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Old 2nd July 2007, 16:48   #41
Jon Wallflower
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Originally Posted by Lancastrian View Post
I very much admire Fletcher and what he did for English cricket, but I do think that there are legitimate criticisms to be made of the way he handled some England bowlers.

If I recall correctly Flintoff was first picked by David Lloyd, and was viewed as a potentially world class all rounder for years (ie a schoolboy) before he actually made his debut. Harmison was very much identified as a bowler with brilliant potential before he was selected (I remember Justin Langer raving about him long before his England selection). Simon Jones was an inspired choice I agree, but Hoggard had bowled lots of overs in CC and played for Orange Free State in South Africa when first selected.

More generally we shouldn't overlook the impact that central contracts, Troy Cooley and the Academy had on the England team, which all coincided with Fletcher taking charge.

I think that my point more accurately would be that yes fast tracking worked for some slightly older bowlers - Jones and Harmison, but has been less successful with younger bowlers - Plunkett and Anderson. My concern was that this could happen to Broad who obviously comes in the same younger category as LP & JA.
Simon Jones wasn't an inspired choice, he did his (actually fairly below-par) service and then had one brilliant series which unfortunately his injury problems curtailed.

I'm also not sure everyone is agreed on what form 'fast-tracking' takes - some people are using it as an epithet, and others believe its county cricket that should be smashed with a ball-peen hammer. If fast-tracking involved taking Chris Tremlett and allowing him to fester with the England team and then drop him because he hasn't played cricket - that's one extreme. If 'fast-tracking' means Troy Cooley* gets to **** around with your action so that you lose every inch of what made you a genuinely quick young bowler with bite and promise, then that's another extreme.

Equally, leaving a young player to plod around with their county until injury or apathy or a combination of the Ashley Cowans means you pick up every bad Giddins habit in the book is yet another extreme.

My view? Is that we should aim to identify the young players with talent. We should work with them to ensure they're not overbowled, and that the coaching is not just right to extend their career past the gloaming of their 'thirties, but is enough to give them a bright, stellar and incandescent chance of taking wickets cheaply and quickly, without breaking their spine or meaning they can't stand next to a radiator for fear their plastic hip will melt after they hit forty.

They should get a chance to sample international cricket, in the knowledge that, like Sidebottom did before them, they're probably going to get sent back to county level to put their learning into practice and perhaps come back, leaner, hungrier and fitter to take their role as the junior senior partner in the pace triumvirate, allowing another young tyro to come on and bowl with fury and fire, whilst they bowl with a wise head telling them the right ball to unleash.



*for Cooley - read development/ performance squad coaches and bio-mechanics, led by Cooley/ Shine whoever.
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Old 2nd July 2007, 16:57   #42
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Agree with all that although, stubbornly, Im unsure exactly who we fast tracked as oppsoed to picked because they were the only choices avialable.
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Old 2nd July 2007, 18:43   #43
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Stuart Broad wants to be part of England's next fearsome pace attack after his impressive display in the first one-day international against West Indies. Broad's 3 for 20 was instrumental in England's 79-run win, but it was the combination formed alongside James Anderson and Liam Plunkett which really stood out. When England won the Ashes in 2005 they had a powerhouse fast-bowling attack of Steve Harmison, Matthew Hoggard, Andrew Flintoff and Simon Jones. However, those four haven't taken the field together since the victory at Trent Bridge that summer and the odds on it reforming are slim. Flintoff is recovering from further ankle surgery and there is still no return in sight for Jones after more knee problems.

England have found it difficult to replicate their success since the attack started to fragment with a host of bowlers being handed chances. Broad has always been highly rated around the England set-up, making his debut against Pakistan at the end of last season, and spent the winter developing at the Academy before a late call to join the World Cup squad in West Indies.

"In time, I think we should be able to form a similar unit to the one that England had in 2005," said Broad after England had moved to Edgbaston to prepare for Wednesday's second match. "Those guys like Harmy, Hoggy and Fred are still around and it is great learning from them, but we also want to push them.

"The good thing about England at the moment is that there are a lot of guys capable of playing international cricket and you really need that depth if you're to be successful. International cricket and Test cricket in particular is hard and you are going to get injuries but, if you've got a strong pool of players to pick from who can all come in and do a job, well that can only be a good thing for English cricket."

