Few Tears Shed

There was a time when Surrey were the team which set the standards in county cricket. Not just in the 1950s, when they were the most potent team the championship has ever seen, but, more recently, in the era of Stewart, Thorpe, Butcher, Lewis, the Bicknells, the Hollioakes and Saqlain Mushtaq, when they won plenty of games but few friends.

Now, though, things are different. As a general rule, if Derbyshire thrash you at home, you are really struggling.

This, though, is the reality of life for Surrey as the 2010 season begins - some decent signings, the greatest English batsman since who knows when, but a 22 year-old greenhorn as skipper and a team that looks very far from being the sum of its parts. With Ramprakash failing to score in the second innings and Derbyshire's brilliant Australian accumulator Chris Rogers piling up the runs at the other end, Surrey's hopes of a successful start to the season rapidly disappeared into the deep blue ether over The Oval.

Chris Adams will ponder and fulminate, and, in all probability, they'll start to get it right before the season's over.

But, outside their own membership, few tears will be shed.


Thiru Cumaran said...

I'm not sure if you noticed, but Derbyshire's players had only 1 international cap amongst them (Rogers' 1 test cap), while Surrey had 208 caps! :O

Newayz, Leicesters smashed Northants, so I can't wait for Hoggy's boys to get a freebie against Surrey! :D

Brian Carpenter said...

Thanks, Thiru, and well done for totting up the respective numbers of caps (not difficult for Derbyshire).

As I said, I can see Surrey improving over time, but a lot of people will be happy if they don't.

Dean @ Cricket Betting Blog said...

It's a strange one with Surrey for me, and has been for a long time.

Even with the players you mentioned from the 90's - 00's, at times they even struggled with most of them in the team.

They have for a long time been reguarded as one of the, if not, the richest county going.

Add to that the players and facilities at their disposal and you would have to say they are also the most under achieving county.

Although as you mentioned, I'm sure they will be stronger as the season goes on. I can't see Chris Adams standing for those sort of performances for too long.

Thiru Cumaran said...


Yes, it is sad, however, when no-one wants them to improve just because a 22-year old with 10 FC matches is captaining them.

However, you never know, he may turn out to be like Graeme Smith. Smith didn't win a lot of matches or friends during the first couple of years of his captaincy, but look where he is now! SA may not be delivering all the time, but Smith is generally well respected as a captain!

Brian Carpenter said...

Dean: Probably true. As usual I was writing from memory, although a quick glance at the stats shows a fair bit of success in the 2000-2003 period, which was when I was thinking of.

Thiru: The reason Surrey tend not to be popular is that they were very successful for a short period and were perceived as a bit flashy and perhaps arrogant - lots of internationals, lots of money, based in London (something which can cause resentment in provincial England). I'd be surprised if anyone wants them to fail now because of who they've got in charge. From what little I've seen, Rory Hamilton-Brown is a very promising batsman, especially in limited-over cricket, and Adams clearly rates his captaincy potential highly too, although I think he may have gone a bit far in giving him the captaincy so soon.

Dean @ Cricket Betting Blog said...

Thiru, I think you have summed up Graeme Smith perfectly, just look at how the opinions of Flintoff, Warne and Vaughan have changed towards him over the last couple of years.

Think his main problem was, that when he first appeared on the scene he behaved like he was an experienced pro with his sledging etc.

In short, he behaved like he had been there and done it, when in fact he had done neither, and as a result respect towards him wasn't forthcoming.

He hadn't earned his fellow pro's, or captain's respect.

I think Rory Hamilton-Brown at a young age is a risk as captain. In hindsight Smith might have been better working his way up to captain, as Michael Clarke seems to be doing in Oz.

Think the Aussie way might have been a better process for Chris Adams and Surrey to take.

Brian, I know that Surrey had a very successful period, it must have been 2000-2003 as you pointed out, I too haven't checked the stats.

But I do seem to remember they under achieved with the bulk of those players before and after that period.

Brian Carpenter said...

A good summing-up of what Smith was like and why he wasn't popular, Dean.

I think people still understimate him and don't praise his batting enough because it's a bit ugly, but he really is a very, very good batsman. Just look at the stats, the range of types of innings and the times he's produced under pressure. A special player.

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