrey, who produced
> >Thorpe, Butcher, Stewart, and Knight. I don't see that there is anything
in
> >those comparisons that would explain Yorkshire's failure.
>
> Kind of you to give us Knight, but AFAIK he has never had any Surrey
> connection.
>
> Incidentally, I'd say that the time period that you are considering is
> more like 15 years than 10 - and you would need to make it 20 if you
> want to include Smith.
> --
For some reason I had got it into my head that Knight started out with
Surrey, but of course it was Essex. So Essex go into second place on my
list - horrors! Doesn't alter my argument though.

As for the timescale, I simply thought about people who had played for
England in the past 10 years. That seems the simplest filter - any other
would mean examining each player's career in some detail.

Jim




02 Mar 2005 19:47:50
Jim Brant
Re: A lesson for cricket from football


"Dr A. N. Walker" <anw@maths.nott.ac.uk > wrote in message
news:d052cf$flm$1@oyez.ccc.nottingham.ac.uk...
> In article <cvvv0c$tu9$1@newsg2.svr.pol.co.uk>,
> Jim Brant <jim@brantj.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:
> >In any event, I wouldn't accept, just because somebody has been to
> >university and has reached the ripe old age of 21 and has played for
their
> >university, they therefore have experience equivalent to those who have
> >already played first class cricket for three or four seasons in Aus or
SA.
>
> No, but that's not really the comparison. Mark's query was
> about "young" cricketers making their "initial" transfer to the CC.
> It is quite possible there are fewer of those, and that they are
> indeed finding it harder to force their way in. But as a counter,
> there are now lots of 21yos who have played cricket at a high level
> [some UCCE cricket is f-c, after all], made their mark, and been
> head-hunted by the counties. After all, if you want to get a game
> for Yorks, what better way than to score a century or take a few
> wickets against them in a UCCE game to grab their attention? Used
> to be just Oxbridge with that opportunity.
>
I have some difficulty in equating the odd UCCE game with the sort of
experience the EU/Kolpak players usually seem to have, but time will tell I
suppose. I accept your final point, though Yorkshire would be the worst
example to choose IMO - they do have a very good talent spotting
organisation and an excellent youth and Academy structure, so it would be
very surprising if the first they saw of a young player was when he played
against them for Leeds/Bradford UCCE. Which brings me back to my original
point in response to Mark Banfield - because in spite of all that they can
only be said to have failed as a team for the past 15 years.

Jim




02 Mar 2005 19:44:31
Dr A. N. Walker
Re: A lesson for cricket from football

In article <j34721pq234velbqf7t1g27fb7j9h0mqmd@4ax.com >,
Mark Banfield <aocg00@xtreme.pipex.net > wrote:
[much agreement, and occasional minor disagreement, snipped -- ANW]
>>> There is though quite a lot of evidence
>>>that in recent years it's been too easy for the most talented youngsters to get
>>>into county cricket,
[...]
>>> and then they've been able to coast along without really
>>>exerting themselves.
>> Why? And why do you claim, if you do, that this applied to f-c
>>counties, but not, for example, to football, or to club cricket?
>Well, there's one very topical example in Chris Schofield. I'm tempted to throw
>the name of Bilal Shafayat into the ring too, though you'd most likely know more
>about what's going on in his case than I do.

[Most likely not, actually. I don't get to see much cricket
these days. When I retire ....]

OK, but all you're saying is that some very talented youngsters
get into county teams, and then never seem to fulfil that talent. 'Twas
ever thus. Several of my near contemporaries at school were the best
thing since sliced bread, and got into either the Notts team or the Oxf/
Camb team on that basis. Most then fell by the wayside; two or three
managed a complete season or more; none set the world on fire. If the
entire UK manages to get *one* great Test-standard player per year, and
20 good county-class players per year, that is actually all we can cope
with; and that's out of several hundred who will be "the best we've had
at this school for the last decade", and thousands who captained their
school team. The rest will drop off, most without ever getting their
chance, some after two or three undistinguished f-c games, a few after
doing something spectacular once or twice and then "losing it".

>It certainly applies less to football than to cricket, simply because there is
>so much more competition for a career in professional football [...]

But then your working hypothesis is that if there had been two
or three or fifty hungry youngsters pushing at Chris Schofield, he might
have fulfilled his talent. It seems just as likely -- *more* likely --
that despite the promise, he did not, in the end, *have* the talent.
He had promise, and some success. But perhaps he was "worked out" by
the opposition [the well-known "first season" syndrome]; or perhaps
he did not have the right sort of character to play cricket at the
highest levels professionally [not a criticism; doing something for
a living is a different sort of activity from doing it for pleasure].
The talent to be a top-class sportsman is not just physical ability;
it includes how you respond to pressure, to daily grind, to the glare
of publicity, to the strain on family life, and so on.