But for an untimely knee injury at the start of the current season, Broad could have made his Test debut against West Indies, especially when Hoggard pulled up after Lord's. Ryan Sidebottom took his chance with both hands and Broad now wants to use this one-day series to make a similar statement.

"Look at Ryan, who came in to the side and made the step up to become a regular," he said. "He's come in and put pressure on the bowlers in and around the team and I think that is a good thing.
"We've got the makings of a young bowling unit coming together and we have to keep working hard and learning from the senior guys, but trying to put them under as much pressure as we can by taking wickets when we get our chances.

"My outlook is that when you're under pressure then that is when you play your best cricket. You've got no choice but to perform to keep your place and I find that brings out the best in me."
I really like his attitude on and off the pitch ...
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Old 2nd July 2007, 18:49   #44
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http://content-uk.cricinfo.com/engvw...ry/300384.html

I really like his attitude on and off the pitch ...
Must have got it from his mum then!!
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Old 2nd July 2007, 19:10   #45
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Hoggard, Harmison, and Jones had Test debuts when they were 24.
Mahmood made his debut at 25 and Anderson 21, Plunkett 20.

First class games before Test debut (roughly)
Hoggard - 42
Harmison - 69
Jones - 39
Plunkett - 7
Mahmood - 40
Anderson - 24

I think two full seasons is a must in county cricket before playing Tests. Hoggard and Jones were just about right. Mahmood's 40 was spread over quite a few years. For Anderson, Plunkett and Mahmood it was too early. They didn't have a bowling memory to fall back on when things went wrong. When Tremlett was chosen he had about 50 first class games and would have been ready when picked for the 2005 Ashes squad.
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Old 2nd July 2007, 21:18   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FastBowlersUnion View Post
Hoggard, Harmison, and Jones had Test debuts when they were 24.
Mahmood made his debut at 25 and Anderson 21, Plunkett 20.

First class games before Test debut (roughly)
Hoggard - 42
Harmison - 69
Jones - 39
Plunkett - 7
Mahmood - 40
Anderson - 24

I think two full seasons is a must in county cricket before playing Tests. Hoggard and Jones were just about right. Mahmood's 40 was spread over quite a few years. For Anderson, Plunkett and Mahmood it was too early. They didn't have a bowling memory to fall back on when things went wrong. When Tremlett was chosen he had about 50 first class games and would have been ready when picked for the 2005 Ashes squad.
Harmison had played the most county games but still doesn't have a bowling memory to fall back on when things go wrong.
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Old 2nd July 2007, 21:50   #47
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I thought the time when we had six anti Harmison threads running at once was over. Oh, it is. It's funny isn't it? His international career was dogged by lack of bowling memory early on too. He lost his run up in Australia totally in 2002/3 didn't he?
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Old 2nd July 2007, 21:54   #48
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I'm sure that in the past Broad has been referred to as a natural replacement for Harmison. While that could literally be true it does appear as if height alone does not signify much similarity between the two.
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Old 2nd July 2007, 22:02   #49
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I'm sure that in the past Broad has been referred to as a natural replacement for Harmison. While that could literally be true it does appear as if height alone does not signify much similarity between the two.
Until he can send the new ball to second slip he will not be fit to lace Harmy's boots.
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Old 2nd July 2007, 22:45   #50
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I thought the time when we had six anti Harmison threads running at once was over. Oh, it is. It's funny isn't it? His international career was dogged by lack of bowling memory early on too. He lost his run up in Australia totally in 2002/3 didn't he?
I don't know why you are getting all aeriated over a valid observation about Harmison. The anti-Harmison threads have dried up since he bowled with intent for some spells and got some wickets in the test series. However, it has been obvious on many occasions over the years up to this season that Harmison has had nothing to fall back on when his radar deserts him.
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Old 2nd July 2007, 22:49   #51
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Originally Posted by Michelle Fivefer View Post
I don't know why you are getting all aeriated over a valid observation about Harmison. The anti-Harmison threads have dried up since he bowled with intent for some spells and got some wickets in the test series. However, it has been obvious on many occasions over the years up to this season that Harmison has had nothing to fall back on when his radar deserts him.
I'm not getting aeriated though. I actually agreed with you. I just felt nostalgic for when we really did run several simultaneous anti Harmison threads. As I've said several times about Harmison, he's not an easy player to encapsulate.
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Old 2nd July 2007, 22:51   #52
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Originally Posted by FastBowlersUnion View Post
Hoggard, Harmison, and Jones had Test debuts when they were 24.
Mahmood made his debut at 25 and Anderson 21, Plunkett 20.

