Lowly Worms Crushed Underfoot

Leicestershire v Surrey, CB40, Grace Road, 21st August 2011 

“Q.  Which counties do you least like visiting?

A.  Leicester because the away dressing room is tiny and the stairs are steep and particularly annoying.” – James Harris in September’s Cricketer

The stairs are steep? Perhaps we should install a Stannah Stairlift for you?

Elsewhere in this month’s County Roundup, Essex’s Top Man is Old Fox David Masters, for taking 8 for 10 against Leicestershire at Southend, and 5 for 67 against us at the start of July. 

The Bottom Line?

 “It was only Leicestershire”. 

I thought this match cast some doubt on the theory I heard aired on TMS last week that England’s vigorous warm-up routine had been indicative of their superior will to win.

Surrey opted for a few desultory throw-downs, whereas Leicestershire had what looked like the whole squad out on the pitch making the world’s biggest cat’s cradle

Surrey batted first, and there was a brief spark of hope for Fox-fanciers as James Taylor ran out Rory Hamilton-Brown in the first over with a smart bit of fielding.  What came next at least answered the question “Is Jason Roy any good?”.  On this showing, the answer is a definite Yes, to the tune of 131 out of a total of 292-6. 

Roy, who has the splendid on-field nickname of Roy, is the very model of a modern England cricketer, having being born in Durban in 1990 and come to England at the age of ten.  I’d say he’s taking his place in the orderly queue forming behind James Taylor for a slot in the England batting line-up.

When Leicestershire made their response, Rory H-B showed himself to be a proactive captain by opening the bowling with slow left-armer Zafar Ansari (that man again!).  I thought, at the time, this must have been because he’d worked out that the strength of Leicestershire’s top three (Cobb, Du Toit and Jefferson) lies in using the pace of the fast bowlers against themselves. 

As the afternoon wore on, I wondered whether it wasn’t more that he had noticed that the light was deteriorating rapidly, and calculated that his quicker bowlers would be too difficult to see by 5.30.  If so, he was correct.  Leicestershire were dismissed for 151 in 25 overs, Jade Dernbach taking 4-7 as the murk deepened.

So, Leicestershire conclude their CB40 campaign, having played 12, won 2, lost 8, with one no result and one match abandoned.  At least we’re only second to bottom of the group (unless Scotland can beat Hampshire over the weekend).

In another worrying development, I see that “lowly” seems to have attached itself to Leicestershire as an indivisible epithet in the same way that “diminutive” has  to James Taylor, as in this comment from Vic Marks in Saturday’s Guardian –

“The diminutive Taylor … remains at the forefront of the selectors’ minds, even though he plays for lowly Leicestershire – at the moment.”

Perhaps we should think about replacing dear old Charlie Fox as our mascot –

Bye-bye Charlie!

with this loveable little character –

Mind you, Saturday sees the finals of the 20/20, when perhaps the Lowly Worms will turn … 

4 thoughts on “Lowly Worms Crushed Underfoot

  1. Difficult times, and sad, as few counties have produced as more good home-grown talent in recent years (and I’m not forgetting Stuart Broad and Luke Wright, in additon to Boyce, Cobb, Taylor, Buck, Thakor and the rest).

    I’m glad that JWAT made his debut for England yesterday as it was important to me to see him play for England as a Leicestershire player. Seeing him do so in a Test would be even better.

  2. Let’s hope so (though ideally I’d give him a quick run in the 1 day side beforehand – he’s a lot more consistent in that form of the game).

    It is mildly depressing to watch a side losing consistently, but I’d still rather watch this lot than the marginally more successful side we had a few years ago, stuffed with Kolpackers.

    In an ideal world I suppose this side would stay together and reach their peak in five years’ time or so, but I can’t see that happening.

    We seem to be turning into a kind of nursery. where the better players leave for other counties and/or England, and the less successful are disposed of when they reach their mid-twenties. I see Harry Gurney’s leaving for Notts, and I’ve just found out that poor Tom New’s been “axed” with a year to go on his contract (presumably to make way for the 21-year old Dixey).

    I suppose I can look forward to watching an interesting but unsuccesful side for some time to come.

  3. On Saturday Atherton (Manchester Grammar School and Cambridge) led the other Sky commentators in describing Leicestershire as a ‘northern’ county.

    So Lowly Northern Worms it is!

  4. I think I’ll take MA’s description as a compliment. Marks is at it again in this morning’s Grauniad, by the way – “Lowly Leicestershire managed their own fairytale in one day”. I’m surprised he didn’t describe us as a “Cinderella club” …

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