Monday, 31 December 2012

How do Glos fans rate Mike Hussey?

Following the announcement last week that 'Mr Cricket', Mike Hussey is set to retire from international cricket our fellow bloggers across at King Cricket posed this interesting little question, how do you rate Mike Hussey? We thought we'd give it a Gloucester twist and reminisce about the half a season the man with a test average above 50 spent at the Shire.

2004 will live in ignominy as the year of Shabbir and Shoaib, thus when, half way through the season, Gloucester announced the signing of a man who had plundered 16 hundreds in 3 seasons for Northants excitement inevitably followed. At last, here was an overseas player who wouldn't refuse to bowl due to a damp run up, or be reported to the ICC with a dodgy doosra!

The Jessop Tavern View has frequently joked that Gloucestershire are the only team for whom Mr Cricket never scored any runs. This has only ever been cheap pub gossip, us being too lazy to ever back up our sarcasm with any sort of statistically proof. Sat here reading King Crickets remarks that Hussey averaged over 50 in 79 tests in a fairly crap Australian side we thought maybe it was time to check out those statistics.

So there you go. We can now officially claim that Glos are the only team for whom one of worlds crickets most prolific run scorers of the past decade never scored any runs, or at least never scored a hundred. We can but dream of a player who averages 36 for us now-a-days. In fairness to Hussey, he did average over 50 for us in the one day stuff, and lend a hand in Gloucestershire's glorious C&G victory that year (Hussey contributed 36 and 20 in the semi & final respectively....although frankly since the Spear scored a magnificent hundred and 70 odd in these two games we didn't really need anyone else. Ah, the Spear!)

The Jessop Tavern has also often accused Mr Cricket of being a better bowler for Glos than he was a batsman. Sadly this joke will now need to be put to bed. Hussey didn't take a single wicket for the Shire in any form of the game.

So there we have it. One of the most consistent performers in all forms of the game over the past decade never played worse than when turning out for Gloucestershire. Does this dampen his legacy? Should this make people reconsider their eulogies as Hussey straps on his pads one last time this week against Sri Lanka? Probably not. But it does prove that scoring runs for Gloucestershire is clearly harder than at test level.

As a sad little side note; 2004 saw Glos finish in midtable of Div 1 of the county championship and win a one day trophy. Just saying.

Happy New Year to everyone. We'll see everyone in 2013 for promotion and glory!

Friday, 21 December 2012

Michael Klinger signs for Glos.....calm yourselves.

Gloucestershire announced the signing of Aussie plunderer Michael Klinger as their overseas superstar for 2013. More than this, Klinger will attempt to bring his experience of leading South Australia to two consecutive wooden spoons in his appointed role as new club captain. Klinger stepped down as South Australia's skipper at the end of last season. He is the Australian Alex Gidman. No seriously, he is. He has a career average of 37.

Over the last 3 seasons Klinger has scored over 3000 runs at an average of 48 in all formats of the game. Klinger also led the Adelaide Strikers to t20 and a one day trophy. His overall record suggests a player slightly more comfortable in the shorter forms of the games without being a total one day specialist. His first class record this year seems him averaging 26. Last season he averaged 33 in first class matches. In seven matches for Worcestershire last year he scored a respectable 413 runs at 37. Make of these statistics what you will. We're going to suggest he's a journeyman pro.

Whilst the signing of Klinger will hardly boost the membership numbers, it does represent a very shrewd and sensible acquisition by King John and Kaiser Tom. Sadly, gone are the days of marquee overseas signings that get the juices flowing in advance of the season starting. The years of watching the top names plying their trade left long ago. What we are left with is Michael Klinger.

However, as we said, Klinger is a shrewd signing. Lets run through some of the positives. He's clearly not crap (although it's yet to be seen how a hard season of teaching pilates and captaining the team affects him) and he brings with him a wealthy of experience of playing tough, uncompromising Sheffield Shield cricket. He's an opening bat which will hopefully help Glos to solve the opening crisis of last season (6 different openers used...and Jon Batty). He also has captaincy credentials that are marginally better than Gidders. He has also committed for the whole season, and having an overseas player around for the entire year can only be good for a young squad. Finally, and most importantly, Klinger is used to be being shit. South Australia have finished bottom of the Sheffield Shield for the last 3 years (and this year are currently second bottom). For this final point alone, the Jessop Tavern View thinks he looks like a good fit.

One last thought however.......and whisper this quietly. How does a man who hasn't played international cricket for Australia get a work visa? We thought that international credentials were required to prevent clubs signing any more Shabbir Ahmeds. He has played for Australia A, but whether that counts......?