As England fly home from their tour to South Africa, new coach Mark Robinson undoubtedly has some issues to reflect upon; but he also has some reasons to be cheerful:
1. They Took Home The Silverware
England might have lost a couple of matches they would have hoped to have won – particularly the ODI, when the loss also meant dropping points to a rival in the race for automatic World Cup qualification. But even Australia lose the odd match here and there (the Southern Stars have dropped points to both India and New Zealand so far this year) and at the end of the day, England recovered to bring home the silverware in both the ODI and T20 series.
2. They Have Taylor and Shrubsole
As if we needed reminding, England have in Taylor and Shrubsole two world-beaters who could carry them to WWT20 glory in India. Despite a couple of blips in ODIs 2 and 3, Taylor topped the batting numbers with 278 runs at an average of 56 and a Strike Rate of 125; whilst Shrubsole looks to be back in the sort of form that made her Player of the Tournament at the last WWT20 – taking 15 wickets at an average of 16.5*.
3. They Have a Coach Who Is Doing The Right Things
Mark Robinson’s reign might not have gotten off to the perfect start, but he has done a lot of things right on this tour. Despite what you might think, I firmly believe that one of them was not dropping Tammy Beaumont for the final T20, despite her failures in the first two matches; and in the final game she proved something – to him, to me… and possibly even to herself – by carrying England home when things were actually starting to look just a little shaky for a moment! Similarly the faith shown in Amy Jones and Danni Wyatt will also hopefully start to pay dividends, as Mark starts to make his… er… MARK!!
* Stats include the warm-up matches.
Additional reasons to be cheerful
We can beat anyone on our day – although the Aussies were undoubtedly better than us last summer, we still beat them 3 times, including twice at T20
We genuinely made a statement on Sunday – we didn’t just pat it around and wait for the bad ball to score the 6.5 per over we needed.
Reasons not to be cheerful:
We are still heavily reliant on a few batters. Even though Sunday’s performance was the best of the tour, she stills cored almost 50% of our runs. Next time she falls cheaply, will the rest step up or will they lose confidence?
Still not hitting as many sixes as other teams. This was of course our biggest failing in the last WT20
Fielding – what on earth has happened here? The Cape Town match wasn’t a one off as it was just the same in Joburg
The fact that WCSL will be confined to T20 in 2016, and to just a 3 week window. WCC will still be everyone’s domestic bread and butter, and until a full 50 over SL competition is launched, we have little prospect of developing new England blood in the batting department. If necessary, the ECB needs to fund a 50 over SL in future seasons, even if this means radically downsizing women’s county cricket.
I think the ECB may choke on their Waitrose breakfast at your request for additional funding, when they’re trying so desperately trying to subsidise/outsource the WCSL project.
Apart from a couple of counties how much real money is available to Women’s and Girls county cricket. My local county have dominated the game without a serious budget but now with the WCSL they’ve not even bid for a Hosting spot.
I do agree that WCSL needs to be akin to the Aussie big bash and provide a comp that develops both short formats with attached academy structures may be the only way forward. Otherwise why would a county spend £££s developing players to jump ship to the WCSL?
Hi Baz, yes I agree there isn’t a bottomless pit of money. However what I’m saying is that if funding was allocated to the WCSL to allow it to start as a 50m over comp then WCC could continue on reduced funding, one obvious change would be to make county cricket regional so that overnight stays would not need to be funded. Re your comment about counties developing talent and then losing them to the WCSL, that’s not really different from the current situation where lower division counties lose their best talent to Division 1 under so-called ‘loans’
Sorry, Martin – can’t agree with your comments on the WCC. Look back over the last decade or so at the silverware England have collected. Where were those players developed? Yup – County Cricket. The S/L may, or may not, develop players in the future, but it is wrong to claim CC hasn’t done it in the past, and, therefore, it seems reasonable to say, could do so again. The Super 4s never developed anyone. It might have been an England trial, it might not, but development – no! Will the S/L develop new players? We’ll have to wait and see, but, of course, they won’t be ‘new’. They will have learned their skills at club and county.
