Friday, 31 May 2013

Is Jack Taylor a chucker?

On Tuesday the ECB announced that Jack Taylor had been suspended from bowling in county cricket. Worse than this the ECB also felt the need to make clear that this suspension applied to him playing for England as well. Presumably Andy Flower's Ashes plans are now in disarray.

The ECB's statement is below:

“Glenn Querl and Jack Taylor suspended from bowling by ECB Two bowlers have been suspended from bowling, having been subject to the ECB process for bowlers with suspected illegal bowling actions. Hampshire’s Glenn Querl and Gloucestershire’s Jack Taylor have both been reported on two separate occasions within a 12-month period and have undergone independent analysis.In both cases no previous evidence was available and hence their bowling actions were subject to the independent analysis process set out in the ECB regulations for the review of bowlers reported with suspected illegal bowling actions. This analysis took place on Monday 20th May 2013. The report of the independent analysis was received by ECB on Tuesday 28th May 2013. The reports identified that the bowling actions of each player displayed elbow extension in excess of the permitted 15 degrees during analysis. This analysis follows the same procedures used by ICC in such circumstances.  Consequently and in accordance with the regulations, both Querl and Taylor are suspended from bowling for England and in competitive county cricket until such time as they have submitted to a fresh independent analysis in which it is concluded that they have remedied their actions. The suspension is with immediate effect.  ECB will make no further comment on this matter.”

Taylor has now been reported twice in a year. This raises a few interesting points.

Law 24.3 states that,

A ball is fairly delivered in respect of the arm if, once the bowler's arm has reached the level of the shoulder in the delivery swing, the elbow joint is not straightened partially or completely from that point until the ball has left the hand. This definition shall not debar a bowler from flexing or rotating the wrist in the delivery swing.

Which leads us to question exactly whose definition of 'fairly delivered' are we taking into account?

Taylor has played 12 matches and taken 21 wickets at an average of 42. If you were a division 2 batsman I would say that whatever bowling method he is currently using is perfectly 'fair'. He takes a wicket every 72 balls. Again, as a batsman, those sort of statistics seem very 'fair'.

The next question is really to do with how rubbish you must be to have those sort of figures and still be done for chucking. Most chuckers do so in order to deliver some great mystery ball, some wonderful fizzing, spitting, all singing, all dancing 'other one'. Jack Taylor doesn't. He chucks it, gets smashed, and is now suspended by the ECB for being a rubbish chucker.

The worst things about Taylor being suspended?

We are now going to have to watch more of Ed Young and his 70 average.

Gidders to the rescue

Day 2: Lancs 310 v Glos 143 -4.

An intriguing poised game continued to see-saw its way between the rain clouds and leave Glos with a fighting chance of still getting something from the match.

It was a day of contrasts as 39 year old Glenn Chapple bagged his 900th first class wicket and 18 year old Gloucestershire paceman Craig Miles took career best figures of 6 for 88. Even more impressive for Miles is the fact that this is the third match in a row in which he has taken career best figures, following up his 4 for 83 against Hampshire, and 6 for 99 against Worcestershire. Whilst these figures are clearly impressive for a young bowler, lets not forget that both Liam Norwell and David Payne took wickets when bursting on to the scene. Norwell and Payne both seemed to have regressed this season and it is to be hoped that Miles can continue to take wickets when teams more familiar with facing him.

After losing an hour to rain in the morning, Gloucestershire did everything that could be asked of them. 5 quick wickets left Lancashire reeling on 244 for 9 only for numbers 10 and 11 to put on 66 for the last wicket. In the context of this match that final wicket partnership could well turn out to be a decisive one. I guess we shouldn't blame Gloucester's young bowling attack too much, but having worked so hard to put themselves in a good position they did seem to throw it away too easily by spraying it around to the tail enders.

In reply Glos were very quickly in the mire. Captain Klingon became Chapples 900th victim, Dent lazily left a ball that thudded into his pads to chalk up yet another dismissal that speaks more about his lack of concentration than his lack of technique. The House slashed at a ball that was too close to his body to cut and O'Mish was strangled down the legside. At 66 for 4 at least we were thinking that Lancashire's final wicket partnership wasn't quite as key as we first thought.

