ports and consulting, had raised
6 views
Essex are riding high in Division Two of the County Championship, with their latest batch of homegrown talents alerting the England selectors. After a rocky few years of underachievement amid the fallout from the spot-fixing scandal, is the club about to return to its natural state of winning trophies and punching above its weight?Its a short walk from Chelmsford train station, where a huge image of Alastair Cook welcomes you on the stairs from platform 2, to the Essex County Ground. Past the stretch of estate agents and whats left of Dukes nightclub, across the market beneath the multi-storey car park, under the underpass and then along the edge of the River Can, Goochs river, from where, if you squint, you can still catch slivers of action through the gaps in the old Tom Pearce Stand.This river has been gobbling cricket balls since 1967, when the club finally abandoned the nomadic life to settle here in the heart of Essexs county town. The New Writtle Street ground, capacity 5,000, will bring up its half-century next year. But the party will only kick in if the club are back in the Championships top tier. Getting up there and staying up there has become something of an obsession. An institution that prides itself on upward mobility and hard-won gumption isnt used to kicking its heels on the sidelines. We may be small, says club legend Graham Napier, but we punch above our weight.Essex has never been a rich club. Nor, until The Gnome of Essex, Keith Fletcher, kicked it into shape in the Seventies, was it a successful one. For much of the first half of its existence the county played wherever it could, utilising its sprawling catchment area - running from the edge of the Anglian coast to the north-eastern corner of London - to make ends meet with fixtures here and festivals there.The Gnome changed everything. From 1979, when Essex won both the B&H Cup and the County Championship - their first honours - Fletchers band trampled all over county crickets manicured lawns, winning six Championships and five one-day titles across 14 seasons of extravagant one-upmanship. It helped that Fletcher could call on the best opening batsman in the country, Fletcher and Gooch combining for over 60,000 runs for the club. Today, both sit on the clubs cricket committee.And theyve seen some players. The rivers of talent flowing through these estuaries into the professional game are the stuff of legend. Year in, year out, we produce homegrown players, Napier says. Its the eye for talent that Essex has always had, and for drawing that talent out of people.Still, the new century has yet to deliver much silverware for the good denizens of New Writtle Street. A brace of 40-over titles claimed over a decade ago, coupled with just three seasons spent in Division One since 2000, is only partially offset by claiming the first-ever Englishman to 10,000 Test runs as one of their own. Change was due; some felt overdue.****Towards the end of last season, when it became evident that Essex would finish third in Division Two for the third year running, Paul Grayson lost his job as head coach. The subsequent appointment of the former Yorkshire and England bowler Chris Silverwood - who had been Graysons assistant and the clubs bowling coach - failed to appease those who wanted an outsider, but it was consistent with the clubs style to look at whats already there. In the same vein, a new captaincy hybrid of club stalwarts Ryan ten Doeschate (four-day) and Ravi Bopara (one-day) is now in place. Some would say its verging on the parochial, continually looking within. Others that its the best way to foster unity.The club also has a new chairman. John Faragher is Essex man in excelsis. Made his name at Ford, man and boy; son of former Essex player Harold Faragher, who in 1957 opened the legendary - and still flourishing - Ilford Cricket School with Trevor Bailey; 25 years on the Essex committee, 14 as deputy chairman, and now the top job. Negativity is so destroying! he tells AOC. You need to surround people with positivity. Keep em energised! I had 35 years at Ford. You try and bring to the role: This is business now. It could be motor cars, but our business is cricket.And business is good. Derek Bowden is now into his fourth year as chief executive, having moved from the same post at Ipswich Town. Financially were very sound, he says. Whilst were a small club with a small ground - with a turnover of plus-and-minus four million a year, were not a big business - financially were sound because we have no debt. And we have sizeable reserves, which is prudent. Any members club ought to have reserves.While the much-trailed ground redevelopment is, says Bowden, between phases following the completion of the new block in the car park behind the pavilion, there is a cautious belief that the latest plan, which involves building three new apartment blocks, a new pavilion and a new media centre in one go, will eventually get the green light. Were still working with the developer on the maths. Its quite advanced, but were not quite ready to press the green button yet. And then, of course, theres the story