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Old 10th September 2008, 11:45   #101
sharky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kim View Post
Wait till we are go behind in the ashes if MPV is in the side. I can guess what the press will be saying.

Agree about the out of form batsmen. The "comeback" of Strauss - if, unlike me, you think it was a good thing - shows what a period out of the side can do. Maybe a period without the security of a contract would jolly along the batsman who dont really deserve that security even more? Importantly, it might also motivate those outside the side who must wonder what they can do to get in. Whatever you think of Key/Shah /Bopara, for example, a contract going to a man who hasnt been able to buy a run in any form of cricket for some time, must be hard for them to take.
One assumes that if Vaughan is still in the side by then, he is in pretty good form, and an in-form Vaughan against Australia can be quite useful
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Old 10th September 2008, 11:46   #102
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Why do they have to give away 12?
Because otherwise Gatt would spend the money on chips?
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Old 10th September 2008, 11:49   #103
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Why do they have to give away 12?
They obviously have a budget to give away 12 so they give out 12. That's the only reason I can think of
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Old 10th September 2008, 11:52   #104
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Why on earth is Vaughan in the side scoring no runs?




I wouldn't have recalled Strauss but it hasn't turned out all that badly. The problem is that up against a decent side again, it didn't look like it had turned out all that well either.

I'm really not sure about the effects of removing a contract from a senior player. It's difficult to do so without jettisoning him entirely, would be my initial view. Imagine how a player would feel having been contracted to lose that contract. It would be a huge slap in the face. On that basis, if really pushed, I'd probably have stuck with Strauss but not with Vaughan. I don't like the idea of making a whole series of changes to the batting in a short time, apart from anything else, although, as mentioned, I probably wouldn't be picking Strauss over Key. Once you think about it in those terms, it does point up some real difficulties with central contracts though, even if on the whole they're a good thing.
re Vaughan's lack of runs

Who cares about the slap in the face? The issue is losing the contract because they've failed as players which is as it should be. They should get a contact for future year X because they've performed to standard in year Y.
Thats as it should be and always has been.

Ambrose is, rightly, going to lose his place. Thats a slap in the face as well. I dont see that, had he been centrally contracted, its more of a slap - or that he should have been retained beause he once had a contract (not that he did).

If this doesnt make sense excsue me but Im on a ferocious dietand hardly have the energy to type, let alone think.
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Old 10th September 2008, 12:13   #105
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re Vaughan's lack of runs
Thank you. I thought the Gatt one was better but then Gatt is just too easy a target.

Quote:
Who cares about the slap in the face? The issue is losing the contract because they've failed as players which is as it should be. They should get a contact for future year X because they've performed to standard in year Y.
Thats as it should be and always has been.

Ambrose is, rightly, going to lose his place. Thats a slap in the face as well. I dont see that, had he been centrally contracted, its more of a slap - or that he should have been retained beause he once had a contract (not that he did).
Well the point is not that senior players should be rewarded for failure but that if you still think you may well be selecting them, taking a contract away makes that very difficult to do as they will quite likely have lost motivation and will also no longer be under such close ECB control. The contracts are intended to keep a squad of players under the ECB's wing. Losing a place in the side isn't as big a deal as losing the contract, in some senses, as keeping the contract means you're still in with a very good chance of being selected, as Strauss' example shows. Whether that's a good thing or not is a different question.

Kim, you're weakening if you think Ambrose deserves to be dropped.

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If this doesnt make sense excsue me but Im on a ferocious dietand hardly have the energy to type, let alone think.
Come for a drink and a curry in London next week. You'll feel much better for it.
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Old 10th September 2008, 12:23   #106
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Well, Tim's somewhat "woe is me" attitude since he came "home" hasn't endeared him to me.

I'd very much like to make the drink/curry (anything but my rather odd fish finger diet) if only to test internet perception V reality (can be fascinating) but on the night in question am in Chelmsford for a combined birthday/end of season/friend who has had good news on healthfront party at which my limited ambition is to get blitzed.

Sure you will do a pre Xmas do so till then..
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Old 10th September 2008, 12:25   #107
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Well, Tim's somewhat "woe is me" attitude since he came "home" hasn't endeared him to me.

I'd very much like to make the drink/curry (anything but my rather odd fish finger diet) if only to test internet perception V reality (can be fascinating) but on the night in question am in Chelmsford for a combined birthday/end of season/friend who has had good news on healthfront party at which my limited ambition is to get blitzed.

