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Archives for June 2011

Secrets behind Lancashire's Championship challenge

Kevin Howells | 22:10 UK time, Thursday, 30 June 2011

For those who can't or don't want to believe it, Lancashire could end up being crowned county champions this season. It's been a long, long wait for a title - 1934 and all that.

But the table tells us this could be the year. Most pundits didn't even notice them pre-season, and the casual observer has either never heard of some of their players, or worse written them off too early. They could be in for a bit of a shock.

The pundit's first line of defence is usually to say that if the unfancied teams are doing well, it doesn't say much for the rest.

Well, maybe they are over-achieving, but they employ players who are chasing Durham for a reason. That reason is a talent which suggests that should they finish the season strongly, regardless of the title, they could blossom into a very good squad.

Whether it's the pitches, the stupid schedule or lack of skill I don't know, but a look at the batting points won this season isn't great reading apart from Durham and I'm sure coaches are aware of it.

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England begin new one-day era

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Kevin Howells | 21:05 UK time, Tuesday, 21 June 2011

It's interesting that several commentators have expressed some disappointment that England didn't make even more changes to their one-day squads after a disappointing showing in the World Cup, but I think by England standards this is almost seismic. They don't shock us these days.

Under a new captain, national selector Geoff Miller told me the meetings to chose this squad were a bit longer than normal and Alastair Cook played his part in selection.

But as for introducing even more youth into the team, Miller says you have to be careful at looking too far into the future. He said: "It's the development of a side with seniority to make sure you keep winning. A lot of youngsters are knocking at the door but you can't put them all in at the same time".

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