of the Olympic Stadium, and Essexs evident destiny to one day host cricket in it.Were frustrated, he adds, in that on the pitch weve been nearly men. Off the pitch were not nearly men. Off the pitch we do really well. But finishing third in three successive years is irritating. Weve been close, but we havent quite had that thing that takes us over the line. Thats why last year we made the changes on the cricket side of things.The new head coach ambles into the chairmans office and pulls up a chair. Its been a good start to 2016. Essex won two of their first three Championship matches and, as the season moves into one-day mode, sit top of the division. Weve done well, Silverwood says softly. Were posting big totals now. But equally weve bolstered the bowling attack, so we can play a better standard of cricket, a better form of cricket, to stand us in good stead in the first division. What style of cricket does that look like? Its attritional. Attritional cricket.Four-day cricket. Four-day success. Getting up to Div One. Staying in Div One. One day winning Div One. Talk to anyone round here and within seconds its repeated. Its a club-wide mantra. But while the red ball is Essexs route back to parity with the big boys and renewed self-respect as a club, the white ball must also play its part. Chris buys into the objectives of wanting to get into Division One and remaining there, and the strategy of succeeding in T20 in order to fund it. Weve got a clear plan, which is youth development and building on the academy and the region of East Anglia, and augmenting that with talent from somewhere else - and funding that through T20. Because while were a small business - albeit a stable one - we make our money on white-ball cricket and we spend it on red-ball cricket. Our ambition is red-ball driven, but it requires success in T20, so the two things come together.****Cohesiveness and Essex have not always gone together. Faragher may be right to describe the place as a club of individuals, with lots of different characters in there, going right back to the days of [celebrated prankster] Ray East and all those guys. But with big personalities can come big clashes. Around the turn of the century, the Australian Stuart Law and the northern-expat captain Ronnie Irani were ensconced as Chelmsfordian alphas, and the two did not get along. Despite Laws 1,300 Championship runs, the 2001 summer was so rancorous that when the club were relegated he wasnt asked back. They couldnt even say thank you for my services, Law said at the time. Irani, meanwhile, has stayed involved with the club, assuming the role of chairman of the cricket committee in the shake-up that saw Grayson depart.Of course, there isnt a county dressing room in the land which hasnt staged some version of the Law-Irani cold war. The fallout around the spot-fixing scandal, however, hit the club hard. Mervyn Westfield and Danish Kaneria were teammates in 2009 when Kaneria, an experienced Pakistan Test cricketer, persuaded Westfield, a greenhorn fast bowler, to bowl badly during a televised one-day match in return for £6,000 in cash. It took the intervention of the Essex seamer Tony Palladino, who had been shown the money by Westfield after a night out, to finally blow the whistle on a saga that cut right to the soul of the English game. Westfield got four months inside and a lifetime ban, Kaneria too was banned for life (although he continues to claim his innocence in the face of overwhelming evidence). Nobody escaped censure, club included.That was a learning curve for us, Faragher admits. I do regret that it happened. I was disappointed that a young cricketer was sucked in, and Im disappointed that we didnt spot that he was being pulled in. At the time, rightly or wrongly, it never got to the attention of the chairman or myself that something was wrong. When it kicked off it was like, Wow! As a club, you ask yourself questions. Why didnt it get to us? Why didnt anyone feel like they had the confidence or the bravery to come forward?The judders were felt throughout the club. Napier recalls being in India when he was told the news. You feel like youve been let down. No one teaches you how to deal with it. Theyre your teammates and theyve effectively been sold out. And its tough. I dont know why people make those decisions. Its sad for cricket and everybody else, and it does affect a side, and it did. We didnt really perform as a side as we should have done.At least now a system is properly in place. Theres no mobile communications whatsoever. You hand your mobile phones in. Its our duty to hand our phone in, and anyone caught using their phone during a match is in breach of regulations.All thats gone now. These days theres an outbreak of optimism spreading about the place, much of it generated from the chairman. There is something unique and special here! Even Colin Graves will tell you. He said to me, John, dont ever lose what Essex has got. I dont know what it is, but whatever it is, you keep it. Those were some of his first words to me.There are still some hefty challenges to face down, chiefly holding on to their star homegrown talents in the