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Dean Robinson

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Joined January 2013

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Played a bit of cricket about a decade ago, took 3/2 from 3 overs on debut, only bowled 2 more overs that season. Specialist fine-leg fieldsman, also terrible with the willow.

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Yeah, I suspect getting the counties on board will be the biggest hurdle in seeing any changes made. They might need to look at some sort of revenue sharing, but even that wouldn’t make up for the drastically reduced number of games. Michael Vaughan’s idea for an FA Cup-style knock out tournament could potentially fill some of that gap.

Rebooting domestic T20 cricket in England

I assume the player you’re referring to Joe Mennie, he only played one game for the Hurricanes last BBL, and went wicketless in three matches for the Redback in the Matador Cup, that hardly makes him an automatic selection. He is still a chance (as is Sam Rainbird) especially if, as you’ve suggested, Hilfy gets an Australian call-up.

First-class experience means little or nothing in T20, that aside Timm van der Gugten has played a handful of FC games for NSW and the Netherlands. He also played for the Netherlands in the recent World T20 picking up 9 wickets in the tournament (which is how many Mennie has in his T20 career), and six weeks ago played for the Cricket Australia XI in a T20 against the South Africans.

BBL04 preview: Hurricanes the team to beat, plus Round 1 picks

Shocking luck not only for the Thunder, but for Khawaja himself. I would’ve had him as an outside chance for the World Cup squad if a few injuries hit the squad.

Also feeling a little less positive about by prediction of a 5th place for the Thunder, the loss of Khawaja would’ve put them below the Strikers if it had happened prior to me writing this preview.

BBL04 preview: Heat, Renegades and Thunder battling for a spot in the finals

Since submitting this part of my preview Samuel Badree has been ruled out of the entire BBL due to a shoulder injury, this means Freddie Flintoff is now available for the whole tournament and probably a reasonable chance to do so.

Based purely on the calculations I ran to determine the predictions, the loss of Badree would have shifted the Heat to 5th on the list, with the Thunder jumping them into 4th.

BBL04 preview: Heat, Renegades and Thunder battling for a spot in the finals

I’d say they’d only not pick if he was injured or stopped taking wickets and started conceding 50 runs a game … but, given that he appears to be aging in reverse I don’t see either of those scenarios happening.

BBL04 preview: Scorchers, Sixers and Strikers to prop up the table

Minor addendum, I thought that Joel Paris and Nathan Coulter-Nile were closer to fitness than they apparently are, Paris is still possibly out for another couple of weeks, and Coulter-Nile mightn’t be back until the second half of the tournament. This isn’t going to help the Scorchers case.

BBL04 preview: Scorchers, Sixers and Strikers to prop up the table

Considering he can’t get a game for Victoria in either format a full move to the West probably wouldn’t the craziest idea. Maybe wouldn’t be so great for Agar though.

Perth Scorchers win big with James Muirhead trade

“The current second XI system can remain in place, but expanding the number of Shield teams will give more players the opportunity to compete and develop against top tier opponents.”

I’d argue that doubling the number of teams would be more likely to halve the quality of the teams, thus making them less “top tier” than they are now, and having a potentially negative impact on player development. You might find enough potential “top tier” players to fill out a couple of extra teams without impacting quality too much – ignoring the inevitable discussion about what those two teams would be – but 6 additional teams seems a stretch. There has also been talk of a “National Performance Squad” team and a combined ACT/NSW Country team in recent months.

I’d much rather see the “Future’s league” replaced with a proper second XI system that runs parallel with the Sheffield Shield – same number of matches, same scheduling with ‘inverted’ venues. For example, QLD v NSW are playing Shield at the Gabba this week, so the QLD 2nd XI v NSW 2nd XI would be playing somewhere in NSW at the same time – this would give regional areas access to watching more cricket.

Making sure matches don’t overlap should mean that players could play 2nd XI one week and be promoted to the Shield team the following week without too much worry about clashes.

A thousand different ways to skin a cat, and nice to know I’m not the only one who ponders the possibilities.

Expanding the Sheffield Shield: A blueprint for ongoing Test success

My XI, assuming everyone is fit, would be:
Hughes, Warner, Watson, Smith, Clarke, Marsh, Haddin, Johnson, Starc, Harris, Lyon.

If Haddin isn’t fit I’d go with Hartley, and as much as I like Siddle, if Harris isn’t fit I’d probably try Sayers.

Picking the Australian XI for Brisbane (part II)

Coulter-Nile is not playing in WA’s match, might have been in their initial squad, but not in the final team. So I’d say Hazlewood’s absence is purely because of the ODIs.

Sheffield Shield: The age of decimals is upon us

My understanding is that the “player of the tournament” voting is a 3-2-1 system where the umpires are the ones casting the votes. With that in mind, and because I had nothing better to do, I went back through to see how White and Khawaja might have polled.

The conclusion I’ve come to is that Khawaja is unlucky that he wasn’t named “player of the tournament”, and possibly unlucky that he didn’t collect more votes – for example, his knock of 166 off 110 balls was only the 2nd best innings in that particular match, any other game that would have been the stand-out, but he was following Ben Dunk’s 229*.