Sure you will do a pre Xmas do so till then..
Good for your mate, its a shame that your not around given that I will be and that Death seems to be warming to the idea, I'd wonder what it would be like with us 3 in the same room!
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Old 10th September 2008, 12:35   #108
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re Vaughan's lack of runs

Who cares about the slap in the face? The issue is losing the contract because they've failed as players which is as it should be. They should get a contact for future year X because they've performed to standard in year Y.
Thats as it should be and always has been.

Ambrose is, rightly, going to lose his place. Thats a slap in the face as well. I dont see that, had he been centrally contracted, its more of a slap - or that he should have been retained beause he once had a contract (not that he did).

If this doesnt make sense excsue me but Im on a ferocious dietand hardly have the energy to type, let alone think.

Have you joined Ashley on the list of fatties then?

Back to the original subject: there clearly has been no progress in th minds of the England selectors. They've given Steve Harmison, an opportunity to coast for another year; Michael Vaughan, a man who has not been worth a place in the side for 18 months and has resigned from the captaincy gets a central contract; Ryan Sidebottom, diminishing in fitness and effectiveness gets one and the omens suggest a recall for Matt Prior, who will never be a good Test wicketkeeper, for a tour of india of all places, after he was found out in Sri Lanka.

Last edited by Baron von Death : 10th September 2008 at 13:11.
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Old 10th September 2008, 12:53   #109
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I don't really think that Vaughan, Strauss and Harmison deserved a contract. I can kind of understand why Harmison got one following his successful return to both the test and one days teams but, for me, he needs to prove himself over a longer period. There may be some merit in persevering with one of Vaughan or Strauss but to grant them both full contacts (and presumbly a place on tour) seems like folly to me.
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Old 10th September 2008, 12:54   #110
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Why on earth is Vaughan in the side scoring no runs?
Second spinner.

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I wouldn't have recalled Strauss but it hasn't turned out all that badly.
**Explodes**

Recalling Strauss was disastrous. England have played insipid cricket ever since. Struggled unconvincingly past NZ, lost - at home - to a SA team minus for most part their strike bowler, who with greater scrutiny don't appear to be all that. OK, we might have been playing insipid cricket before that, but recalling him set back England a year, maybe more. Playing NZ provided the ideal opportunity to bed in a young cricketer. That opportunity was squandered. England should have shaken the batting up like they shook up the bowling.

Strauss has been a regular* over the last 3 years during which he averages 35. You can't even offer in mitigation injury or the burden of captaincy weighing him down. That is horrendous. It is bordering on negligence that the England selectors have let him get away with it for so long.

*Other than being rested for probably the toughest tour of the lot


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Why do they have to give away 12?
They can't afford any more.
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Old 10th September 2008, 12:56   #111
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Who do you think should open the batting for England in tests GBG?
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Old 10th September 2008, 13:17   #112
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Originally Posted by geoff_boycotts_grandmother View Post
Second spinner.



**Explodes**

Recalling Strauss was disastrous. England have played insipid cricket ever since. Struggled unconvincingly past NZ, lost - at home - to a SA team minus for most part their strike bowler, who with greater scrutiny don't appear to be all that. OK, we might have been playing insipid cricket before that, but recalling him set back England a year, maybe more. Playing NZ provided the ideal opportunity to bed in a young cricketer. That opportunity was squandered. England should have shaken the batting up like they shook up the bowling.

Strauss has been a regular* over the last 3 years during which he averages 35. You can't even offer in mitigation injury or the burden of captaincy weighing him down. That is horrendous. It is bordering on negligence that the England selectors have let him get away with it for so long.

*Other than being rested for probably the toughest tour of the lot




They can't afford any more.

Agree entirely. I'd forgotten about Strauss. This just confirms in my mind that the selectors have failed to move forward at any key juncture in the last three years. Other than messing about on this board I've pretty much withdrawn my support from cricket and am certainly not spending 75 a year in advance to watch England get murdered next year by Australia.
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Old 10th September 2008, 13:25   #113
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What we've seen since central contracts came in is a continuing tendency to retain players -- particularly batters -- in the team when they are obviously performing badly, and a continuing failure to select those who are performing better (albeit not at test level because they can't get in the side). No surprise then that we've been doing rather badly; and no surprise if we continue to do rather badly. If Strauss, Collingwood, Sidebottom and Vaughan had to earn their recalls in the way that dropped non-contracted players do, they might never play (or might never have played) for England again. And that would be right and proper.

