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Re: Somerset at Ciderabad 25-28 Sept 2017
Karseng (IP Logged)
29 September, 2017 17:43
Bring back the Crusaders
Someone has to put a bit of pride and passion back into the team and unfortunately Gus is not that man - wearing the three Seaxes should be an honour not an excuse to pick up easy money.
Agree with Penguinsaremine about Franklin - resigning Compton was an old boys act by Gus (didn't he walk out on us last time we were relegated) - jury is still out with Ezkinazi he started well and faded and in all fairness Stirling is more of a white ball player.
Adam Vogues (when available) has shown a complete lack of interest and apparently his attitude whilst batting at Taunton was a disgrace (comment by a Somerset fan)
Sam Robson has peaked and gone backwards this season and is destined to be another Billy Godleman and John Simpson (my player of the year last season) has had a nightmare both with bat & glove.s

Re: Somerset at Ciderabad 25-28 Sept 2017
Karseng (IP Logged)
29 September, 2017 17:52
Bring back The Crusaders. Regarding your comment re Simmo how you can say he has had a nightmare with the gloves when he has finished the top keeper of Division 1 & 2 with regard to victims. Also the least number of byes is beyond me. He has also scored just short of 1100 runs across all formats and whilst this is not as good as last season and I knowhe will be disappointed himself how many times this season has he had to go in when the team has been 32for 4 etc or try and graft an innings out due to us being in a bad position. He was denied possibly a century at Surrey also.

Re: Somerset at Ciderabad 25-28 Sept 2017
29 September, 2017 18:48
I know Simmo hasn't produced the runs he did last season and his keeping wasn't the best at times but his numbers with the gloves stand up to anyone elses in either division,ever present he is an essential part of our moving forward from this seasons debacal.

His biggest problem batting down the order was often that when he came in it was to face bowlers who had just ripped through the whole of our top order in next to no time.

Love to see the figures of our innings totals when John arrived at the crease,I bet they aren't over 200 too often.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/10/2017 06:28 by The Diamond ruled ok.

Re: Somerset at Ciderabad 25-28 Sept 2017
Seaxe_Man (IP Logged)
30 September, 2017 15:06
Phillie: Glad to read that you have mellowed somewhat on your previous UXB posts.

Drainage: I don't believe that is a major problem there, as apart from the piping laid there at Middlesex's behest some years ago, the ground is built over an old quarry.

You in fact confirmed that by saying the outfield was bone dry. The patch to the side of the wicket has history in very wet weather, confirmed by the previous groundsman, who has since moved onto Trent Bridge and Emirates Durham.

What was a problem was the level of the water table, very high for the time of year. Therefore unable to absorb at the usual rate. The groundsman took a reading and found it to be much higher than for the T20 fixtures.

In any event, groundstaff rescued sufficient overs for Mx to earn 9 points. Put into context that equalled three at Southport, three at Lords v Warwick and three at Taunton last week.

So not quite the Armageddon as some would have it.

I saw all three of those debacles in their entirety. Hard to say which was the worst. Being bowled out in a session against Warwickshire by a team who had'nt won a game, has to be up there, and remained their sole win.

Other than that, I believe MX has put money into the scorebox electronics at UXB, and they also garage our Blotter.

For myself, I am a Life Member of MX since 1991 and a member since 1973 and a fan before that.

On that basis, I don't have a hang-up as to which particular ground we are playing at. If we play there, I go.

You have to be careful what you wish for. As I said before. When the Grocers Big Bash kicks off in 2020, Lords will be required for six/seven weeks,mid summer, to stage Norf London matches. Who won't be Middlesex in any shape or form.

The county T20 Bash will be staged early season.

There are financial problems relating to that for Middlesex. Allegedly we get 1.3 million as our share for five years along with the other 17 counties. MCC get 300grand staging fee, plus they keep the booze and catering which is considerable.

The gate money at all Big Bash grounds will be held by the ECB along with shirt sales.

This to be shared out equally later.

During that period we will be playing 50 over matches at outgrounds, so it is in our interests to keep them happy rather the gungho stuff I have read on here.

Those without outgrounds like Hampshire and Warwickshire are going to have to find some.