Also discovered that Nathan Coulter-Nile must have been close to taking it out as well (he picked up two “player of the match” awards from only five starts).

If anyone’s interested in all the numbers I pulled together you can find them here: http://47runs.com/2014/10/matador-cup-player-of-the-tournament/

The One Day Cup in review

Phil Hughes? As in the same Phil Hughes who plays for the Adelaide Strikers? Perhaps Daniel Hughes.

By my count the Thunder still have four roster spots to fill. Ryan Carters seems like an obvious one, but it’s curious that it hasn’t been finalised. Jason Floros will also probably be back.

That leaves two, one of those will supposedly be picked after the Kingsgrove Cup T20 (Sydney grade cricket) wraps up at the beginning of November, the other might be someone like Blake Dean from the ACT (who played one game for the Thunder last year).

After three wooden spoons, the Sydney Thunder are aiming for silverware

I think Canberra will eventually end up with a BBL team (although I’d rather Newcastle got one first for completely selfish reasons – maybe Newcastle and Canberra could share… but that’s a discussion for another day), however at the moment – as backwards and odd as it may be – it feels like entry to the one-day cup is the stepping stone to the BBL and not the other way around. I can’t decide how I feel about that, and I don’t know if others agree.

With the distinct separation of the one-day and shield seasons, I don’t necessarily see it being a huge hurdle having players turn out for the ACT in the one-day comp and then return to their ‘home’ state for the Sheffield Shield. Bigger hurdle would be getting the ‘home’ states to release them… for example, I very much doubt WA and NSW are going to be super keen to let guys like Behrendorff and Carters go.

Dilution of the talent pool is a reasonable concern, and I think that it is one of the key factors delaying the future expansion of the BBL to 9 or 10 teams. I’d argue that it’s less of a problem in the one-day cup simply because there are less teams, and that the bulk of the ACT side aren’t being plucked out of the existing state sides – ie. overall, it’s expanding the pool of players rather than just stretching them to cover an extra team.

That said, of the 7 non-ACT players in my suggested/fantasy list only Ross, Behrendorff and Carters are current regulars in their respective states one-day sides. Floros has played a couple of games for Qld, but Sheridan is currently playing 2nd XI for Victoria, while Haddin and Lyon aren’t even in the country.

The ACT Comets should join the Matador Cup

Cummins is in the squad for the Australia A one-day games in Darwin later this month, so we should see how he’s traveling after that series – given his history, I’ll be keeping more of an eye on his fitness rather than his form.

I too think it is highly unlikely that Klinger would land at the Thunder, at this point it seems much more likely that he’ll pop up over in Perth with the Scorchers.

Completely agree about the availability of international players, something the Thunder in particular have struggled to get right in previous years, if Stokes is available for 6 matches I think that’s ok. South Africa, West Indies, New Zealand, and Sri Lanka have international scheduled throughout December and January.

Losing Warner and Clarke won't hurt the Sydney Thunder

Added disclosure, I’m a Stars supporter (please don’t hurt me), but for what its worth, if roles had been reversed and an unbeaten Hurricanes side had been knocked out I’d feel exactly the same. Didn’t like when the Renegades were knocked out last year either.

Another finals system I’ve seen suggested out in twitter land is a simpler 1 v 2 and 3 v 4 arrangement. With the winner of 1/2 going to the final, and the loser getting a second chance against the winner of 3/4. Probably more realistic than my suggestion.

The current BBL finals system doesn't work

Yeah, I’m not really sure why they persist with Wade at 3, especially after losing an early wicket.

The current BBL finals system doesn't work

Aside from the Thunder I don’t think the distribution of talent has actually been too bad for the last couple of years.

Definitely no argument that the Hurricanes were the better side last night, just seems unbalanced that a team with 3 wins ends up with the same chance at securing a spot in the final as a team that won 7 or 8. If a spot in the Champions League, and the potential money attached to it, wasn’t also at stake I probably wouldn’t feel as strongly – which is odd in itself because I still think the T20 Champions League is almost completely pointless.

The current BBL finals system doesn't work

Agreed. When the fixture was originally announced the gap was going to be even larger. Presumably the overlap with the Winter Olympics contributed to bringing “big finals week” forward a few days.

The current BBL finals system doesn't work

To make it worse, if that’s possible, Ben Dunk is an ex-Thunder player.

The Sydney Thunder just don't know how to win

Aussies unchanged through 5 Tests is a fantastic thing to see. Shouldn’t have a big psychological impact for both sides.

Also believe that England dropping Root rather than Carberry is the right move, Root has less runs at a slower strike-rate (yes, slower than Carberry) so far this series. Most of Root’s issue seem to do with him batting at 3, Bell really should have been at 3 after Trott went home.

What will the line-up be in the new year Test?

Agreed, I too would take a batting-only Watson (provided it doesn’t make his existing injury niggles worse) over Doolan. No doubt Doolan is good but his Shield form this season hasn’t been spectacular – 16 others (including three of his Tasmanian team mates) have scored more runs thus far, several of which probably should be ahead of Doolan in the pecking order purely on form alone. If Watson plays but can’t bowl then it should earn Faulkner a spot as the fifth bowler.

What will the line-up be in the new year Test?

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