Monday, 13 October 2008

We fought the Law and the Law, erm, lost...

That's what the Committee of Lancashire County Cricket Club will probably be thinking at the moment. After speaking out against the dismissal of Dominic Cork and his comments about the "G & T culture" of the Committee, the rumour was that he'd been given two choices. Stay but relinquish the Captaincy, or fuck off. The announcement today that he was not being given a contract for 2009 and Glen Chapple was taking over as Captain seems to show the shorter answer was the one given.

So, the question is, was it the right decision? After coming within 25 runs of a historic first outright County Championship since 1934 in a heroic fightback at the Oval in the last game of last season, this season has been, well... One to forget. Ignore the third place finish: poor batting; unrest amongst the members; unrest in the dressing room (apparently...) - it's been a bit of a downturn this season. Law himself hasn't been in the best of form - his batting has been in decline since he took the Captaincy on (for Law read Chilton...) and a string of erratic decisions have littered his time at 'the top'. (Erm, again, for Law read Chilton. And Hegg...) At the age of 40, it's fair to say he's past his peak.

Lancashire haven't exactly gone for the youthful approach in recent years. With the signings we've been making the dressing room's resembled a retirement home more than anything else. Which points the finger squarely at Mike Watkinson. Coming up to 7 years in the job and he's taken us backwards, he's dull, no personality, a right miserable get according to people who see him often - plus he's completely unaware of the feeling amongst the members towards him. Apparently he reckons he's popular! Well I've got news for you pal, your dismissal would lead to street parties across the Red Rose County. Do one.

Admittedly, the Committee probably have their fair share of the blame to shoulder an'all. Bobby Simpson wanted to do his own thing with Crawley and rejuvante the youth policy - funny how they both left under a cloud, eh? Watkinson could just be a 'Yes Man' - in which case, and I think this is pretty clear anyway considering some of the other idiotic decisions made by the idiots in charge (I'd be here all night if I started on them!) that we need a change in the club from top to bottom, in the way things are run and who's in charge. But that's another debate for another time - plus there's people in a far better position than me who are discussing it in other places.

So, Glen Chapple comes in as Captain. Not exactly a youthful choice, but he's the most experience Lancashire player on the books. If anyone knows the County, it's him. Plus, he's not got a batting talent to fuck up, so that counts for something. Hopefully his bowling won't suffer, he's been one of the few shining lights this season. His second innings performance against Kent at Aigburth was from another planet and I'm privelliged to say I was there to see it. We say this every year, but let's hope this is what we need to finally bring the Championship back to Old Trafford. It'll be 75 years in 2009 since the Red Rose stood at the top of English cricket. For a club of this size, it's far too long.

Well, thanks for everything Stuart, you've been a superb player for the club. But now we've got to look to the future. And hopefully, it's a future filled with success.

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