The system is blatantly unmeritocratic. And I think it probably makes it hard for new players in the team: Bopara had a mare, and so has Broad in tests to some extent. No wonder: rather than being in the team because they're deemed one of the best players available to represent England in that particular match (which is perhaps the basis on which they once dreamed of playing for England), they're in the 'team' (which is no longer a team in the same sense) as a trial to see whether they will be allowed to join the ranks of those players who get picked automatically and take home without needing to perform in order to get it.

Do any of the reasons once given in support of the central contracts system actually apply to batters?
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Old 10th September 2008, 13:41   #114
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What we've seen since central contracts came in is a continuing tendency to retain players -- particularly batters -- in the team when they are obviously performing badly, and a continuing failure to select those who are performing better (albeit not at test level because they can't get in the side). No surprise then that we've been doing rather badly; and no surprise if we continue to do rather badly. If Strauss, Collingwood, Sidebottom and Vaughan had to earn their recalls in the way that dropped non-contracted players do, they might never play (or might never have played) for England again. And that would be right and proper.

The system is blatantly unmeritocratic. And I think it probably makes it hard for new players in the team: Bopara had a mare, and so has Broad in tests to some extent. No wonder: rather than being in the team because they're deemed one of the best players available to represent England in that particular match (which is perhaps the basis on which they once dreamed of playing for England), they're in the 'team' (which is no longer a team in the same sense) as a trial to see whether they will be allowed to join the ranks of those players who get picked automatically and take home without needing to perform in order to get it.

Do any of the reasons once given in support of the central contracts system actually apply to batters?
England actually improved dramatically on the institution of the central contract system. Sure, there were other factors too but it's certainly not been a record of consistent failure, as you imply. It is also untrue to say that players coming into the side haven't done well since the contract system. Before Bopara, something like the previous 4 or 5 batsmen had all had excellent debuts (Strauss, Bell, Pietersen, Cook are the ones I can immediately think of). The bowlers haven't been so impressive but I'm not sure how many have debuted who should have done anyway. You're also exaggerating the degree to which contracted players have failed but then I'm not sure that entirely destroys your argument because I agree with some of your conclusions.
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Old 10th September 2008, 13:46   #115
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Second spinner.
I almost mentioned that he doesn't bowl anymore in a post suggesting he shouldn't have been retained.

Quote:
**Explodes**

Recalling Strauss was disastrous. England have played insipid cricket ever since. Struggled unconvincingly past NZ, lost - at home - to a SA team minus for most part their strike bowler, who with greater scrutiny don't appear to be all that. OK, we might have been playing insipid cricket before that, but recalling him set back England a year, maybe more. Playing NZ provided the ideal opportunity to bed in a young cricketer. That opportunity was squandered. England should have shaken the batting up like they shook up the bowling.

Strauss has been a regular* over the last 3 years during which he averages 35. You can't even offer in mitigation injury or the burden of captaincy weighing him down. That is horrendous. It is bordering on negligence that the England selectors have let him get away with it for so long.

*Other than being rested for probably the toughest tour of the lot
You can hardly blame Strauss for England playing feeble but just about sufficiently good to win cricket against NZ. He scored a lot of runs in those series and therefore deserves some of the credit for England's insipid victories. It's also not germaine to the discussion about how his return has gone to adduce evidence of his overall form since the SA tour of 2004/5. We're only talking about three series here, especially as you can't even undermine my argument about his return having gone okay by telling me he shouldn't have been recalled, because I wouldn't have recalled him either.

He was poor against SA though, as I said.
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Old 10th September 2008, 13:49   #116
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I don't really think that Vaughan, Strauss and Harmison deserved a contract. I can kind of understand why Harmison got one following his successful return to both the test and one days teams but, for me, he needs to prove himself over a longer period. There may be some merit in persevering with one of Vaughan or Strauss but to grant them both full contacts (and presumbly a place on tour) seems like folly to me.
Wait a minute though.

