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Posts Tagged ‘middlesex’

Dirk Nannes is the latest overseas star to sign up for next season’s Twenty20 Cup (following Adam Gilchrist’s move to Middlesex and the various other county comings and goings), having been snapped up by Nottinghamshire.

The Dutch-Australian fluent Japanese speaker and skiing enthusiast is widely regarded as a Twenty20 specialist, and given his success with Delhi, Victoria and Middlesex in the past (not to mention a certain incident over the summer), it’s hard to argue with Notts director of cricket Mick Newell’s assertion that Nannes is “the most effective Twenty20 bowler in the world“. If Graeme Swann, Samit Patel and Ryan Sidebottom are all available to their county over the summer, then the Outlaws will have quite a bowling line up in the short format next year.

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Next season’s Twenty20 cup looks set to be an altogether more glamourous affair, with Middlesex having already signed Adam Gilchrist and hopeful of adding Sachin Tendulkar as well. Add to this the arrival of Ajantha Mendis at Hampshire, and county cricket in general is looking like it might be a little easier on the eye next season.

Lancashire, not to be outdone, have made Lily Allen an honorary member.

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The county season’s over for another year, and so here are my picks for the best of 2009

  • Best Bowler: Alfonso Thomas was impressive in the limited-overs competitions, but Graham Onions managed to take 69 first-class wickets at an average of less than 20 whilst breaking into the England side and taking a five-for on Test debut.

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After making his Victoria debut at the ripe old age of 29, going missing in Middlesex and briefly going Dutch, Dirk Nannes is set to establish himself as a key part of Australia’s One Day attack. Having made his ODI debut yesterday in Australia’s demolition of Scotland, ‘Dirty’ Dirk will be looking to make an impact in the two Twenty20 matches against England in Manchester, and he certainly has the pedigree to do so given his success in the Twenty20 Cup with Middlesex and in the IPL with Delhi.

Of course, I’m hoping he’s on the losing side on Sunday (assuming the fabled Manchester climate allows enough play for a result ), but seeing him in the flesh will be special.

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  • Derbyshire have brought in Stuart Law (who was cut loose by Lancashire) to boost their one-day firepower, but he won’t feature much in the County Championship. Charl Langeveldt will also be absent for at least three matches following his acquisition by Kolkatta for the IPL, but captain Chris Rogers is probably the best short-sighted colour-blind ginger cricketer in the world.
  • Gloucestershire, if anything, had an even worse season than Glamorgan, finishing rock bottom of the Championship in 2008. John Bracewell has a tough task on his hands to turn things around, but James Franklin’s arrival will help improve the standard of a bowling attack that struggled so much last year.
  • Northamptonshire struggled to win matches in 2008, so may be secretly hoping that Monty Panesar is dropped by England so that he can take key wickets for his county. The motley crew of Kolpaks and ‘Steelboks’ will otherwise have its work cut out to improve on last year’s showing.
  • Surrey find themselves back in Division Two once again, but the summer’s signings of Andre Nel – who will be available throughout the season – and Grant Elliot will boost their chances of promotion. Mark Ramprakash, of course, is still there, and now that he has passed the 100 centuries milestone, his county will be hoping that the part-time ballroom dancer returns to his form of 2006 and 2007.

A Division One preview will follow tomorrow.

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England’s slim hopes of salvaging something from the One Day series in India ended in dramatic fashion as the Fourth ODI was reduced to a 22-over slogfest. India, put in to bat by Kevin Pietersen, started their innings still expecting a 50-over match, but Sehwag behaved as if he was playing Twenty20 anyway, smashing 69 from 57 balls to take the home side to 106-1 after 17 overs.

A prolonged rain delay seemed at one stage to have ended all hopes of play resuming, but when it did India hammered 60 runs from their last five overs to take them to 166, a target inflated to 198 by the mystical workings of Duckworth/Lewis.

Nine runs an over was always going to be a struggle for England, and the only point in their innings when it looked attainable was whilst Owais Shah and Andrew Flintoff where smashing balls to all corners of the ground during their 79-run partnership. Once both had fallen, England had little to offer in the way of boundaries, and could only make 178 from their allotted 22 overs.

India win the series, and England’s attention may now drift towards the upcoming Tests. Shah’s knock at least bodes well for Middlesex’s chances in the upcoming Twenty20 Champions League.

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With everyone getting excited about all the money up for grabs on Saturday, it’s refreshing to hear that David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd would give away the prize money if he had been involved in something similar. Of course, that’s easy for him to say as he knows there’s no danger of him ever being in that situation, but it makes you wonder what the current England side might do with the cash should they emerge victorious from Allen Stanford’s cash bonanza.

Time was that KP would probably have spent it on a haircut, but in these times of financial turmoil, he’s more likely to spend it a little more discreetly (perhaps on elocution lessons?).

Luton Town fans will be disappointed that Monty’s not involved, as he pledged to save the club with any money he won. Better than James Caan, I suppose.

How would you spend the money, or how do you think the England players should (if they win, which doesn’t seem a certainty after the game against Middlesex)?

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