face of big cash offers from richer clubs elsewhere. You can become a feeder county, warns Faragher. Because people recognise the talent that weve brought on here, and they know that were limited with what we can pay our players. We are. Thats a fact. Were not gonna break the bank for anybody.But there are reasons to be cheerful. New attack leader Jamie Porter signed a three-year contract at the end of last season. The brilliant young opener Nick Browne has just penned a new two-year deal, citing his belief in a side that can get up to Division One and win Division One in the next few years, while Tom Westley signed his own two-year extension in February. All are squarely on Englands radar. Some will leave, others will stay, and more will emerge. We cant keep them all! says Napier, who himself is hanging up the boots in September. This remarkably fertile nursery of cricket just keeps on churning out the talent. Nasser, Fletcher, Gooch, Cook! the chairman declares. Its not a bad throw from Essex County Cricket Club, what weve done for English cricket over the years. And there is more to come. There always is.If you want to see what the worlds greatest cricket magazine (and second-best cricket website) looks like, we respectfully implore you to click here. Adrian Peterson Womens Jersey. NBA officials ruled the court unplayable in the Bucks final exhibition game on Oct. 25 because players were slipping, and the game was cancelled midway through the first period. Ryan Ramczyk Womens Jersey. Perhaps Carroll was so prepared for a break because he believes there is very little the Seattle Seahawks need heading into the off-season. "I dont see anything that we need to add. We just have to get better," Carroll said. http://www.thenflsaintsauthenticonline.com/Youth-Ryan-Ramczyk-Elite-Jersey/.7 million, one-year contract, a raise of $2.2 million. Wieters had asked for $8.75 million and the Orioles had offered $6. Alex Anzalone Youth Jersey. A forerunning sled crashed into the worker Thursday at the Sanki Sliding Center. The unidentified worker broke both legs and was airlifted to a nearby hospital. Alvin Kamara Jersey. The native of Mont-Tremblant, Que., captured a World Cup downhill event Saturday, his second this year and fifth career victory on the circuit. The BCCI has clarified that VVS Laxman had eliminated a conflict of interest before a three-member cricket advisory committee got down to interviewing candidates for the position of India head coach. The BCCI eventually appointed Anil Kumble, in whose company, Tenvic, Laxman held shares.The clarification came in response to a DNA report that said Laxman was the second-largest shareholder in Tenvic Sports Education Private Limited. The report also stated that Laxman held 33,332 shares in the company, and that he was entitled to a substantial amount of money in the form of incentives, bonus and other benefits.Mr Laxman informed BCCI that he had sold his total shareholding of 5% in Tenvic Sport in the month of March 2016 and also declared that he no longer held any shareholding or any official or unofficial position in Tenvic Sports, BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke said in a release. This took place prior to the commencement of the operations of this Committee. Mr Laxman was therefore in no position of a conflict of interest at the time of selection of the head coach of Indian cricket team. All assumptions and conclusions to that effect are therefore erroneous.Reports around Laxmans possible conflict were the latest in what has been a controversial selection of the coach.dddddddddddd Sourav Ganguly, part of the advisory committee, and Ravi Shastri, one of the candidates, have had digs at each other. Shastri said it was disrespectful that Ganguly was not present when he was interviewed. Ganguly responded by explaining the circumstances behind his absence, and clarified it was not his decision but that of the committee as a whole. He also said there are other people involved also in the decision-making.Also Kumbles involvement in Tenvic, a company in the business of sports and consulting, had raised concerns around a possible conflict of interest in the past. Kumble has always denied Tenvic, which has cricketers as clients, is a talent management company.Minutes after he was announced as Indias next coach, though, he tackled the conflict-of-interest question. We [BCCI and I] have already discussed that, Kumble said last week. Whatever needs to be done will be done before I take up this role officially. That has been discussed, and it has been clear with the BCCI as well. Something that can be easily resolved. Wholesale Jerseys  Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Authentic Jerseys From China Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys ' ' '

Share

Add comment

O:-)
:-)
:-(
;-)
:-P
8-)
:-D
:-[
=-O
:-*
:'(
:-X
>:o
:-|
:-\
*JOKINGLY*
]:->
[:-}
*KISSED*
:-!
*TIRED*
*STOP*
*KISSING*
@}->--
*THUMBS UP*
*DRINK*
*IN LOVE*
@=
*HELP*
\m/
*OK*
%)
*SORRY*
*BRAVO*
*ROFL*
*PARDON*
*NO*
*CRAZY*
*DONT_KNOW*
*DANCE*
*YAHOO*
*HI*
*BYE*
*YES*
;D
*WALL*
*WRITE*


Rate

Your rate: 0
Total: 0 (0 votes)

Tags

No Tags