Harmison was recalled because he was performing well in the CC and because England's pace attack was looking rather toothless. He has been a stalwart member of "Team England" in the past, and was recalled on merit. He delivered what was expected on recall. I don't have any issue with a central contract in his case, since it would be a "take away" to offer him anything else. England either want him, or they don't. If they want him, they have to offer the central contract, IMO, which they have done.

Same thing with Vaughan and Strauss. If they are wanted by England, which they evidently still are, despite some faltering form, they had to be offered a contract similar to what they have had before, or it sends the wrong message. Vaughan has already conceded the captaincy, with the extra remuneration that comes along with it, but that was his concession.
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Old 10th September 2008, 13:52   #117
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Who do you think should open the batting for England in tests GBG?
I'm not sure to be honest. Part of the problem is that they've wasted the last 10 test matches in which they could have tried things out.

For starters I'd suggest that Vaughan, Key and Bell were all better options to open alongside Cook than Strauss.

I'm aware that Vaughan's form has been similarly horrific to Strauss', but at least with Vaughan there could be the hope that without the mental and time strains of the captaincy he could clear his mind and focus on the batting side of his game, and get stuck in in the nets. Vaughan has the additional advantage of being a far better choice to complement Cook at the top of the order (right-handed attacking batsman). Add in Vaughan has a much higher ceiling than Strauss and that KP wants him in and it becomes a no-brainer IMHO to take Vaughan over Strauss.

I'm struggling to think of a single thing (other than slip-catching) that Strauss brings to the team.
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Old 10th September 2008, 14:07   #118
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England actually improved dramatically on the institution of the central contract system. Sure, there were other factors too but it's certainly not been a record of consistent failure, as you imply. It is also untrue to say that players coming into the side haven't done well since the contract system. Before Bopara, something like the previous 4 or 5 batsmen had all had excellent debuts (Strauss, Bell, Pietersen, Cook are the ones I can immediately think of). The bowlers haven't been so impressive but I'm not sure how many have debuted who should have done anyway. You're also exaggerating the degree to which contracted players have failed but then I'm not sure that entirely destroys your argument because I agree with some of your conclusions.
I think since Moores took over we've seen the system at its worst, although it was probably heading that way before. I wouldn't say it has consistently failed; I'm more concerned that it seems to be doing so now. Nor would I say that there haven't been players who have come new to the team and done well. I am probably exaggerating a bit, but mostly you do it for me when you paraphrase.
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Old 10th September 2008, 14:12   #119
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Same thing with Vaughan and Strauss. If they are wanted by England, which they evidently still are, despite some faltering form, they had to be offered a contract similar to what they have had before, or it sends the wrong message.
But that's the thing; it's not quite evident that they are still wanted by England in the way it should be. After all, we have yet to hear the test tour selections for India. Everybody now thinks these two will be selected because they have been given contracts; but if we were to use other criteria, like how many runs we might expect them to score based on recent international and domestic performance, I think many commentators would not select either of them. We don't so much know that the selectors think these two will score lots more runs for England; what we know is that whoever distributes the contracts has decided to award them both contracts, and then we suppose that because they're being paid, it'll look a bit off not to select them, even if neither of them are scoring many runs.
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Old 10th September 2008, 16:16   #120
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Thank you. I thought the Gatt one was better but then Gatt is just too easy a target.



Well the point is not that senior players should be rewarded for failure but that if you still think you may well be selecting them, taking a contract away makes that very difficult to do as they will quite likely have lost motivation and will also no longer be under such close ECB control. The contracts are intended to keep a squad of players under the ECB's wing. Losing a place in the side isn't as big a deal as losing the contract, in some senses, as keeping the contract means you're still in with a very good chance of being selected, as Strauss' example shows. Whether that's a good thing or not is a different question.
.
Removing a players contract should happen if they haven't deserved the contract over a certain period. There should be no sentimentality or feeling sorry for the player, if they don't deserve the contract they shouldn't have it, no matter how good they used to be. If that means they then lose the motivation then that says alot about the player and to be honest i wouldn't want them back in the set up. I think most players would accept the loss and be determined to work harder to win it back.
Continuing to give players a contract because we feel sorry for them as they were once quite good smacks of Englishness. We need to get some ruthlessness and force our players to continually work at their game, not allow them to slip into a comfortable state and reward mediocrity, which is exactly what we have done with our central contracted players and exactly why our performances have been dire since The Ashes 2005.
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