Sunday, 21 June 2009

The sad case of the overseas player

There's a great interview with long-time Gloucestershire overseas player Mike Procter (above) in this month's Wisden Cricketer. However, despite tales of winning the Gillette Cup and playing alongside David Shepherd, my overriding impression after reading the article is one of sadness. After all, it is so unlikely that similar loyalty will be seen from an overseas player at Nevil Road again.

Another name springs to mind when thinking of great overseas players at Gloucestershire - Courtney Walsh, whose dedication to Gloucestershire almost defied belief. After making his debut in 1984, he played in ten of the next fourteen seasons (touring England with the West Indies during the other four), captaining the side for three years, and taking over 800 first-class wickets (including 100 in a season twice).

Procter was also a 'proud, one-county man' of course, but what other overseas players have been truly beneficial to Gloucestershire in recent years? Mike Hussey? Ramnaresh Sarwan? Who now remembers Ben Edmondson who played five games in 2007, taking 9 wickets at an average of 50?

Of course, it's not Gloucestershire's fault entirely. The hectic nature of the current international calendar precludes overseas players from consistent performances in county cricket, and this is sad for everyone. Next week (yes, next week) there is a four-match one-day series between the West Indies and India. Enough said.

There are players out there (Mushtaq Ahmed? Justin Langer?) but they are becoming harder and harder to find.

No comments:

Post a Comment