But then cometh the hour, cometh the Gidders. Standing tall, and lumbering forward Gidders and Benny managed to steady the ship and set sail for an inevitable early morning collapse on day 3. We do pity the poor buggers who have to write summaries for all the county championship matches day in day out, but we think they were really stretching it when they whimsically muttered that it is easy to imagine how much Gidman could have achieved in the game were it not for injury. Whilst Gidders has always been susceptible to niggling little injuries, we can't think of any major periods when he was out of the side. The Jessop Tavern does have a slightly soft spot for Gidman mainly, we suspect, because he represents everything that we love about Gloucestershire. For the most part Gidman is maddeningly inconsistent, frequently getting himself in, then even more frequently getting himself out. Yet he always offers you those glimpses of talent. Those moments that make you think, maybe now he will kick on and dominate teams on a weekly basis. Gidman hasn't passed 1000 runs in a season since 2009. He has 2 hundreds since that same year. 2009 was also Gidman's first season as captain. Unfulfilled potential. Probably not. He's probably achieved everything we could realistically have expected.

Still, we are happy to re-write this if he makes a big ton today. And speaking of tons, whilst it's been nice to see Benny cementing himself at number 6 (and bizarrely becoming a handy bowler) it's about time he hit a first class hundred.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Katich ruins Gloucestershire's fun

Day 1: Lancs 174 -4 v Gloucestershire

Gloucestershire's young seam attack (combined age of Miles, Norwell, McCarter and Benny is 83) very nearly made the Jessop Tavern View eat its words. Fortunately Simon Katich and his ridiculous technique came to our rescue.

Gloucestershire will probably be slightly disappointed with today's final scorecard. Having reduced Lancashire to 90 for 4 just after lunch by breaking the all-test partnership of Katich and Ashwell Prince, Glos would have fancied making more inroads before rain and bad light ended play after only 48 overs.

Young Northern Irishman Graeme McCarter, who slightly surprisingly got the nod ahead of James Fuller, took 2 early wickets to justify his selection. He was well supported by Craig Miles, with whom he shared the new ball, thus meaning Glos opened the bowling with a 20 year old (McCarter) and an 18 year old (Miles). Sadly Liam Norwell sprayed it around a bit.

Having just watched the highlights from today's play, can anybody tell us whether Liam Norwell has always had such a ridiculous run-up? He seems to comically veer to the left before then approaching the crease at a bizarre angle. We don't remember him having this laughable approach to the crease, but we haven't exactly seen a huge amount of him since he emerged into the team.

Glos will need to take early wickets tomorrow morning and bowl Lancashire out for below 250. The pitch is expected to turn a lot on the last couple of days, so Glos cannot afford to have to chase too many. Still, maybe Ed Young will run through Lancashire in the second innings. Young has a first class average of 70. He's played 21 games. He's played 21 games as a bowler. This is the man's job. Awful.

Match Preview: Glos V Lancashire

Gloucestershire head to the land of thieves desperately hoping to steal some much-needed points against a Lancashire team hoping for a quick return to the first division.

Gloucestershire's chances have been dealt a serious blow with the news that neither Ian Saxelby or Will Gidman will be available due to shoulder and ankle problems respectively. Given how Gloucestershire's young attack suffered last week against Worcestershire without either of its two most experienced and consistent performers, some serious questions will now be asked of the likes of James Fuller and Liam Norwell who find themselves leading the attack.

Lancashire's batting lineup also contains two test 'superstars' in Simon Katich, and Scouse African, Ashwell Prince. Help yourselves boys.

Gloucestershire look likely to stick with the same side that got wholloped last week. This means that Gareth Roderick keeps his place behind the stumps after an impressive debut (naturally, we have no word on whether Cameron Herring was available for selection or not). Ed Young or Graeme McCarter will compete for the final bowling spot after Jack Taylor was suspended for being a chucker.

The Jessop Tavern reckons that unless the batsmen can put together a performance as a unit, this game could be over pretty quickly.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Show us the money!

YB40: Glos beat Unicorns by 29 runs.

Lets by honest, despite the inconsistencies of their championship form, the Gloucestershire money men will be delighted with today's win over the mighty Unicorns that take Glos to the top of Group C in the YB40.