First class games before Test debut (roughly)
Hoggard - 42
Harmison - 69
Jones - 39
Plunkett - 7
Mahmood - 40
Anderson - 24

I think two full seasons is a must in county cricket before playing Tests. Hoggard and Jones were just about right. Mahmood's 40 was spread over quite a few years. For Anderson, Plunkett and Mahmood it was too early. They didn't have a bowling memory to fall back on when things went wrong. When Tremlett was chosen he had about 50 first class games and would have been ready when picked for the 2005 Ashes squad.
Plunkett had played a lot more FC games than seven before his test debut. It was probably closer to 25/30.
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Old 2nd July 2007, 23:22   #53
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Plunkett had played a lot more FC games than seven before his test debut. It was probably closer to 25/30.
You're right 'ampshire. Don't know what happened there.

2003 - 7
2004 - 10
2005 - 14
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Old 2nd July 2007, 23:30   #54
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Surely the intent of "fast tracking" is to spot real talent early and groom it appropriately via the academy, A tours, early exposure to international cricket etc. so that bowlers can slot into the side as seamlessly as possible when there is a vacancy. That doesn't mean that that bowlers shouldn't play regular county cricket or that they should be permanently wrapped in cotton wool. But it should mean that when they are young, fresh, fast, aggressive, motivated, have self believe and just enough of the 'devil may care' attitude, that they are willing to throw caution to the wind sometimes - well, enough to do their worst to the opposition batting - then they have a chance of selection. As opposed to making them pay their dues by serving a very lengthy apprenticeship in the county set-up, by which time they've lost a little of their vigour and enthusiasm, perhaps picked up a couple of problematic injuries, and decided that bowling lively-ish seam up is a better bet to get them to their benefit and beyond.

Unfortunately, as with most things, what started off as a good idea (i.e. central contracts, protecting bowlers from the most pointless demands of county cricket etc.) has become rather flabby and seen bowlers like Tremlett and Harmison do virtually no bowling at all over lengthy periods.
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Old 3rd July 2007, 01:12   #55
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'Edwards bowled magnificently," said Broad. "He bowled me three very quick balls and came down the wicket after one and gave me a bit of a stare. But he's only a little guy so I told him: 'Get back to your mark, we haven't got all day'.
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Old 3rd July 2007, 08:23   #56
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I think the problem of county cricket and the overuse of players though is the fact that after a 4 day game there is always a one dayer tagged on to the end of it and that is the real crux of the matter, the quicks find it hard to recover, they need to be protected for that, especially young up and coming quicks. Those who are identified by the ECB academy need that protection every bit as much as those playing tests.
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Old 4th July 2007, 08:17   #57
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Broad: Quality Player, Quality attitude.

Lets not ruin him like we did Anderson, Plunkett, Mahmood etc etc
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Old 5th July 2007, 11:34   #58
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I'm not sure that any of the above have been "ruined" by anyone. They all have considerable flaws which they don't seem to have been able to overcome in the short term and in Anderson's case, the medium term. Not being able to bowl two balls in the same place is not something that can be laid at the door of management.

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Old 5th July 2007, 11:53   #59
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I'm not sure that any of the above have been "ruined" by anyone. They all have considerable flaws which they don't seem to have been able to overcome in the short term and in Anderson's case, the medium term. Not being able to bowl two balls in the same place is not something that can be layed at the door of management.
I do think that though, that the you could lay the blame at the door of the coaches who have over theorised on the actions these players have and that with their potential and careful nurturing they could have/still can overcome.
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Old 5th July 2007, 12:28   #60
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I do think that though, that the you could lay the blame at the door of the coaches who have over theorised on the actions these players have and that with their potential and careful nurturing they could have/still can overcome.
And I think that's where AD comes in- teaches them common sense and speaks to them in a language that can inspire.

We really do have a bunch of good young fast bowlers, we really must treat them carefully as many people have said and finally we must ensure they do play competitive cricket. I do feel a bit sorry for Tremlett I like the lad and he's not had a fair chance yet, but I am sure his opportunity wil lcome
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