>As for club cricket, I know from personal experience that there are far more
>clubs now happy to have a complete duffer who can at least be relied upon to
>turn up than was the case 15 years ago or so. So yes, I conclude that the number
>of interested/active cricketers is declining.

OK, but that's a different matter. The nature of the weekend
has been evolving, and activities that keep you away from family and
"shopping" for a whole day are less popular. This does not necessarily
translate into a decline in those who want to turn professional [of
course, the two notions are not entirely divorced, either].

> [...] Of course the bottom line in any sport is that you're only good enough
>to be a professional if people are willing to pay to watch you play. But what
>are we being expected to pay to watch nowadays, by historical standards ? You
>have a better knowledge of the history of the game than I ; are today's fringe
>players as good as those of the 1950's, for instance ?

I don't know how we could possibly judge. My impression would
be that teams then were more settled. There would be seven or eight
players who played almost every match over several seasons, many of
them never any more than decent county players. The last few places
went to the fringe, then as now; but the whole point is that they
never impinged on anything much. No-one went to watch Notts in the
'50s to see, oh, [names deleted -- mostly forgotten], except their
family and friends. They went to see Simpson, Hardstaff, Dooland,
and the stars of the opposition. The stars now mostly don't play,
so the crowds don't come; but that's not to do with the fringe.
There are in any case too many competing attractions; we can no
longer even faintly expect to get Trent Bridge full to busting just
to watch a whole day of Notts vs Surrey, even on a bank holiday.

--
Andy Walker, School of MathSci., Univ. of Nott'm, UK.
anw@maths.nott.ac.uk


02 Mar 2005 22:57:22
Jim Brant
Re: A lesson for cricket from football


"Dr A. N. Walker" <anw@maths.nott.ac.uk > wrote in message
news:d0552v$hh0$1@oyez.ccc.nottingham.ac.uk...
> In article <j34721pq234velbqf7t1g27fb7j9h0mqmd@4ax.com>,
> Mark Banfield <aocg00@xtreme.pipex.net> wrote:
>>You
> >have a better knowledge of the history of the game than I ; are today's
fringe
> >players as good as those of the 1950's, for instance ?
>
> I don't know how we could possibly judge. My impression would
> be that teams then were more settled. There would be seven or eight
> players who played almost every match over several seasons, many of
> them never any more than decent county players. The last few places
> went to the fringe, then as now; but the whole point is that they
> never impinged on anything much.

But that doesn't mean that the standard of those fringe players may not have
been much higher than their equivalents today - always in relative terms of
course. As an example (and I'm sorry it's from Yorkshire, but that's the bit
I know about, especially when it's the 50's. I hope that Mr Banfield will
excuse me.) I would point to the competition for the left arm spinner slot
in about 1950, which Wardle eventually won. There were at least two other
players who were vying for the role, one of whom came from my village and
the other I subsequently met when he was helping to run Lancaster
University. As I understand it, the decision to give the job to Wardle was
not unanimous, but subsequently both the unlucky but very talented
contenders were very much 'fringe' players. There was a similar situation
with Trueman, according to Brian Close's book, and again those who didn't
make the county side went on to play league cricket at a not very
illustrious level. My point is that these days there seems to be a much
bigger gap between the few who make it, and those who don't; and because
there is sometimes only limited competition for places, players who would
have been consigned to the fringe in the past now make it to the CC.

Jim




03 Mar 2005 19:54:29
Dr A. N. Walker
Re: A lesson for cricket from football

In article <d06u14$9u1$1@newsg1.svr.pol.co.uk >,
Jim Brant <jim@brantj.freeserve.co.uk > wrote:
[Wardle, Trueman]:
> [...], but subsequently both the unlucky but very talented
>contenders were very much 'fringe' players. [...] again those who didn't
>make the county side went on to play league cricket at a not very
>illustrious level.

Yes, and ...? So there were several young players around
1950 who seemed very talented, but either never got the chance or
blew it in the two or three matches they got. [Personal note: a
few years earlier, my dad was one of them; but he never got past
Yorks colts, then his job took him to Nott'm, and WW2 came along,
and the rest is history.] Is it not the same today?

