Surrey profiles

Rory Hamilton-Brown

It might be his double-barrelled name, his prominent cheekbones or the fact that he was handpicked to become – at 22- Surrey’s youngest captain for 138 years but life seems too easy for Rory Hamilton-Brown. A crisp-hitting middle-order batsman and steady offspin bowler Hamilton-Brown is a gifted cricketer not far from international interest.

Though a spot in England’s limited-overs sides looks in reach, Hamilton-Brown has said captaining his boyhood county, Surrey, to the Championship title is as much an ambition as international selection at this stage. It was not easy initially when Chris Adams, Surrey’s coach, recruited Hamilton-Brown from Sussex to become captain. He was entering a dressing room with some volatile and sceptical senior pros but after a steady first season in charge, Hamilton-Brown led Surrey both to the CB40 title and promotion up to the first division.

That was enough to settle questions about his leadership. The captaincy did, by his own assessment, set him back a touch but he remains a positive strokemaker, ever keen to take the aggressive route. He blossomed as a limited-overs opener and is now prospering in the middle-order in four-day cricket.

Hamilton Brown, another product of Millfield School, also played rugby union for Harlequins and England juniors. Cricket, though his where his pedigree lies. His godfather is Dennis Amiss and Hamilton-Brown had been associated with Surrey throughout his formative years. He made his second XI debut in 2004 as a 16-year-old, scoring 84 against Sussex. Sensing limited opportunities in a Surrey side that was packed with gnarled seniors, Hamilton-Brown moved to Sussex in 2008 where he prospered under Chris Adams’ guidance. That partnership was revived in 2010 when Adams – by now Surrey coach – brought him back to Surrey as captain.

Arun Harinath

Arun Harinath is a top-order batsman who has been involved with Surrey since the age of nine but has never quite managed to nail down a first-team spot. He graduated from the Surrey Academy in 2006 and was awarded a contract with the senior team for the 2007. Making his second XI debut in 2003, Harinath showed his full potential in 2006 by completing his maiden second XI century against Nottinghamshire with 157. He finished the season with an impressive average of just below 40 and featured in all but two of Surrey’s matches in the Championship.

In 2005 he was selected in ECB Development of Excellence XI squad to play against Sri Lanka Under-19s and in the winter of 2005-06 played Sydney Grade Cricket for Randwick Petersham. Yet despite occasional moments of success he has never delivered consistently enough to command a regular place in the side.

Rory Burns

Rory Burns is a left-handed wicketkeeper batsman for Surrey. He has played Second XI cricket for Hampshire but is on Surrey’s books as an understudy to first-choice Steve Davies and Gary Wilson. He made his first-class debut in 2011 against Cambridge MCCU but was dismissed by Surrey team-mate Zafar Ansari. He had a much happier return a year later in the university game against Leeds/Bradford MCCU an unbeaten 101.

Garth Batty

Jack-in-the-box allrounder Gareth Batty had to jink around to find a regular first-team spot. Born in Bradford, he played for Yorkshire in 1997 before moving south to try his luck with Surrey. The young man then went west to Worcester, for whom he took 56 wickets with his offspin (and biffed 491 runs) in 2002. That won him a spot at the England Academy in Adelaide in 2002-03, and the selectors sent for him as they cast around for reinforcements during that winter’s injury-plagued tour of Australia. Batty played two one-day internationals in Australia, impressing with his tight lines and feisty fielding, and with that in mind he was included in England’s 14-man squad for the 2004 Champions Trophy. Doubts persisted about whether he turned it enough to trouble Test batsmen, but he was nevertheless selected for England’s trip to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in 2003. It was an eventful tour – he came close to drowning in a surfing accident in Galle, and at times struggled to keep his head above water with the ball. His batting against Muttiah Muralitharan, on the other hand, was a revelation, and he was instrumental in saving back-to-back Tests at Galle and Kandy. However, since then his chances have been limited to the occasional stand-in role, most notably during the Test in Antigua when Brian Lara reached 400. Despite consistent seasons for Worcestershire he was overtaken by other spinners, but was briefly recalled to the one-day squad to face West Indies in 2009. Not content with the ambition shown at Worcestershire he made himself available to switch counties in the 2009 summer and was snapped up on a sizeable deal by Surrey. He has had success as a senior pro in a youthful Surrey team but had an unfortunate return for Surrey to New Road where he was heckled by the crowd. Steven Lynch