Or will the S/L be a diluted S4s? The introduction of overseas players should raise the standard, but they could easily have been introduced into county Div 1. If that had happened I suggest the difference between an 8 team Div 1 and the S/L would be minimal, except in one, I suggest, important way. Counties could, with the money spent on them proposed for the S/L, have much more easily developed a fan base. Loyalty to an amalgam of institutions may be much harder to foster.
If development really is your aim then much, much more needs doing at the grass roots. I look at club cricket with some dismay. Where I wonder are the players 10 years from now? It’s fine to worry about tomorrow, but I suggest it’s better still to also worry about the day (and years) after that!
I agree the Club level is in disarray, even the premier clubs are struggling to run 2XIs on good days and this was supposed to be a requisite of Premier league clubs.
The drop out rate at County and Club is high and the women’s game struggles to replace or tempt back the ones who leave.
The WCSL will either give some player a chance to shine or highlight a lack of depth.
Until the ECB starts the recruitment drive afresh of course.
Wokimgham Ridgeway struggling to run ONE XI a coupe of times last season 😦
Syd – they sometimes managed a perfect 2XI but a short 1XI.
Hi Don, yes of course all England’s stars have come from county cricket. But the period when we won the most silverware was 2009-11 when the other countries were amateur and England was at least starting to embrace professionalism via the Chance to Shine arrangement, giving us a significant advantage. My concern is that now other countries have also gone professional, we are being left behind, and the talent supply from county cricket has dried up in the last few years. No one is making a strong case to break into the England squad. A season long SL of both T20 and 50 over should be much better than the S4s, which was confined to just a handful of matches. Yes every player starts off in club cricket, but the best move through the pathway, and a season long SL will be better than the WCC as it will make the gap to international cricket more manageable.
1,2,3 SA tour pluses:-
1. Taylor is in prime T20 form – she’ll need to be to win the WC because she is one of our few batsmen that can score many runs very quickly
2. Knight demonstrating she is a T20 batsman and has the capability to cause considerable damage in overs 10 to 20
3. Elwiss demonstrating she shouldn’t be carrying the drinks as often as she does
1,2,3 SA tour mysteries (‘mystery’ = unexplained to those not in ‘the know’):-
1. Winfield being omitted from the T20WC squad (when others with worse records were selected).
2. Greenway’s absence – injury or dropped ? (surely not the latter for T20 with her most recent T20 scores of 13*, 19*, 18*, 25, 26 and 20*.
3. Elwiss not playing in the 3rd T20
1,2,3 WC outcomes:-
1. Winning the T20WC would be a bonus
2. Not getting out of the group would be a disaster
3. Somewhere in between is what is expected to happen
1,2,3 WC concerns
1. Robinson doesn’t know his first choice T20 XI (perhaps not that surprising given he’s not been in the job long)
2. Dependence on the ‘famous 5’: Edwards, Taylor, Knight, Brunt and Shrubsole. In T20, since 1/1/2013, Edwards, Taylor and Knight have scored 1436 runs with all the others combined contributing 852 runs. For the SA series it was 321 runs v 102 runs for the rest.
3. Players to roles – with the notable exception of the ‘famous-5’, it doesn’t look like others have very defined roles, almost as though the names of the remaining players are written on the back of playing cards and 6 chosen more or less at random. The ‘famous 5’ are the only ones assured of selection for any XI.
Agree about Beaumont. She played quite nicely and may be able after all to provide some batting backup in the WWT20. Not sure she’d be in our absolute best side though. As far as hitting sixes goes, it’s not necessarily too big a deal, as long as we hit a lot of fours and show some intent. Taylor, for example, very rarely hits sixes and she’s a phenomenal player.
Elwiss was unlucky to be dropped from this game but she doesn’t seem to be negatively affected by being left out as much as the others. For example did not play in first 2 ODIs but came in for 3rd and did very well. Maybe Robinson knows this, and that’s why he did it. I hope Robinson is telling Sciver and Wyatt that their cheap dismissals mean absolutely nothing – they tried to do the right thing. And by the way I’m nearly always cheerful when it comes to England!