Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Runs galore for quality overseas

A few weeks ago, I condemned overseas players. Players coming over who were not good enough, past their best or simple inexperienced. 
I was wrong.

Today, Ronnie Sarwan made a fantastic 117 for Leicestershire. This follows his century against Derbyshire – his first in 26 months and a 94 against Northants. It comes as no surprise really, the man is top draw, someone who still warrants a place in the West Indies top five. I have no doubt that he would be padding up tomorrow if it were not for the politics surrounding Guyana and West Indies cricket.

Sarwan was not a lone overseas centurion. Simon Katich reached 180 not out off 240 balls for Hampshire against Yorkshire. Katich is some player. Forgot the fact that the man can get a five o’clock shadow by lunch, he is a class act. He should still be part of the Australian top 3 in my opinion.

Talking of Australians and their worth, Marcus North has arrived in South Wales. He replaces Henriques, who in all fairness struggled. North, like Katich, is of test match quality. He will without a shadow of a brussel sprout bring much needed stability to the Glamorgan middle order.

Down at Gloucester, they know they have a good deal…

They have Kane Williamson.

Williamson who has 12 caps for New Zealand and two test centuries has been in fantastic form already this season. This adding to the 831 runs he amassed last season in 23 FC innings.

Only available since May and joining up the black caps for the second half of the season, Williamson has wasted no time. 128 in his first game versus Derbyshire was followed by 111 against Yorkshire add to that the CB40 112 against Leicestershire on Sunday and it is little wonder why everyone in the South west are championing the young man from Tauranga.

Gloucestershire will miss Williamson come July, when he departs for International duty against West Indies, but not as much as you’d think.

The men from Bristol will pick up another centrally contracted New Zealander, one that will take no part on the West Indies tour thanks to a unique partnership between Gloucestershire and New Zealand Cricket.

A spokesperson for New Zealand Cricket said  "We are pleased to have the opportunity to work with Gloucestershire to develop our next generation of international cricketers. This partnership provides New Zealanders with the opportunity to play in and experience the pressures of a world class competition on a day to day basis."

So four international batsmen are performing in the County Championship. They are a cut above your average overseas cricketer though. They work hard. They bring dedication and a will to succeed to our game. Andre Adams said of Hashim Amla in the first edition of the cricket paper:  People put it down to him being the overseas player, but how hard did he work? He was miles above anybody else in his approach”

Hopefully their approach will rub off on our young lads.

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