Latest news:


Eating away over the winter

Goto Page: Previous12345Next
Current Page: 4 of 5
Re: Tom Lace leaves - for Gloucs!
Jonathan Winsky 15 August, 2020 17:35
In both the days before and after the announcement that Tom Lace had left Middlesex, it appeared that such a move would represent his best-possible chance of playing in the ongoing round of Bob Willis Trophy matches. However, the way things have worked out is that he would have had an appearance on his career record right now had he stayed at Middlesex, but will instead have to wait until tomorrow at the earliest to make his Gloucestershire debut due to day one of their match v Glamorgan at Sophia Gardens seeing no play.

Re: Tom Lace leaves - for Gloucs!
Seaxe_man1 15 August, 2020 18:32
You can't look at them separately. You have a number of cases over a period of years where the same thing is happening. If anything it has accelerated recently.
If the club was successful anyway no-one would be concerned but it is not. There is some poor decision making going on. We are losing a lot of talent and we need to change something to stop it happening.

It's like Mr Hand saying Tom Helm is great ....on England fringes etc... Steve Finn is brilliant bowls a Test match length.......How about their actual record in the county championship. Nope that doesn't get talked about.

I don't know but I wonder how their county records compare to Harry Podmore.

A sound process leads to good results. We need to change our approach this has been clear for quite some time.
Soundly put antrg. Question This has been going on for decade plus, usually without full information of the circumstances made to members. Where does the Board fit in here. Is it not their job to oversee how management of the club, which includes player retention is done efficiently? Currently not the case and a deathly silence goes with that.

Re: Tom Lace leaves - for Gloucs!
VincentVanDerVictory 15 August, 2020 18:53
Lace could perhaps should have been in the Middlesex side from last season not playing for Derbyshire

And given his batting stats of last year this season.he should have been.the first batsman's name in the team.

Chunky off point entirely with his posts on Lace.

Something deeply rotten and broken in the management.

Fraser , Goatley etc need to leave

Re: Tom Lace leaves - for Gloucs!
freddie tittlemouse 15 August, 2020 19:05
Could be any number of underlying factors behind Lace's departure - favouritism, cliquery poor spirit in the club. I do agree that he should have been one of the first names on the teamsheet based on last season. Poor old Stuart Law's glowing description of Lace looks a bit ludicrous now.

Re: Tom Lace leaves - for Gloucs!
Seaxe_man1 16 August, 2020 12:53
The seeds were planted in 2009. Taken root and flourishing now. The roots received more fertiliser in 2015.

Re: Tom Lace leaves - for Gloucs!
antryg 16 August, 2020 15:57
Having checked Podmore averages 26 with the ball.

Re: Tom Lace leaves - for Gloucs!
Primrose Hillbilly 19 August, 2020 10:51
If one looks around the news today, M & S will soon be shedding 7,000 employees. That is in the expectation of hard times to come.

I am not sure why a cricket club with reduced revenue generation ability, due to not owning its own ground, should be immune to what is going on right now. Comparisons with Surrey are ridiculous for that reason alone.

Are people completely unaware of what is going on? When your income reduces, you do your damndest to trim expenses or you will not survive.

A Middlesex employee tells the club, at a time of straitened financial circumstances, when we already had our eye on the £ signs, that he is exercising a clause in his contract to leave.

Nett result : Middlesex C.C.C. wage bill trimmed.

Go figure.

I reckon David Kendix will be very happy.

However, others just want to moan and carp from the sidelines, with no reference to what is going on in the real world.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 19/08/2020 11:40 by Primrose Hillbilly.

Re: Tom Lace leaves - for Gloucs!
chunkyinargyll 19 August, 2020 13:45
That's one way to look at it Primrose.

It doesn't matter who leaves, just so long as four or five do, to cut the wage bill.

Under those circumstances the tie-breaker should be- Is this person making unreasonable demands?

Re: Tom Lace leaves - for Gloucs!
Primrose Hillbilly 19 August, 2020 14:02
Perhaps better to have a club about whose player retention policy apparently knowledgeable people on the sidelines can moan, gripe, @#$%& and carp, Chunky, than no club at all.

