Tuesday, 10 May 2011

The Butcher of Bangalore to lend his savagery to Glos

You can't help but feel that this signing is as much a marketing ploy as a genuine attempt to boost Gloucestershires one day chances. In fact it's not an attempt to boost our young squad development at all. It is entirely a marketing ploy. Someone at Nevil road clearly decided that signing Murali had not sent our ticket sales through the roof and concluded that another marquee signing was needed. Someone to put on the posters. Having failed to land a county contract Kevin O'Brien, the destroy of England in this years world cup, has been signed.

We are sorry to be so negative, but we fail to see where this signing sits within our investment in youth. Clearly we view the championship as being where the youngsters can learn their trade where as the one day game must give the supporters something to cheer. The Jessop Tavern View disagrees with this. Strongly.

Ask yourselves this. Why, despite his world cup heroics, did O'Brien not have a county contract at the start of the season? He could hardly have put himself more in the shop window than to score a match winning, 50 ball century against England in a world cup. So why no contract? We suspect 2 reasons.

Firstly, O'Brien has limited first class experience. He played a bit for Nottinghamshire in 2009. Not county championship cricket, but pro 40 and T20 cricket. And not very well. His 8 Pro 40 games yielded 79 runs and 1 wicket. His 5 T20 appearances, 31 runs and 2 wickets. Admittedly this was in a fairly poor Notts one day team. But not exactly pant wetting.

Secondly, money. We are going to imagine that O'Brien has made sure he has cashed in on his 5 minutes of fame and made sure he held out for as long as possible before signing as lucrative a contract as he could land his hands just as the T20 competition starts to loom on the horizon.

The official Glos press release spells it out. “We are delighted to have signed Kevin O’Brien to our squad with particular reference to his one day skills.  Given his heroics in the World Cup the Gladiators have a genuine lion slayer in their midst", says Bracewell, through gritted teeth, as the marketing guy holds a gun to his bollocks.

O'Brien himself. ''I am very excited to have the opportunity to play for Gloucestershire, and work under one of the most successful coaches in domestic one day history. I am looking forward to getting over there and hopefully helping the team to achieve its goals in all forms of the game, but especially t20 and one day cricket."

We clearly won't be seeing much of Mr O'Brien in a white shirt.

I guess we shouldn't be so hard on Gloucestershire for this signing. We all know the financial situation. One day cricket, and in particular T20 represents the counties only real chance to make money from cricket. Thus we find ourselves forced to make these sort of signings in a vain attempt to drum up some interest in the notoriously uninterested Bristol public. It might work. It probably won't.

O'Brien's place on the teamsheet will come at the expense of a young cricketer. An Ed Young, Jack Taylor, James Fuller or David Payne. The young players we have been trying to develop. Young players who will learn very little from a guy such as O'Brien.

Then again, maybe we'll be treated to more of the carnage we witnessed in Bangalore....

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