Sunday, April 3, 2011

Glamorgan: 2011 Season Preview

2010 in a nutshell . . With 4 games to go, Glamorgan were in the box seat to secure the 2nd promotion place along with Sussex from Division Two, but 3 draws and a defeat (along with a last day Worcestershire run chase against a generous Sussex) meant that it was another season of Championship disappointment. . The 40 over cricket was woeful and directionless. In the T20, three early victories flattered to deceive and hopes disappeared around the time that Shaun Tait got recalled by Australia. Glamorgan's hierarchy agreed and looked overseas for a captain to replace Jamie Dalrymple. Matthew Maynard resigned as Director of Cricket in protest, and his son Tom left for Surrey. . 2011 prospects . Batting - looks thin. New captain Alviro Petersen is likely to forsake his Test opening role to bat at 3, but must deliver big runs to justify the controversy surrounding his cloak and dagger appointment (rumours abounded that Ricky Ponting and Graeme Smith were the first two choices). . Ben Wright and Gareth Rees must kick on from promising early careers, whilst beneficiary Mike Powell should play more after seemingly falling out of favour with the previous management. Stewart Walters was recruited from Surrey and Mike O'Shea came back from the Unicorns. Mark Cosgrove's runs will be sorely missed however. . Bowling - The seam attack is highly reliant on England Lion James Harris (2010: 63 wickets at little over 20). Allenby is an excellent first change, whilst Graeme Wagg is a good recruit from Derbyshire. . Regarding spin, Dean Cosker had an excellent benefit year last season over 50 wickets at 22 apiece, and of course there is a man called Croft, 41 in May, who shows no signs of finishing. With over 1,000 first class wickets for Glamorgan, he is a superb ambassador for club and country, and, as the country's most economical T20 bowler, could not be ignored despite the ambivalence of the now departed Maynard/Dalrymple axis. . Probable side . Championship: Gareth Rees, Will Bragg, Alviro Petersen, Mike Powell, Ben Wright, Jim Allenby, Mark Wallace (Wk), Robert Croft, James Harris, Graham Wagg, Dean Cosker. Pressing for places Huw Waters, Adam Shantry, David Harrison Twenty20: Mark Cosgrove, Jim Allenby, Alviro Petersen, Ben Wright, Mike O'Shea, Stewart Walters, Robert Croft, Mark Wallace (Wk), Graham Wagg, Huw Waters, Dean Cosker . Key Man – Alviro Petersen, as captain and Test class batsman, he has been given a difficult one year mission to repair the damage of the winter of discontent. . Rising Star - Ben Wright, starting to move out of the promising youngster category into established county pro, 2011 will be a year in which his obvious quality needs to show itself in volume of runs. . Managing Director and Coach - The 'global' search for a Managing Director resulted in the Chair of Cricket Review Group, former wicket keeper, Colin Metson, being (self?) appointed. Of more promise is the recruitment of Matthew Mott from New South Wales as coach. His first year can surely be little more than one of familiarisation and sorting out the wheat from the chaff. . ...and now for the fun bit... . Prediction - As much as I am Glamorgan to the core, I can't see anything but a season of struggle. Minus Cosgrove's quick fire runs in 4 day cricket, and with the seam bowling highly reliant on James Harris, mid table in the Championship's 2nd tier would be the most realistic expectation. . Supporters would like to see some direction after years of shapeless one day cricket. Like 17 other counties, a good start and a tail wind may result in a place in the T20 knockout stages.

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