It wasn't exactly a commanding victory against very meek opponents, but 50s from captain Klinger, Benny Howell and a pissed off Ian Cockbain were more than enough for even Gloucestershires porous bowling attack.

We'd like to know what Ian Cockbain thinks of his demotion to 2nd XI cricket this season. Having had something approaching a break through season in 2012 (764 runs at 34) Cockbain now finds himself behind Benny and Dan Housego in the championship side. Whilst individually, each batsman in the championship has contributed at some point this season, the lineup has failed to gel together and produce runs as a unit. Cockbain's little cameo of 52 from 30 balls today will hopefully be a timely reminder of his credentials.

With Somerset losing today against Leicestershire, Glos now sit on top of Group C. Kaiser Tom Richardson is probably, as we speak, sat with a calculator, sun visor and a fag hanging out of the corner of his mouth working out how many more flats we can build if we win a one day competition.

Anyone else fed up with 'encouraging performance'?

Day 4; Worcs beat Glos by 10 wickets.

The writing was so obviously on the wall for this one that the Jessop Tavern feels that most Gloucester fans hardly need us to comment.

2013 continues to be an up and down season for the Shire who are still struggling to shake off the tag of being a young team still learning their trade and displaying "lots of positives".

We can start with the positives. Debutant wicketkeeper Gareth Roderick translated his excellent 2nd XI form into runs for the first team and thus has posed an interesting selection problem when previous gloveman Cameron Herring recovers from conjunctivitis. Roderick scored a backs to the wall 79 not out to lend an element of respectability to the final score. After the 'Jon Batty years', having two young stumpers battling it out is a most welcome change. Craig Miles also returned figures of 6 for 99 to underline his potential. He also contributed to a 9th wicket stand of 48 with Roderick.

Sadly though Glos yet again find themselves putting forward encouraging performances by youngsters to mask what was a comprehensive hammering by Worcestershire.

Shorn of Will Gidman and Ian Saxelby the bowling attack really failed to step up to the mark. For all Craig miles' 6 wickets, sadly 260 runs were on the board before he opened his account. Both James Fuller and Liam Norwell returned respectable figures, but neither led the attack. With David Payne struggling for form it is to be hoped that both Gidman and Saxelby are back from injury soon. Jack Taylor performed an admirable impression of Ed Young, failing to take a wicket whilst leaking runs at almost 5 an over.

With the experience in this Gloucestershire side residing solely in the batting department it is disappointing that no batsman contributed a significant score. But hey, we've moaned about this before so why should we be surprised. Glos can probably consider themselves a little bit unlucky to have run into Alan Richardson on devastating form but enough Gloucester batsmen got starts that someone should have gone on (that's you Gidders; not as easy as milking hundreds from the students, eh?!)

Before this season started King John was trumpeting about how youth and inexperience were no longer acceptable excuses. It would therefore be nice to not have to keep writing about 'encouraging performances' from young players. Whether theses youngsters are ready to make the step up from 'encouraging performers' to week-in, week-out performers remains to be seen.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Richardson runs through the usual suspects

Day 1: Glos 234 v Worcs 65-0.

If we were to ask Gloucestershire fans which two batsmen got themselves into positions to put their team into a commanding position today, only to throw it away, you wouldn't need too many guesses. Hamish O'Marshall and Gidders made 45 and 41 respectively and then perished. Now we'd love to tell you how they perished, but the ECB were so disgusted with O'Mish and Gidders plundering cheap runs against the universities last week that they have refused to post highlights of the first days play. Thus, without any evidence to the contrary we are left to presume that Gidders was bowled by not moving his lumbering feet out of the crease to a full ball that maybe angled in a bit. O'Mish on the other hand was almost certainly caught in the slips driving loosely. Any one going to contradict us? Thought not.

In fairness, having been asked to bat first 234 probably is a par score. It could have been much better when Benny and O'Mish were going well, but it could have been much worse had Alan Richardson not been so old that he could only bowl in short spells.

Effectively there were two games going on today. The one when Richardson was running through us on his way to career best figures of 8 for 37. And the game when Richardson wasn't bowling and Gloucestershire were flogging the rest of Worcestershire's pop gun attack for 5 an over.

