Monday, August 15, 2022
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County Stalwarts: Steven Croft – The Full Toss

County cricket in some ways will get a nasty rap these days. Most of the youthful technology of gamers appear extra eager about enjoying for some franchise facet which nobody in Lancashire has ever heard of than representing the county that developed them: the likes of Liam Livingstone nearly by no means seem for Lancashire, significantly in crimson ball cricket, attributable to his want to play for each franchise going.

Steven Croft, Lancashire’s longest serving participant, is in some methods a throwback, as he has spent his entire profession with the Pink rose county, and has by no means agitated for a transfer away, so far as I can inform. That stated, he’s additionally a “three dimensional” cricketer- nonetheless at 37 years younger previous of one of the best fielders within the facet, an adaptable batsman who can even bowl significantly in someday cricket (though his off spin is seen much less incessantly nowadays). He’s in some ways an ideal T20 cricketer and has batted at 3 within the blast this season with appreciable success. We will solely hope he’s not taken away from Previous Trafford by the monstrosity that’s The Hundred, and that he performs for an additional season at the least.

Gamers actually transfer round greater than they as soon as did, and as a bigger and wealthier county Lancashire actually are pleased to signal gamers when it fits them- Luke Wells and Phil Salt more moderen additions to the squad who’ve added high quality and depth. Gamers who’re multi-format are extra wanted than ever, and the profusion of English gamers now performing globally in varied T20 leagues speaks drastically of the place many trendy gamers priorities now lie. If a participant calculates that they’re unlikely to make the England Take a look at workforce then crimson ball cricket inevitably loses relevance, and it appears an increasing number of gamers will select to turn into T20 specialists, touring the globe to maximise their earnings.

Again then to Crofty. It’s unusual in lots of ways in which he has not performed extra within the abroad leagues, a couple of appearances for Auckland nearly 10 years in the past not withstanding. He stays a formidable batsman with energy and vary of shot, significantly sq. of the wicket, and has performed each sport this season.

In an period that appears to have a good time denigrating the county sport and what it stands for, it’s good that there’s nonetheless the odd stalwart on the market to remind us that some gamers nonetheless commit the overwhelming majority of their profession to their house city membership. We must always get pleasure from them after we can.

Rob Stephenson



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