Re: Tom Lace leaves - for Gloucs!
Seaxe_man1 19 August, 2020 14:18
We are told ad nauseum Primrose that as a member's club the top table are interested in members views. I guess we are doing as they ask. They will differ and it's unlikely all will agree.

Re: Tom Lace leaves - for Gloucs!
chunkyinargyll 19 August, 2020 14:22

I agree with you.

Sport isn't quite the same as working in an office.

In an office the criteria would be-

Is there anyone who isn't good enough at the job?

Anyone willing to take voluntary redundancy?

Anyone who for one reason or another is 'difficult' (even if capable to do the job)

In cricket your opinion of someone can change in 24 hours (Robbie White didn't seem to have any way in to the first team, but has now put the cat among the pigeons, with a performance that would make it a bit harsh and illogical if he was told 'Hard luck- there's no new deal', but if Middlesex wanted to shut him out, all they had to do was not pick him, but as Stuart Law said it wouldn't be fair not to give a guy in his last year a chance to show what he could do.

It would be harsh on Cracknell, Lincoln, Davies and Hollman most of whom will be out of contract, as they have one first class match between them (plus axing them wouldn't save that much anyway)

Desperately hard luck (all counties) on senior players whose contracts just happen to be up this year, rather than last year because yes, I anticipate some surprise high profile departures around the country (hopefully not at Middle, but you never know)

I was agreeing with you (I think!) as in 'We've got to lose bodies anyway, so anyone creating difficulties can sod off'

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 19/08/2020 14:24 by chunkyinargyll.

Re: Tom Lace leaves - for Gloucs!
Seaxe_man1 19 August, 2020 14:22
Plus around 130 county players are out of contract at seasons end. A scramble for sure. Costs will be reduced by reducing contract lengths back to the old days for some, of season only. Others will/may be less lucky.

Re: Tom Lace leaves - for Gloucs!
Seaxe_man1 19 August, 2020 14:26
The four you mention there chunky on ability and age are worth retention. Now pass the bucket round.

Re: Tom Lace leaves - for Gloucs!
VincentVanDerVictory 19 August, 2020 16:00
Primrose your point about reducing the wage bill and not retaining some players this season/ next season is of course true and relevant PRESENTLY in these Covid 19.times

The main issue though with Middlesex is nothing to do with Covid 19 it predates it considerably.

It has been Middlesex CCC over the past 10 years or so ... way, way before Covid 19 existed..

That is in Middlesex continually NOT giving opportunities, and/or not playing and/or letting go, and /or indirectly forcing out young players Higgins ,Podmore etc at the expense of dubiously keeping perennial underperforming favourites who no doubt were on bigger salaries too.

# unjustified favouritism of certain players at the expense of others

Re: Tom Lace leaves - for Gloucs!
Primrose Hillbilly 20 August, 2020 09:37
I believe it was Nick Gubbins who described the process by which you fought your way by tooth,nail, claw, good behaviour, and runs into the reckoning for selection for the Middlesex First IX.

Once there, you had to make your selection pay, because you knew that if you didn't, the next one up would be considered, and you would be back where you started but at the back of the queue, and have to bust another gut to get picked again.

That is the Middlesex culture, from what I can make out, and it promotes toughness, determination, and puts a real value on being picked for the First IX.

At the time of departure, both Higgins and Lace had "potential" to achieve something for Middlesex, and nothing more. While Lace had made runs for Derbyshire, he had not done anything remarkable for Middlesex. Higgins even less.

When Fraser announced that upon his taking over, he concluded there were several players who thought Middlesex owed them a debt of gratitude and was lucky to have them, "They were soon moved on", which statement I believe met with universal approval.

Now, the same people moan and carp because the same culture is being employed and enforced.

The conclusion from which is that the same people who approved of Gus's stance then, want him to undermine that culture by - effectively - giving in to the blackmail of "Give me a first team place, guaranteed, or I'm off" - Have you any idea what that would do to morale and team performance were one player to be guaranteed selection?

I regard it as a very positive step for both players that they have backed themselves and moved to seek regular first team cricket elsewhere. As well as being great for them, it shows that the Academy / Second XI process is producing good cricketers.