Richardson is a man to whom the abject mediocrity of county cricket is tailor-made. He trundles in as fast as his 38 year old legs can carry him and just about manages to propel the ball to the other end. His height gets him a bit of bounce and he nibbles the ball around. Modern day batsman who are unable to cope with anything that isn't straight and full seem bamboozled by someone who can consistently bowl a line and length, and perish. If you want to know how bad modern county cricket is then Richardson is your man. He made his debut in 1995, shuffled around unconvincingly at Derby, Warwickshire and Middlesex before ending up at Worcester. Having been canon fodder for most of his career he then discovered that two tier cricket is great as it condenses all the really really shit players in one division where you can then plunder to your hearts content. Perfect. Incredibly, Richardson then discovered that county cricket is so poor that he could even take 73 wickets in division 1 in 2011 (something that Wisden were so shocked about that they made him one of their cricketers of the year in 2012). This might be slightly unfair on Richardson who is a perfectly nice, honest journeyman.

As a Gloucestershire fan at the moment you could argue he is exactly the sort of bowler Glos could do with in order to allow the youngsters the opportunity to be fast and loose at the other end. However, who really wants to see journeymen pro's still pottering about the outfield as they approach 40. We've said this before, and we'll no doubt say it again (probably many times) but if we are going to be crap, we might as well be crap with a bunch of kids.

Gloucestershires kids were crap at the start of Worcestershire's innings. They now need to have a big first session tomorrow to keep themselves in the game.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Hampshire match review: Glos again impress, despite rain delays and yet more injuries

Hampshire 274 (Adams 138*, Miles 4-83) and 120 for 4 drew with Gloucestershire 400 for 4 dec (Klinger 163)

Day 3 highlights:
Day 4 Highlights:

A week ago, the Jessop Tavern View was delighted to report that captain, Corporal 'Maxy' Klinger had finally delivered some runs and a first victory of the season against Leicestershire. Fast forward a week and we're pleased to report that Glos dominated a rain-affected match versus Hampshire and the skipper struck an impressive second successive championship hundred in making 163.

So, what to make of this week's match? Hampshire are clearly an inconsistent side; they started off well, but managed to lose comically to Essex from a winning position last week. Their batting lineup was missing Michael Carberry, who turned out for the Lions against New Zealand, despite being 32 and surely unlikely to represent England again in future. The absence was keenly felt, as Hampshire were reduced to 97-8 on the first day, before a partnership of 128 between skipper Jimmy 'not the Jamaican one' Adams and Danny Briggs took them to a reasonable first innings total of 274. Adams finished 138* and without him Hants would have struggled to crack 150.

The encouraging thing was that despite injuries to our seamer attack, we still took wickets and it was great to see 18 year-old Craig Miles take a career-best 4-83. Alex Winter wrote on the Cricinfo live blog that Miles has filled out and added several yards of pace since his debut as a 16 year old a couple of years back. The bad news was that key man Will Gidman injured an ankle on Day 1 and then somehow re-aggravated it attempting to open the bowling in the second innings. Surely with little to play for it would have better to leave him to rest up off the field? At least we have a university game next week, so most of the crocked players can rehab ahead of the crucial local derby against Worcestershire on May 22nd.

The batting performance was also extremely encouraging. Klinger survived an early drop in the slips to hit a commanding ton. He was severe on anything wide and also took a heavy toll on erstwhile Lions prospect, Danny Briggs. Chris Dent scored a typically fluent 40-odd, before succumbing to what is fast becoming a trademark waft and nick off to a very wide delivery when well-set. He's obviously learned a lot from a few years of playing with A Gidders and O'Mish. Dan Housego continued to impress, with a fast-paced 50 on Day 3 and Alex Gidman cashed in against his favourite Division 2 quality bowling in striking 69 which helped us towards maximum batting points. Benny Howell continued his happy knack of taking wickets while bowling reasonably economically at 1st change and also managed a red-inker to guide us to a declaration straight after lunch on Day 4.