Re: Somerset at Ciderabad 25-28 Sept 2017
30 September, 2017 16:05
Can't see Hampshire going back to the United Services ground at Portsmouth,mores the pity. Maybe a bit of Mays Bounty but then again that is a club ground and shouldn't be used in September because it might rain and their covers or ground staff might not be up to it. Same for Redditch and Warwickshire,Chesterfield and Derby (not a ball bowled there in 4 days recently).

Many challenges to come for county cricket in the next five years, not least for Middlesex to get back into the top flight,div 2 will by no means be a walk over next season (or for a few to come).

Out grounds see putting on County games as a badge of honour,a lot of hard work and an impossible situation if the weather goes t1ts up where they see little play and raise little revenue for themselves.Shunted out of the "summer" section of the calendar this will always be likely and they should be praised for taking the chance of staging such games in the first place rather than slagged off by people offering no other choice of venue.

As SM says,look after your out grounds,come 2020 your going to need them,probably more than they need you !

Re: Somerset at Ciderabad 25-28 Sept 2017
Darren Gosling (IP Logged)
01 October, 2017 00:11
Diamond, yeah you are right - We had 200+ on the board 5 times out of 22 innings when Simmo came to the crease. The last of those was 3 months ago too (28th June Essex away).
The average Middx score when Simmo came in was 131. All the score are below, you can certainly see how badly we tailed off towards the latter part of the season....we only had 100+ on the board 3 times out of the last 11 innings.


Re: Somerset at Ciderabad 25-28 Sept 2017
Grizzzzly (IP Logged)
01 October, 2017 01:46
Wow, that's an awfully large number of dodgy, doctored and disgraceful pitches you must have played on.

Angus Fraser will be a busy boy as he runs around complaining to all and sundry about how badly you have been treated.

Perhaps someone could forward that list to him for some carefully considered thoughts, instead of engaging in ill judged hyperbolic ranting to the media at every opportunity.


Re: Somerset at Ciderabad 25-28 Sept 2017
01 October, 2017 06:34
Thanks for ferreting out those stats Darren,just proves that slagging Simmo is pretty pointless as he has never once this season been able to arrive at the wickets with all batting points earnt.

Re: Somerset at Ciderabad 25-28 Sept 2017
chunkyinargyll (IP Logged)
01 October, 2017 07:33

Two words-



Put the two words in the same sentence, and that is why Somerset might be in difficulty.

Wayne Noon was going to make an announcement at the end of day one, then it became end of day two, then it became end of the match, then it became 'Phil Whitticase is coming and there will be an announcement on Friday' which has now become Monday.

3 possibilities-

1) Somerset have done nothing wrong. Feel free to continue doing the same thing.
2) Not good enough. Don't do it again. Suspended sentence.
3) Intentionally damaging your own pitch (how would a rake make it play better?) Instant points deduction.

Most times when I post on a contentious issue, I go for a cold, unemotional assessment based on the evidence as I see it.

A not unreasonable conclusion would be if Somerset was in the clear (option one) the announcement clearing them would have been made by now (4 deadlines for an announcement passed), so that leaves a toss up between options 2 and 3.

How many runs were scored is a red herring. If ball tampering takes place, it is irrelevant if you bowl the side out for 100, or 600.

Gus Fraser (it looks like he is going to replace Gareth Batty as Grockles favourite hate figure) is entitled to put the words 'rake' and 'intent' in to the same sentence, and let the ECB decide if that is the pitch equivalent of taking a penknife to the ball.

Verdict tomorrow.

Re: Somerset at Ciderabad 25-28 Sept 2017
Slow Left Chinaman (IP Logged)
01 October, 2017 07:53
It's just a shame that any technique you use to prepare the pitch is irrelevant according to the ECB documents (apart from applying glue).

The intent rules also only kick in once a pitch has been marked as poor, and of course you can't be poor for excessive turn, only for uneven bounce (at the moment at least).

Was there not uneven bounce in Middlesex's last game for example? I remember Finn getting LBWs with his normal length hitting people on the toe, on day two.

