Saturday, 19 May 2012

Where's Bobby Dawson when you need him?

There is a great little story in one of Simon Hughes' books that concerns Gatting and Gooch. Gatting is preparing for one of his final seasons as he desperately tries to hunt down his hundredth hundred. Gooch is encouraging him to put in a bit more effort with his sit-ups by quipping, "Come on Mike, I don't want you to have to get them against the universities". Gatting responds with something along the lines of, "That's not fair Goochie, you scored about 10 hundreds against them". When the Jessop Tavern was younger they use to peruse the Cricketer's Who's Who every season and a surefire sign of a shit player was someone who's highest score was against the universities. Bobby Dawson springs to mind.

What we are getting at is that a game against the universities is a time to fill your boots. Get stuck in and pad that average with cheap runs. In other words, we had Hamish Marshall nailed on for a hundred.

Instead Gloucestershire were rolled over for 227. The good news. Well, a couple of injured players are welcomed back. Dan Housego and David Payne come back after a few weeks out, where as Liam 'Lazarus' Norwell is back from the dead. Norwell hasn't played since a game against Middlesex this time last year. He only played 3 games last season, but he did potentially look like an exciting prospect.

We wrote recently that last week's game against Yorkshire would teach us a lot about this Gloucestershire team. What we learnt was that there was a lot of heart in this bunch of youngsters, and a great willingness to keep plugging away. Yorkshire were clearly a team with a lot more quality. That's fair enough. Despite a slow start to the season, it's hard to not see those miserable gits getting promoted straight back to division one. Whilst it is fine to be outclassed by Yorkshire, to be outclassed by some posh buggers from Cambridge is slightly harder to swallow.

We are perfectly happy to soak up all the talk of 'learning experiences', 'improving youngsters' and 'naivety'. However, we are only happy to take all this talk if we can see the potential in the youngsters. Now we are not saying there is no talent in this team, and we are hoping that yesterday was just a bad day at the office, but we would like to see the potential in these youngsters to become good county players. We don't expect all of them to make it as county pros. But if we are going to have to build our future on the back of these youngsters, then a couple of them have to go on to be consistent performers.

Let's hope for a few Bobby Dawson-esque performances over the next couple of days!

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