ECB premier league vision fades with Home Counties break-up

The ECB’s drive to bolster professional cricket by focusing on a premier league structure has been quietly shelved, and there have been suggestions that the policy has actually been reducing the number of active players in club cricket, with standards in decline during the recession. Lord MacLaurin’s celebrated report Raising The Standard, published in 1997, …

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Yardy honest about depression

THE Sussex captain Michael Yardy has disclosed he has been suffering from depression, a condition that led to his withdrawal from England’s World Cup campaign before the quarter-final against Sri Lanka in Colombo. There were two interesting aspects to the ECB announcement. Firstly Yardy was referred to as an all-rounder, a description patently wide of …

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Neil Carter’s value soars again

THE SUCCESS of Neil Carter in becoming the Most Valuable Player of 2010 is an extraordinary turn-up at the age of 35 three years after his Warwickshire career seemed to have nose-dived. The MVP award, sponsored by FTI Consulting, is based on a league table of points gained from performances in all three county competitions …

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Worcs swimming against the tide

JUST as Worcestershire are wondering how they can pay for their £15 million hotel and development plans at New Road their chief executive resigns and the captain stands down. Mark Newton ended his tenure as chief executive this week after 10 years, to be replaced by his assistant and former player David Leatherdale, and Vikram …

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Rainford-Brent with Oval new boys

THE England women batsman Ebony Rainford-Brent has been drafted into the Surrey Academy for 2010 as the only female among six players. Rainford-Brent joins Zafar Ansari, Matthew Dunn, George Edwards, Shaun Cousens and Freddie Vanden Burgh as the new intake at the Pemberton Greenish Academy, having risen in prominence as a member of a successful …

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Bangladeshi ready to make history

NEVER before has the first signing of a Bangladeshi in county cricket been greeted with such acclaim. Worcestershire have agreed a contract with Skakib Al Hasan, rated by the ICC computer system as the world’s No 1 one-day all-rounder. Still only 22, Shakib has turned himself into a formidable left-hand bat and left-arm spinner, good …

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