Voges particularly seemed to obsess over the pitch very early in the match. Perhaps if he had buckled down like Hildreth, instead of presumably deciding no one could score runs and so walking down and chipping to mid wicket, he would have had more success.

Re: Somerset at Ciderabad 25-28 Sept 2017
chunkyinargyll (IP Logged)
01 October, 2017 08:06

I'll tell you were I do have sympathy for Somerset.

For reasons I don't understand (just the nature of the soil in that part of the world?) it seems impossible to prepare a 'conventional' ptich, which plays well on days one and two, and then starts to berak up, offering more and more to the bowlers on days 3 and 4.

For reasons I don't understand, the options at Taunton appear to be a motorway, with 600-5 being typical, or the sort of match we've just had were the groundsman has to test to the limits what is, or isn't acceptable, just to get a result.

I've said it before, but what is so different about Taunton that a Doris Stokes pitch (happy medium) can't be prepared?

Re: Somerset at Ciderabad 25-28 Sept 2017
Slow Left Chinaman (IP Logged)
01 October, 2017 10:39
I don't know, but it seems to be the case.

There's also the third option we tried was it 3 seasons ago where we left a lot of grass on it, and relied on opposition captains choosing to bat anyway based on Taunton's reputation.

I think we should have been in more trouble years back when we regularly had the 600 plays 550 pitches, but it's also not easy to change that, as Middlesex and Surrey will know.

Re: Somerset at Ciderabad 25-28 Sept 2017
AGod (IP Logged)
01 October, 2017 10:54
Chunky - you seem to have ignored the possibility that I believe to be by far the most likely:

That the delay is because the ECB wants to sort out BOTH the Taunton and Oval issues and wants to announce a verdict on both at the same time - because they want the relegation issue settled.

Sure, they could have said last week 'pitch below average, no further action,' but they couldn't spell out the consequences of that (survival or not) unless and until they had also reached a final verdict on the Oval.

Even by the ECB's standards saying on Thursday 'The pitch will not be penalised, Somerset survive,' followed by a Monday announcement 'We have restored the archer points, Somerset are now relegated,' would be absurd.

Re: Somerset at Ciderabad 25-28 Sept 2017
AGod (IP Logged)
01 October, 2017 11:04
Also, Chunky, whilst you and Fraser keep talking about 'intent,' you both seem to have missed the fact that there is NO provision under ECB rules for intent to even be considered UNLESS the track is the SECOND below average track in twelve months, or it has been assessed as poor or unfit.

Under their own rules the ECB CANNOT do us for intent unless they downgrade the pitch to poor. And they could only downgrade the pitch to poor for uneven bounce (persistent) or excessive seam movement.

So.... if the ECB follows its own rules there is NOTHING they can do to us unless they are prepared to lie through their teeth and pretend the pitch was uneven. If they do that then we have Wayne Noon's unequivocal statement to the contrary with which to appeal.

If they try to hit us for a combo of below average + intent then they will have failed to follow their own rules and procedures - something which ALWAYS leaves an organisation open to serious legal trouble (as when an organisation makes somebody redundant without following the correct procedures)

I don't believe there will be any pitch decuction and I'm certain there is no scope for any that would stand up in court.

I believe the ECB will have spent the weekend desperately searching for a loophole in its own rules that would permit them to restore the points lost due to criminal activity at the Oval. If they haven't found one then they may have asked us 'would you mind not appealing against us breaking our own rules to give Middx their points back? In return we will theow you an extra ODI or two at Taunton.'

Re: Somerset at Ciderabad 25-28 Sept 2017
Karseng (IP Logged)
01 October, 2017 11:16
Thanks Arron for producing those stats and diamond for asking for them. Just wanted to get my point across. It does make interesting reading as you say and perhaps that's where the problems lie.

Re: Somerset at Ciderabad 25-28 Sept 2017
Karseng (IP Logged)
01 October, 2017 11:17
Sorry meant to type Darren.