The rain throughout the match meant that we were never realistically going to be able to force a result, but it was still pleasing to see the bowlers again make inroads. Our depleted attack still took 4 wickets before Hampshire re-took the lead as the game petered out into a draw. All in all, 11 points from a game where more than a day's play was lost to the weather is an excellent result for King John's boys.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Corporal Klinger ton guides Glos to first LVCC victory

Gloucestershire (21 points) 280 (Taylor 61, Freckingham 4-69) and 191 for 1 (Klinger 103*, Dent 71) beat Leicestershire (5 points) 250 (Thakor 75, Howell 5-57) and 217 (W Gidman 4-39) by nine wickets

Day 3 Highlights:

Day 4 Highlights:

A first Championship ton from the skipper, Corporal 'Michael' Klinger secured a convincing first win of the season for the 'shire at Grace Road. The Jessop Tavern View has thus far been critical of Klinger's batting, so it was pleasing to see him hit back with a first ton for the county, while guiding us to a comfortable victory against Leicestershire. At the start of Day 4, a potentially tricky task awaited, with 172 still needed and the ball new and hard. Klinger and Chris Dent negotiated the opening half hour safely, then pushed on as the ball softened to post a solid opening partnership of 129, which broke the back of the chase. Dent struck a pleasing and needed 71 of his own, before being LBW to a Naik shooter with the last ball before lunch. The hard work was done by this point though, and Dan Housego helped usher the Corporal through the nervous 90s to complete his hundred with the winning boundary.

We can't help but be delighted with the win. Yes, Leicestershire look one of the weakest sides in the country, with a mediocre bowling attack even when Hoggard is fit, but you can only beat what's put in front of you. We're very encouraged by the fight we showed on Day 2, when staring down the barrel of a first innings deficit. We're also pleased that we showed some cutting edge with the ball when restricting Leics to just 217 in their second innings, thus setting up a very 'gettable' victory target. Klinger is obviously a decent player and we are expecting more runs from him, ideally in the first innings of future matches!

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Glos in 'unexpectedly resilient effort' shocker

Leicestershire 250 and 32 for 2 lead Gloucestershire 280 (Taylor 61*, Gidman 52, Freckingham 4-69, Williams 4-69) by two runs

Highlights from Day 1 at Grace Road:

Halfway through today's play, we were feeling pretty downhearted. Glos were struggling and the prospect of conceding a first innings lead was looking likely, with the boys 101/5 at lunch. We sent some negative tweets and pondered life at the foot of Division Two of the LVCC. It had been a similar story at the end of Day 1, another day, another promising start with the ball preceded yet another let off as the opposition lower order again scored valuable runs to take them to a vaguely respectable score. All part of the ongoing narrative of mediocrity from Glos' inexperienced side, lacking in star power.

However, in the afternoon and evening sessions, a remarkable turnaround occurred. The last five wickets managed to add a creditable 234(!) runs, with young Jack Taylor starring with an unbeaten 61. Benny Howell chipped in a useful 52 to go with his 5-fer yesterday, as did Will Gidman. Even number 11 Craig Miles did well in putting on 41 for the last wicket and helping take Glos to a second batting point. It led us to ponder whether both sides had tried to old school cricket trick of reversing the batting order, to lull the opposition into a false sense of security. You do wonder whether Glos would have done this deliberately though, as in our school days the tactic was generally only employed when you had bowled the opposition out for under 50, as opposed to after they had scored a reasonable total.

There was more good stuff to come, as the ever-reliable Will Gidman struck twice with the new ball, to leave Leics in a vulnerable position overnight, with a lead of just two runs. You wonder whether our flaky batting line-up is capable of chasing much above 150 to win from here, but to have put ourselves in such a good position does say a lot for the spirit in the side. We may lack quality and consistency, as exposed by a superior all-around Northants unti last week, but Corporal Klinger's side don't appear to lack for heart. Encouraging stuff and let's hope we can press home our advantage tomorrow and get a crucial first win of the season. Fingers crossed.

For those of you who can't get enough of the Jessop Tavern View's cheery output, you will be pleased to know that you can now follow us on Twitter at @jessoptavern. You never know, if we get a few followers, we might actually be tempted to try for some pithy Glos-related quips in 140 characters or less