> My point is that these days there seems to be a much
>bigger gap between the few who make it, and those who don't;

Evidence that the gap is *bigger*? Do we have a talentometer
that says that Wardle-rival was *really* talented but Hoggard-rival
was merely quite good? And what about, say, Lester-rival or
Leadbeater-rival [to pick two of Yorkshire's lesser stars of the
period]? The problem is that we really have no idea. Lots of
players get somewhere near to the f-c game, but not for long
enough for us to be clear about how well they might really have
done; the only clear evidence is when [a handful of] players get
extended runs, for whatever reason, and never perform, over enough
games that we can be pretty sure that they were not up to it.

> and because
>there is sometimes only limited competition for places, players who would
>have been consigned to the fringe in the past now make it to the CC.

'Twas ever thus. Yorks in the '50s were a good side, so
most of "your" players were decent. Notts were rubbish over that
decade; half of "my" team would never have made it even to the
fringes of Surrey or Yorks. But I do get the strong impression,
looking at county averages, that teams were more settled. This
may be because they played principally CC; today, a county has
a four-day side and a one-day side, and any "stars" are likely to
be in and out as the whim of England selection and overseas rules
takes them. So there will be more players coming in for some of
the games, which may lead to a more evident fringe.

But I don't see how we can tell whether the fringe are any
better or worse than they used to be. We can have gut feelings,
but these are sepia-tinged. The fact that someone was once thought
to be as promising as Wardle is not very good evidence.

--
Andy Walker, School of MathSci., Univ. of Nott'm, UK.
anw@maths.nott.ac.uk


03 Mar 2005 21:57:49
Jim Brant
Re: A lesson for cricket from football


"Dr A. N. Walker" <anw@maths.nott.ac.uk > wrote in message
news:d07q1l$5lq$1@oyez.ccc.nottingham.ac.uk...
> In article <d06u14$9u1$1@newsg1.svr.pol.co.uk>,
> Jim Brant <jim@brantj.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:
> [Wardle, Trueman]:
> > [...], but subsequently both the unlucky but very talented
> >contenders were very much 'fringe' players. [...] again those who didn't
> >make the county side went on to play league cricket at a not very
> >illustrious level.
>
> Yes, and ...? So there were several young players around
> 1950 who seemed very talented, but either never got the chance or
> blew it in the two or three matches they got. [Personal note: a
> few years earlier, my dad was one of them; but he never got past
> Yorks colts, then his job took him to Nott'm, and WW2 came along,
> and the rest is history.] Is it not the same today?
>
> > My point is that these days there seems to be a much
> >bigger gap between the few who make it, and those who don't;
>
> Evidence that the gap is *bigger*? Do we have a talentometer
> that says that Wardle-rival was *really* talented but Hoggard-rival
> was merely quite good? And what about, say, Lester-rival or
> Leadbeater-rival [to pick two of Yorkshire's lesser stars of the
> period]? The problem is that we really have no idea. Lots of
> players get somewhere near to the f-c game, but not for long
> enough for us to be clear about how well they might really have
> done; the only clear evidence is when [a handful of] players get
> extended runs, for whatever reason, and never perform, over enough
> games that we can be pretty sure that they were not up to it.
>
> > and because
> >there is sometimes only limited competition for places, players who would
> >have been consigned to the fringe in the past now make it to the CC.
>
> 'Twas ever thus. Yorks in the '50s were a good side, so
> most of "your" players were decent. Notts were rubbish over that
> decade; half of "my" team would never have made it even to the
> fringes of Surrey or Yorks. But I do get the strong impression,
> looking at county averages, that teams were more settled. This
> may be because they played principally CC; today, a county has
> a four-day side and a one-day side, and any "stars" are likely to
> be in and out as the whim of England selection and overseas rules
> takes them. So there will be more players coming in for some of
> the games, which may lead to a more evident fringe.
>
> But I don't see how we can tell whether the fringe are any
> better or worse than they used to be. We can have gut feelings,
> but these are sepia-tinged. The fact that someone was once thought
> to be as promising as Wardle is not very good evidence.
>
It's not conclusive evidence, certainly, but I have obviously not explained
very well the significance I see in the Wardle/Trueman cases. These were two
world-class players, and yet at the point that they were competing for a
place in the Yorkshire side there were others who were considered almost as
good - and better by some. Subsequently those others were to be found on the
'fringe'. I don't think that players today who were competetive with players
who were subsequently shown to be international class would be consigned to
the 'fringe'. Therefore, whatever the case may be in absolute terms, I think
that this provides good evidence that fringe players in the 50's were better
relative to those in first class sides than those today. But I accept it's
not a mathematical proof!