Re: Somerset at Ciderabad 25-28 Sept 2017
Grockle (IP Logged)
01 October, 2017 11:22
The reason for that Chunky is because you read London assessments of the Taunton pitch and are basing this on information that has not been true for years, if ever and certainly not for the last two seasons at least. Somerset has not been a 'motorway' for a considerable time and there are those who can give a pretty good argument that it never really was. You assume it was and can therefore not understand how we can make it anything else. TEN years of work is why sir. That is how long the groundstaff have been working on our pitch to improve it and make it a better contest.

You are also, as has been pointed out to on more than than one occasion, making your assessment on a pitch you haven't seen live at all. You don't know what Simon does to the pitch, you don't seem to care what details people who are there tell you and you do not think our spin or seam attack can do what they do without some kind of manipulation of their home surface by a dishonest but yet to be caught groundstaff. You are wrong on nearly every aspect of that assessment. Using this term 'Ciderabad' as if the pitch is some kind of manufactured 'raging bunsen' simply undermines your argument. It was coined as a play on words after one win achieved predominantly in a second innings by our spinners. It fails to explain the wickets of Overton Gregory and Groenewald or the runs made by significant batsmen on this pitch simply produced to oversell the achievements of our fairly average spinners Leach, Bess and Van der Merwe.

You profess neutrality though your posts do not read that way. They put the options forward but it is quite clear from the way they are presented which one you believe is the true one. You believe that Somerset have finally been caught damaging their pitch to gain a dishonest advantage over their opposition, a practice you have been suggesting we have been practicing for a lot of the season.

The pitch inspectors do not agree with you because you are wrong.

If the assessment changes it has nothing to do with the pitch and quite a lot to do with the central agenda post 2020.

Please don't pretend to be neutral, you aren't. I don't blame you for that but I wish you'd be honest about it

Neither am I but I'm far more confident of my ground than yours because I know my home pitch and I know my home groundsman and you do the man a great disservice by your thinly veiled suggestions about his activities, agenda and raking.

As you say, confirmation or about face tomorrow (the decision has already been made and published officially). If it changes in relation to the Taunton wicket, don't expect it to end there.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/10/2017 11:40 by Grockle.

Re: Somerset at Ciderabad 25-28 Sept 2017
adelaide (IP Logged)
01 October, 2017 11:30
SLC, Chunky and all

There was also option 4. Prepare a pitch, realise a key opposition bowler is not playing an hour before the start and switch to a barely prepared pitch that would have favoured said bowler.

As it happens that strategy failed but it is evidence that Somerset were going the extra mile in squeezing the most out of home advantage well before the turning tracks came in. Within the rules as they stand, presumably, but on that occasion some of the Grockles posters felt it was naughty at best. If Middlsex feel Somerset have tried to "do" them two seasons running, that might explain the strength of some of the comments made.

These rake marks - is there any photographic evidence? I saw posts on the day that the pitch looked like one from a park but nothing at that stage about rake marks. Were they on a length? I did see reference on Cricinfo to Patel getting sharp turn on day one from footmarks from the previous game two weeks(?) earlier. That in itself seems extraordinary, to play on a footmark-affected pitch from the outset.

Irrespective of whether there is (or was) anything in the cases, I cannot see any reversal of either arrowgate or pitch decision at this stage. I do think thought there needs to be a wider debate about what is and what is not acceptable when it comes to pitch preparation. That debate should not just be about Ciderabad but also about excessively seam-friendly pitches, roads and pitches with seriously inconsistent bounce. The last thing we want is identikit pitches but maybe the present rules are too lax.

A final thought or two. Outgrounds which offered massive turn were around years ago and nobody seemed to object. OK, there was no relegation and there were 27 other matches to play. Westcliff and Bath spring to mind - was it Bath where Brian Langford bowled eight maidens in a Sunday League match? What I seriously doubt is whether such pitches actually teach spinners to bowl on a more normal pitch taking a bit of turn. We have no idea how good a bowler Bess is, because his wickets have (I think) nearly all come at Taunton. As for teaching batsmen how to cope on the sub-continent (leaving aside that not all sub-continental pitches are bunsens) does anyone actually have a view on whether Taunton really gets close to replicating those conditions?


Re: Somerset at Ciderabad 25-28 Sept 2017
Primrose Hillbilly (IP Logged)
01 October, 2017 11:44
I guess I was protecting myself from the disappointment of our being relegated, because I was reconciled to it for a long time.
I believe this was because I too sensed a lacklustre, directionless element in much of our play this year.