Steve Davies

Steven Davies is one of a glut of England wicketkeeper batsmen vying for a spot at international level. In a short international limited-overs career he has felt the benefit and pain the merry-go-round selection policy that England wicketkeepers have been subjected to. He made a surprise international debut in a Twenty20 against West Indies in Trinidad in 2009 but was soon replaced by Craig Kieswetter as England went on to lift the World Twenty20 in 2010.

Davies then replaced Kieswetter in the 50-over side and travelled to Australia in 2010-11 as England’s first-choice wicketkeeper in limited-overs cricket and back-up to Matt Prior in the Test squad. Just two games into the seven-match ODI that series that preceded the World Cup, Davies was unexpectedly dumped out of the team and replaced by Matt Prior who went on to the World Cup without much success.

Davies remains in the frame, however, having long been earmarked as a player with England potential. It was clear he had talent when he finished above Graeme Hick in the Worcestershire averages in his debut season in 2005, and he was selected for the National Academy and toured the West Indies with England A that winter. A former England Under-19 captain, Davies has impressed everyone who has come across him and, vitally, his glovework is an excellent standard. At the end of the 2009 season, sensing a need to challenge himself, Davies moved from Worcestershire to Surrey where he has been given the responsibility of batting in the top order.

A stylish left-handed batsman, he is particularly fluent through the offside but his tendency to hit the ball in the air has prevented him from nailing down an international position. In 2011 he became the first playing professional to come out as gay and was warmly supported by the wider sporting community for doing so. 

Zander de Bruyn

Zander de Bruyn is reminiscent of the late Hansie Cronje at the crease; tall and elegant, the purveyor of crunching drives, but also with a question mark over his ability against fast, short-pitched bowling. And he is a useful medium-paced bowler to boot – able to break partnerships or keep an end tight for a lengthy period. In 2003-04, he emulated the great Barry Richards, by becoming only the second player in South African domestic cricket history to score 1000 runs in a SuperSport Series or Currie Cup season. Although he excelled at schoolboy level, de Bruyn’s career never really got off the ground until he moved to Easterns in 2002, where he joined forces with their ultra-competitive coach – and newly-appointed national team mentor – Ray Jennings. That season, he played a huge role in an improbable Series victory, averaging 60 and scoring 169 in the final as Easterns overturned a first-innings deficit against the international-strength Western Province attack, and he has gone from strength to strength ever since, until earning a call-up for the Test tour of India in November 2004. Despite scoring 83 on debut, he was dropped after only two Tests. He played once more for South Africa in a defeat to England in 2004, the same game AB De Villiers and Dale Steyn made their Test debuts. That was enough for de Bruyn to abandon international hopes and throw his lot in with county cricket as a Kolpack. He joined Worcestershire in 2005 without much success initially before moving to Somerset in 2008 where he established himself as a valuable senior player. Surrey signed him in 2010 having played domestic cricket in England long enough is now eligible for a British passport.

Matt Dunn

Matt Dunn is a right-arm pacemen who has played Under-19 cricket for England. A product of Surrey’s youth system he made his county debut as a 19-year-old in 2011, staring with 5 for 56 to help Surrey to a seven-wicket win against Derbyshire. He is part of a strong pack of quick bowlers at Surrey so may have to bide his time for opportunities but has impressed whenever given the chance. He had a good tour of Bangladesh for England Under-19s in October 2009, claiming six wickets in the series.

Jade Dernbach

Jade Dernbach is a very modern cricketer. Earrings on both ears, tattoos covering each arm and words to accompany each delivery. His bowling is a merry-go-round of variations with slower-balls, quicker slower-balls, yorkers, bouncers but crucially an ability to touch 90mph. His variety alongside a deep-well of confidence that helps him hold his nerve has made him a regular part of England’s limited-overs teams but he is ‘desperate’ to make the jump to Test cricket.