Jim




04 Mar 2005 12:45:06
Luke Curtis
Re: A lesson for cricket from football

On Sat, 26 Feb 2005 14:49:43 +0000, Robert Henderson
<Philip@anywhere.demon.co.uk > wrote:

>
>
> The poorer clubs made ends meet by selling players to the
> richer clubs. Even if a player was out of contract, a club
> could demand a transfer fee or insist on a player continuing
> to play for them, provided they had offered the player
> another contract not inferior to the one he had previously
> had with them. Until the early 1960s, players were subject
> to a maximum wage and could not move at all if a club refused
> to release their league registration.
>
> Very much a controlled market. The point is it worked.

What a surprise to see that you defend what is essentially slavery.


<SNIP >

and yet we have the most amount of pure talent in the side for
decades, 4 world class center backs in Ferdinand, Campbell, Terry and
King,
We can afford to have Scholes retire and still have 4 world class
midfielders in Beckham, Lampard, Gerrard and Wright-Phillips and have
Owen, Rooney & Defoe all fighting for 2 strikers position. And that is
just off the top of my head without even mentioning the many fringe
player with immense talent who haven't had much of a chance like Kevin
Phillips, James Beattie, Wes Brown, Chris Kirkland, Joe Cole and the
rest


Perhaps you would rather have racist racial selection like Zimbabwe
who are hugely prospering in their Test Match against South Africa
already behind having taken no SA wickets in the first innings after a
magnificent quick fire all action 54 all out in 31.2 overs in the
first innings on the afternoon of the *first day* as I type?

--
ButIstillneedtoknowwhat'sinthere!Thekeytoanysecurity
systemishowit'sdesigned!Thatdependsonwhyitwasdesigned!
Ihavetoknowwhatwhoeverdesigneditwastryingtoprotect!
(Blakes 7, City on the Edge of the World - Vila in typical panic mode)


04 Mar 2005 17:07:11
Robert Henderson
Re: A lesson for cricket from football

In article <29hg21pvir5bkjrf990v18tr4kf4us2m9t@4ax.com >, Luke Curtis
<mfll78@dsl.pipex.com > writes
>> Very much a controlled market. The point is it worked.
>
>What a surprise to see that you defend what is essentially slavery.

Nope, merely a sensible direction of the game. The maximum wage had gone
and there was an arbitration mechanism if a player wanted to leave a
club. RH
--
Robert Henderson
philip@anywhere.demon.co.uk
Blair Scandal web site at http://www.geocities.com/blairscandal/
Personal web site at http://www.anywhere.demon.co.uk


07 Mar 2005 17:55:44
Dr A. N. Walker
Re: A lesson for cricket from football

In article <d0818o$og7$1@news8.svr.pol.co.uk >,
Jim Brant <jim@brantj.freeserve.co.uk > wrote:
> [...] I have obviously not explained
>very well the significance I see in the Wardle/Trueman cases. These were two
>world-class players, and yet at the point that they were competing for a
>place in the Yorkshire side there were others who were considered almost as
>good - and better by some.

But Wardle and Trueman were not "world-class players" at the
time they were doing that competing. All you are really saying is
that in the period 1945-1949 Yorks had a large number of extremely
promising youngsters coming through their hands, two of whom turned
out to be rather more than that.

> Subsequently those others were to be found on the
>'fringe'.

But we don't know whether they would have remained "fringe"
players if they had been engaged, and been given the coaching and the
experience that W&T received. Most of them, we know nothing further
about. A few of them departed for other counties, whereupon some
sank without trace while others had careers varying from extremely
modest to extremely distinguished. I don't think we can say anything
very interesting merely from the fact that some people thought some
of them better as youngsters than W&T. It is not an exact science!
Witness the way selectors so often get it spectacularly wrong at
Test level -- and occasionally spectacularly right.

> I don't think that players today who were competetive with players
>who were subsequently shown to be international class would be consigned to
>the 'fringe'.

Evidence? Well, we possibly could get some from the Yorks
academy. Were Gough, Hoggard, ... always "top of the class"? Or
were there other players around thought, at some stage, to be more-
or-less as promising and who have now disappeared?

> Therefore, whatever the case may be in absolute terms, I think
>that this provides good evidence that fringe players in the 50's were better
>relative to those in first class sides than those today.

Two other factors. One is that the late '40s, when W&T were
starting their careers, were a strange time in county cricket, both
because of the resumption just after a 6-year gap and because of an
unprecedented public demand for sporting entertainment. The other
is that you can't assume that what was true for Yorks [and Surrey]
at that time was equally true for the other counties, some of which
were really struggling for players in the '50s.

--
Andy Walker, School of MathSci., Univ. of Nott'm, UK.
anw@maths.nott.ac.uk