Tuesday, 12 April 2011

New season, new questions

So, the first game of the season is out of the way and Gloucestershire came away with a resounding 7 wicket win. A few questions have already crossed my mind: Are our youngsters actually any good? How bad are Derbyshire? Does the county really make more money from gym memberships than hosting England one day internationals? And finally, how do you find out information about the county from sources other than the official site?

One of the problems in supporting county cricket from afar is the lack of decent information on your beloved county. This makes it rather difficult trying to write a preview for Thursday's match v Glamorgan when you have no idea of team news until the morning of the match. The Guardian's County Cricket live blog has been a resounding success this season and last. Happily there even seemed to be a few Glos followers reading it during the first round of matches.

However, they understandably tend to send reporters only to Division 1 matches, or those involving Surrey or Middlesex (not a bias issue mind, more that their home matches are just down/up the road from their office). Gloucestershire's win didn't even warrant a full write up on the Guardian or Telegraph websites (we got a Day 3 report) and the match reports in the local press tend to be pretty generic. Cricinfo did one though.

The official site, while a useful source of information on random second team matches and much improved from recent years, is not exactly great. I'm left wondering if any Gloucestershire players are using social networking sites? I imagine they would be, as 20 and 30-somethings with plenty of free time on their hands. There seem to be a lot of other international and county cricketers active on Twitter, so presumably some of the Gloucestershire players use it as well.

One thing that would be interesting would be if we could get a guest post or two over the course of the season from some of the squad. Maybe even John Bracewell or Tom Richardson if they're at a loose end? If you read this and you're John Bracewell, one of the players, or even if you know one of the players, leave a comment and we'll get in touch.

Right, back to scouring the internet for an update on whether Kane Williamson's visa has been processed in time for him to make his debut at the SWALEC stadium on Thursday...

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