Glamorgan Cricket Club aim to lift winter gloom

By Edward BevanBBC Wales Cricket Correspondent
The Swalec Stadium
Glamorgan had a tempestuous winter after a new captain was appointed

When Glamorgan's players left the field for the last time last season, having narrowly failed to gain Division One promotion, there was no hint of the unrest to follow over the winter months.

While senior players admitted before the club's pre-season tour to South Africa in March that they could not ignore what went on last winter, the feeling was that professionalism came first and they needed to concentrate on succeeding in play.

Competitive opportunity comes on Friday when newly-appointed captain Alviro Petersen leads the side for the first time in the County Championship against Leicestershire at Grace Road.

He may not feel any pressure but everyone will expect him to bring much-needed success to the club - especially in one-day cricket - and also emulate Mark Cosgrove's performances last season.

Alviro Petersen
South African batsman Alviro Petersen is Glamorgan's new captain

Compared to Cosgrove's attacking approach, Petersen has more of the conventional batsman about him, and much will depend on how he and the top-order batsmen perform.

Following the departures of Jamie Dalrymple and Tom Maynard, there will now be an opportunity for Michael Powell to regain his first team place after playing in only six Championship games last season.

Powell has scored 25 first class centuries and there is no reason why he shouldn't be back among the runs this summer.

There will be healthy competition for places in the middle order with Michael O'Shea, who impressed with the Unicorns last season, and newcomer Stewart Walters hoping to nail down a first-team place early in the season.

There will also be an opportunity for Will Bragg, who missed much of last season with injury, while Ben Wright would hope to secure the number four position on a permanent basis.

With Jim Allenby, Wallace and Graham Wagg to follow, Glamorgan should be able to post sizeable totals and gather more batting points than last season.

Glamorgan need to bowl the opposition out twice on a regular basis, and despite the loss of David Harrison for the start of the season, they appear well equipped to succeed.

James Harris and the former Derbyshire seamer Wagg form a formidable new ball duo and if Allenby can produce last season's outstanding form and Huw Waters continues to improve, Glamorgan's seam attack compare favourably with any other in Division Two.

Mike Powell
Long-serving Mike Powell played just six Championship games last summer

With Adam Shantry fit again and Will Owen, Chris Ashling and John Glover eager to impress after the learning their trade over the past two years, there is plenty of support in the seam department.

Dean Cosker and Robert Croft, who starts his 23rd first class season at the age of 40, are two quality spinners and despite the reluctance by most captains to include two spinners early in the season, Cosker and Croft are just as effective then as in late summer.

There is no reason why Glamorgan should not experience another successful Championship season, but there is an urgent need for improvement in one-day cricket.

The club need the revenue from Twenty20 games and the supporters will always back a winning team.

Despite the absence of Cosgrove in the Pro40 competition, the hard-hitting Australian will feature in the T20 games and if he and Petersen can combine effectively at the top of the order, the side could prosper in this shortened version of the game.

New coach Matthew Mott is a highly-respected Australian coach and Petersen is a quality international batsman so together, if they can revive the club's fortunes this season, it might well erase last winter's unrest.