How either would have done, had they stayed, we will never know. Would Higgins have been used as a fourth seamer, batting at 6, or 7, and would he have succeeded? It would obviously have affected the makeup of the team. So, OK, tell me, all ye ominscients, with all your first class cricket playing experience, at whose expense would Higgins have played, to get him the first team cricket he wanted? Can you even guarantee that he'd have got sufficient runs and wickets in the Seconds to put him in line?

I am reasonably sure the same culprits would moan if youth was given a real go and we picked loads from the Seconds. "We need a settled team, we haven't employed the same batting order for 3 games now! Where's the continuity ? " ...........Whinge, Moan, moan, repeat....

Whatever Tom Lace's salary plus NI, plus whatever else that came his way out of the Middlesex CCC Bank a/c, it is being picked up by Gloucester, and I have to say that I think anyone taking on new staff right now is being "very brave" to quote the "Yes, Minister" phraseology.

Just as David Kendix made the point that a recent major difference in the finances has been that we are not getting paid for producing several players that become centrally contracted, I don't think (my opinion only, and not that of "A lot of people that I've spoken to.....", ) he will have wanted anyone to try too hard to retain young Tom.

Perhaps characteristic of these peculiar times was that the only person to previously enquire if there was a financial angle to this matter, was Adelaide, with whom I am seldom on the same wavelength. I don't know that there definitely is, but this is no time for costly long term speculative investement imho.

Re: Tom Lace leaves - for Gloucs!
Seaxe_man1 20 August, 2020 10:11
I suspect Primrose had James Franklin, on big money, ,37 and with a history of injury not been kept on for a further year, that have been an opportunity to prove or disprove your theory on Higgins. A big fly in the oinment was Coach Scott who had already marked his card. This is where Fraser should enter stage left and question Scott on his analysis. Did this happen?. Middlesex County Cricket Club is a democracy and all views amateur or professional are welcome. If we didn't care we wouldn't bother.

Re: Tom Lace leaves - for Gloucs!
VincentVanDerVictory 20 August, 2020 11:49
Good post, pertinent points well made Seaxe ..nails hit on head

Re: Tom Lace leaves - for Gloucs!
freddie tittlemouse 20 August, 2020 12:32
It seems to me that it is more difficult to get out of the Middlesex first eleven than to get into it, whatever Gubbins may say. See 2019 scores and averages for starters.

Re: Tom Lace leaves - for Gloucs!
VincentVanDerVictory 20 August, 2020 13:00
Freddie 100% spot on

Re: Tom Lace leaves - for Gloucs!
dnb 20 August, 2020 13:34
Yes good post Seaxe. It seems that as a player once your card is marked you are better off exiting as soon as you can (either on loan or permanently) so that you can build your career elsewhere.

When you are looking to reduce costs you would expect an across the board review of all expenditure and in the case of players you would be looking to cut those that provide the least value for money...most likely to be found amongst older players past their prime. Perhaps the situation is so desperate that they just took the Lace opportunity as it arose...maybe all the players are available?

There has been no explanation of why Lace was not selected for the first two matches...he had been associated with Middlesex for over 10 years and played just one first class match when we were desperate and short of players last season. He demonstrated his capabilities at Derbyshire but still did not get his chance at Middlesex. No problem with Lace’s actions...he did the right thing...if anything he should have left earlier.

The Middlesex selection policy whatever it is hasn’t been working too well in recent years as we have sunk further and further down the first class tables whilst losing good young players to other counties. I would change it as the results can hardly be any worse. Obviously we will never know, but had Higgins and Podmore been retained by Middlesex and played regularly instead of Franklin and let’s say Finn it would seem to me reasonably likely that Middlesex would be in Division 1 today.

Goto Page: Previous12345Next
Current Page: 4 of 5

Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
We record all IP addresses on the Sportnetwork message boards which may be required by the authorities in case of defamatory or abusive comment. We seek to monitor the Message Boards at regular intervals. We do not associate Sportnetwork with any of the comments and do not take responsibility for any statements or opinions expressed on the Message Boards. If you have any cause for concern over any material posted here please let us know as soon as possible by e-mailing