Sport is a ruthless arena, - that’s the nature of competition, after all. To compare a previous era, when we won in 1976, Brearley had already got Wayne Daniel booked for next season, and had Gatting and Gould, absent with England’s under 25 tour of the West Indies for the latter part of the season coming into contention too. Norman Featherstone, who topped the national bowling averages that year, was allowed to leave for Glamorgan.

The next year, Rupey Downton turned up, and out went Gould, and Mike Smith, longstanding opener and stalwart, never got another look in after that.

From the top down – Franco’s captaincy style is obviously not that of Brearley, who was a lot more aggressive than his donnish academic demeanour portrays. When we were on song last year, the team was easy to captain, but a laissez faire way with a team needing a boot up the @rse is hard to administer if it’s not your way, and harder if your role – part captain,but also part bits and pieces all rounder – is in doubt. One century against Essex, I think and err ...........?

We did not enhance our “first choice” team in any way, compared to last year, and neither encouraged Holden, Higgins, or indeed any of the next generation. Based upon what I saw, Higgins can contribute mightily, yet I have never seen Holden in a Middlesex shirt, and all I have to go on is what I have read about him and heard. Harry Podmore took wickets against Durham last year. Where he?

A more ruthless approach would be to say to a few, “Sorry, anonymous established top order batsman, but we only have so many matches in which to get batting points, and you’re not getting any runs. Plus, you’re not getting us off to a good start / throwing your wicket away too cheaply. There’s loads of younger blokes queuing up to take your slot, and we’re going to give one of them a go.” Either the bloke accepts the challenge and makes shedloads in the seconds, and shows he’s got ticker, or he’s shown he doesn’t have the stomach for the fight. Where did that happen?

Ditto, did we become too blinkered in our thinking as regards our bowlers? We all know Tim Murtagh is not going to go on for much longer, but does that mean we have to keep on picking him while we can? How many times did he get more than 1 wicket with his first new ball spell?

I am not a fan of Voges. Already knocking on, not an Aussie great, probably helped us out when nobody else wanted to be captain, as did Buck, but that was – in sporting terms – ages ago. What did he add to the team that his “experience” and “quality” should have brought?

I do not think our performances this year merit our being spared – due to either William Tell’s intervention or to that of Wayne Noon. I think that would be dishonest in the face of some abject performances.

Speaking of honesty, ..............................

Gus mentioned that when he first came in, there were a few players giving the impression that Middlesex C.C.C. were lucky to have them and that playing for the club was their right. They were moved on. I think he needs to put his grumpiest face on, and summon the first team squad all in, one by one, at 8.00 for choice, so they have to get up early, and read them the riot act, leaving them in no doubt that Derby and Chester – le - Street are pavillions of splendour, compared to where second teams play, and anyone can be either moved on, sacked, or just left to moulder wherever Leicestershire seconds play.

Anybody who may be getting distracted because they may get picked for England needs to be reminded that their current employer requires their total concentration every second they wear our three seaxes.

New skipper needed for sure, with Gus’ total backing for a couple of years. Nick Gubbins, who is naturally vocal, would be my preference. The likes of Poddy, Holden, Higgins (if staying), and other young ‘uns told there are no favours, but if they show well in pre-season and perform, they will be picked.

Next year I want our team to be utterly ruthless with themselves, each other and the opposition.

But it has to start now.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/10/2017 12:21 by Primrose Hillbilly.

Re: Somerset at Ciderabad 25-28 Sept 2017
AGod (IP Logged)
01 October, 2017 11:50
Well it gets closer than most other English grounds, Adelaide.

By the way, I don't think we should be too shocked if the ECB announce sweet FA tomorrow and just kick the can down the road again, whilst they try to work out what to do.

Perhaps, if all 18 counties have agreed to both SCCC and MCCC staying in CC1 then they could announce that... but otherwise it seems likely that whatever they announce may end up in the courts now that Middx seem to have resiled on the 'we won't go to court for the Oval points thing.'

Current Page: 16 of 19

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