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Posts Tagged ‘surrey’

Kent have well documented problems with wind, and not just after Rob Key‘s gone to town on the baked beans and Scotch eggs. The county has announced that they won’t play any day-night matches in the 2010 season as high winds would cause issues with the temporary floodlights at the St. Lawrence Ground.

Two matches have already been affected, including last year’s Pro40 match with Surrey, which was reduced to 27 overs a side.

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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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Strangely for a player trying to find form, Michael Vaughan has played very little cricket over the winter. It may be that his central contract prevented him from playing in a Southern Hemisphere domestic competition, or that he ‘needed some time away from cricket’, but his last First-class match was way back in September, when he made a whopping 14 for Yorkshire against Somerset.

In any case (and leaving aside the question of whether the rest has done the trick, or the pitches out in Abu Dhabi are merely flatter than Norfolk), he’s finally back in the runs. The former England captain tonked 115 from 113 balls for his county as they beat Surrey in their opening match of the pre-season Pro ARCH Trophy out in the UAE.

There was more good news for the expert proponent of the textbook forward defensive with cartwheeling stump recently, when Duncan Fletcher came out in support of Vaughan returning to the Test side at number three. Whilst this is about as newsworthy as ‘Man drinks Guinness on St. Patrick’s Day‘, I’m sure Vaughan was pleased to see his name appear in a newspaper other than the Yorkshire Post.

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Following Lancashire‘s decision to ditch Stuart Law, their ICL-tainted captain, Surrey have announced that they will be releasing Saqlain Mushtaq due to the spinner’s Indian Cricket League links.

Far from a thawing in BCCI-ICL relations, the Indian Board seems as intent as ever on eliminating ICL-connected players from county cricket. The counties, keen to curry favour in the hope of opening up the EPL to Indian players (which will mean more money for the counties themselves), are happy to go along with this, especially if they otherwise face the threat of exclusion from lucrative events like the Twenty20 Champions League.

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Contrary to popular belief, the finale to the County Championship season might be described as exciting, tense, and even ‘grand‘. Four teams (in a division of nine) can still win it, and the same number are still battling against varying probabilities of relegation. Only Surrey, who are already relegated, have nothing to play for, which is just as well as they aren’t playing.

It’s quite handy, really, given that there’s no international cricket going on at the moment.

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Shoaib Aktar-watchers are used to surprises, but many an eyebrow will be raised if he signs for Surrey.

The county are facing relegation from the top level of the County Championship, and an injection of Shoaib‘s raw pace (not to mention the extra revenue he might generate in ticket sales) could be just what the Bears need.

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Mark Ramprakash has finally done it – making his 100th century for Surrey against Yorkshire.

Ramprakash fans may be interested to know that Mark now joins such cricketing luminaries as WG Grace, Donald Bradman and Geoffrey Boycott in the hundred 100s club.

Congratulations Ramps, that’s one heck of a monkey off your back.

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