Aussie influx could damage Ashes chance

March 18, 2009 at 1:44 pm Leave a comment


Stuart Clarke is the latest and most high profile Australian international to join a County team this season. Kent this week announced that they are to sign Aussie Pace-man Stuart Clarke as their overseas signing for the first part of the year. He is the eighth Aussie to sign for a county for the domestic season just before the summer’s ashes series. The decision taken by the counties has attracted mixed reactions.

The signings have attracted much criticism due to the fact that it allows the players to get used to English conditions before the summer’s ashes. The signing of Stuart Clarke has attracted the most criticism. He was Australia’s leading wicket taker in the 5-0 home series whitewash. He is hoping to continue his rehabilitation from a knee injury with Kent, to try and force his way into the ashes reckoning. This will be Clarke’s first test series in England, so what this does is allow him to adapt to the conditions before the ashes. England should know how dangerous that could be, as Jimmy Anderson done the same in the New Zealand domestic game and ended up the leading wicket taker in the test series.

Clarke is joined by 7 others hoping to claim a spot in the ashes squad. Chris Rogers continues his participation in the domestic game as Derbyshire captain, while Voges returns for another spell with Nottinghamshire. The rest have only signed up to compete in the first part of the season or for a specific tournament. Those who have signed up for the first part of the season are hoping to put their stake forward. At this moment it is difficult to assess how much this will affect the Aussies, as the conditions are similar in Australia. However, this will provide match practise in these conditions and for Clarke, will also provide a chance to gain match fitness.

The signing of these Australian players also harms the development of young English players. Players coming through the ranks will need match practise and this level, their chances of doing this will be reduced due to the quality of the competition. There is no doubt that this will help the players before the ashes but out of the 8, how many will play a part in the Ashes series. And those with good reputations, Phillip Hughes, could find their chances damaged if they struggle to score runs. This will however, provide first hand knowledge of the weaknesses of the players in these conditions. Even so, England won’t want to be facing an in form, in rhythm and fully fit Stuart Clarke.

Australian players in the Domestic County Championship:
Chris Rogers  Derbyshire
David Warner  Durham (Twenty20 Cup)
Mark Cosgrove  Glamorgan (First half of season);
Marcus North  Hampshire (Beginning of season until June)
Stuart Clark  Kent (Beginning of season until June)
Phillip Hughes  Middlesex (First part of season),
Adam Voges  Nottinghamshire
Ashley Noffke  Worcestershire (First four months of season)
Justin Langer has retired so is not included on this list.

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Entry filed under: Cricket.

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