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  • Etienne
    replied
    Southern Fast Bowlers

    When Cairns subsequently played for Gloucstershire, I wonder how much time he spent taking the piss out of Read for that ball.

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  • Tubby Isaacs
    replied
    Southern Fast Bowlers

    I might be muddling Brearley and Hughes there now you mention it.

    I think it should be the law that you prepare pitches to suit the away team. Like we courteously did at Edgbaston in 1995 where the first ball reared from a length and went over Mike Atherton's head.

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  • manandvans
    replied
    Southern Fast Bowlers

    Tubby Isaacs wrote:
    That second paragraph of Etienne's puts me in mind of Nottinghamshire in the eighties who were pretty keen on greentops. They had two ideal bowlers for that- Hadlee, then Franklyn Stephenson. As Simon Hughes relates, Middlesex were hampered by having the MCC overseeing their pitch at Lord's, and some of them thinking preparing a helpful pitch was unethical.
    I'm wading through Mike Brearley's The Art Of Captaincy at present. He makes similar points about this. Also, they had Clive Rice at the time who was very good at exploiting conditions.
    Franklyn Stephenson was the dog's testicles. And illustrates the extraordinary strength in depth the West Indies had at the time.

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  • Tubby Isaacs
    replied
    Southern Fast Bowlers

    That second paragraph of Etienne's puts me in mind of Nottinghamshire in the eighties who were pretty keen on greentops. They had two ideal bowlers for that- Hadlee, then Franklyn Stephenson. As Simon Hughes relates, Middlesex were hampered by having the MCC overseeing their pitch at Lord's, and some of them thinking preparing a helpful pitch was unethical.

    Ursus, are you familiar with Stephenson? He was a South African rebel, so not didn't leave a mark on international cricket. He is credited with inventing the slower ball that looks like a beamer, as demonstrated here by another Notts player, Chris Cairns:



    Watch it without Phil Tufnell's voiceover.

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  • Etienne
    replied
    Southern Fast Bowlers

    Rasko, on your first paragraph, not so much that but that regularly playing on batter friendly wickets helped batsmen (and spinners) get better figures in the southern counties, while seam bowlers struggled.

    As to the second one, I'm not sure, but I'd think its likely to be a self-perpetuating cycle with teams with strong pace attacks preparing strips to suit, thus encouraging the development of similar bowlers.

    Can't believe I'm in Cordoba discussing this! *logs off*

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Southern Fast Bowlers

    I think that pitches are the main issue here there are some real batsmens pitches in the southern counties (Sophia Gardens, Taunton, the old Rose Bowl, even the Oval) whereas Chester le Street, Headingley, Trent Bridge, Derby, all grounds where it seams plenty.
    So these, more southern, counties produce RMF trundlers plonking it down on around a length and hoping for a bit of wobble?

    And are the pitches themselves a product of the old amateur/player divide? Have northern counties produced fast bowler friendly pitches because they traditionally had larger numbers of fast bowlers available?

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  • Tubby Isaacs
    replied
    Southern Fast Bowlers

    Willis was Surrey originally, though he was born in Sunderland, I think.

    The traditional test pitches are four-two in the north- (Old Trafford, Trent Bridge, Headingley, Edgbaston v Lord's, Oval). That wouldn't of course explain why batsmen from those counties don't get picked on a horses for courses basis, as bowlers might do.

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  • Eggchaser
    replied
    Southern Fast Bowlers

    Certainly in terms of caps, had the careers of Headley and Tudor not been ended by and the England career of Jones probably ended by injury they would have had a fair greater amount each.

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  • Etienne
    replied
    Southern Fast Bowlers

    Willis of course started at Sussex (or was it Surrey?), which is definitely southern.

    I think that pitches are the main issue here there are some real batsmens pitches in the southern counties (Sophia Gardens, Taunton, the old Rose Bowl, even the Oval) whereas Chester le Street, Headingley, Trent Bridge, Derby, all grounds where it seams plenty.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Southern Fast Bowlers

    You forget Fraser, who was certainly from the southern half. John Lever's career figures are rather good, going by the (low) standards of English bowlers in the past few decades. Ditto Chris Old. All that said, I counted from 1993, or whenever it was that Caddick debuted. And the issue was rather overall quantity than individual quality.

    The line I drew was Northants-Glos-Glamorgan, as a simple even divide, and it was no more than that. A tripartite division might 'feel' better; what are the odds on an evenly-balanced midlands buffer-zone between the North's bowlers and the South's batsmen?

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  • Tubby Isaacs
    replied
    Southern Fast Bowlers

    The northern counties weren't shy about importing fast bowlers either, except Yorks.

    Of the recentish greats, are we counting Willis as northern, playing for Warks? If not, then he, Botham and Snow, the three best, are all southern.

    Some members of Warks might be surprised to hear that Willis played for them- his holding back in county games didn't always go down well. One member once shouted out "bowler's name, please?" when he saw Willis marking out his run.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Southern Fast Bowlers

    It used to be a class issue, certainly, but I'm not sure how easy it is to say that it still is. Perhaps it is the weather; I shall have to do some work on average rainfall...

    The equivalent figures for batsmen are 178 from 707, or 75% from the southernmost nine counties.

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  • ursus arctos
    replied
    Southern Fast Bowlers

    The more that I read about the history of English cricket, the more I am convinced that everything is a "class issue" to at least a certain degree.

    Do the characteristics of the first XI's home pitch really have a significant impact on the types of bowlers a country produces? Southern counties have certainly not been shy about importing pace bowlers (the majority of the Windies pace quartet come to mind), so it isn't as if they don't see their value.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest started a topic Southern Fast Bowlers

    Southern Fast Bowlers

    Pondering the latest England squad announcement, it struck me that I could think of very few pace bowlers (i.e. anyone but spinners) who played for counties in the southern half of England. So, crunched a few numbers, and - since Caddick's debut (the most recent southern pace bowler of any stature I immediately thought of) - there have been 436 appearances for England by pace bowlers, of which only 86 were made by players from the nine southernmost counties (20%). Take out the players who played fewer than eight Tests (i.e. less than one summer season) and the situation is even more unbalanced: 62 (S Jones, Tudor, Headley, Mullaly) of 398 (16%). (The number of bowlers who made only one or two appearances is also rather indicative of the state of English cricket for much of this period, although that's another topic.)

    So, is this just chance, or is there something more profound at work. Traditionally, English fast bowlers came from the pits of Notts and Yorkshire, but that direct influence hasn't been present for some time; has it left a legacy of promoting the development of pace bowlers (and bear in mind I looked at 'non-spinners' rather than genuine "F"-men)? Is it pitches - the recent Oval isn't likely to produce many quick bowlers, certainly, but is this true across the South? Perhaps it's a class issue: is cricket in the north a more egalitarian (or even, "working-class") game than it is in the south, with everything that has traditionally meant for English cricket in terms of the background of bowlers & batsmen...

    One thing was clear, however: reinstituting North vs South matches could be very interesting indeed.
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