His accent reflects a journeyed background. Born in South Africa but a graduate of the Surrey Academy, Dernbach became Surrey’s youngest debutant for 30 years when – at the age of 17 – he played against India A in 2003. In 2005 he was thrust into the spotlight when selected to play against Lancashire in the semi-final of the Twenty20 cup, although with figures of 0 for 52, he was clearly under-prepared. His first-team chances were limited thereafter, although he showed some potential in the seconds, claiming 46 wickets at 25 to finish the 2006 season as the Surrey’s leading wicket-taker. A spell in Australia, playing grade cricket in Sydney for Randwick/Petersham, helped to improve his allround game, and his first hint of international recognition came in 2009 when he was called up to the ECB Fast Bowling Programme in Florida and Chennai. He was part of the Performance squad during the Ashes winter in 2010-11, and was playing in the Caribbean for England Lions when he heard of his call-up to the World Cup squad, as a replacement for Ajmal Shahzad. Though he didn’t play in England’s disappointing campaign he made his T20 and ODI debuts the following summer and established himself as an important part of the side.

George Edwards

George Edwards is an exciting quick-bowling prospect. A product of Surrey’s youth system he part of a strong pack of quick bowlers but has caught attention for his ability to bowl quick. After a strong showing in second XI cricket through 2010 and 2011 he made his Championship debut aged 19 against Worcestershire in 2012. Though he needs to add control to his pace he is one to keep an eye on.

Tom Jewell

Tom Jewell is a bean-pole pace-bowling allrounder who played for Guildford before graduating from Surrey’s academy and signing for the club in 2010. He made his first-class debut in 2008 against Leeds/Bradford MCCU but had to wait two years for his Championship debut which came against Northamptonshire. Though he remains someway away from regular first-team cricket he has time on his side.

Chris Jordan

Chris Jordan has been an exciting prospect at Surrey ever since Nadeem Shahid, the second XI coach, saw five minutes of his allround ability. Shahid immediately called then coach Alan Butcher to tell him they had a gem on their books. Five days later Jordan was at first team nets. He impressed there and blazed into Surrey’s team at the end of the season, looking the part immediately. Since that hugely promising start injuries and inconsistency have stalled his career and he missed the entire 2010 season with a back problem.

Jordan’s talent first came to light in his native Barbados, where he was spotted by Bill Athey, who was scouting for a recipient of a cricket scholarship back in England at Dulwich College. He could play for England – and would be eligible through his English grandmother who lives in Hertfordshire – but his heart is also with West Indies. Yet before that becomes a choice he has to find consistency with the ball, runs with the bat and peace with his body.

Murali Kartik

A left-arm spinner in the classical mould, Murali Kartik had long been on the fringes of the national team without sealing a regular place. He has a high-arm action straight from the coaching manual, and possesses all the weapons in his armoury. But he hasn’t always had the breaks and played the understudy to Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh for most of his career. He came close to selection during India’s disastrous tour of England in 2011 but Amit Mishra was preferred.

Kartik forced his way into the Indian team in 1999-2000 after impressive performances in the domestic games, but didn’t seem to enjoy Sourav Ganguly’s confidence and was either used as a defensive option or underbowled. He made his mark as a one-day bowler against West Indies in 2002-03, consistently keeping the batsmen in check on flat pitches. However, his best moment clearly came at Mumbai, against Australia in 2004-05 when he ran through the Australian batting on a dustbowl, taking seven wickets in the match to bowl India to a famous win. However he got to play just one Test more before being consigned to the periphery. He has prospered, however, in English domestic cricket. A stint with Middlesex in 2007 brought him back into contention and his 12 wickets at 20.75 from eight Pro40 games allowed him to break back into the Indian one-day side in the middle of the seven-match series against Australia in October 2007. He was part of Middlesex’s Twenty20-winning squad in 2008 and, uniquely, the only player in the world to play in the IPL and Stanford 20/20 in the inaugural season. Since then he enjoyed a successful spell at Somerset before signing for Surrey ahead of the 2011 season. S Rajesh

Tom Lancefield

Tom Lancefield is a left-handed batsman who has played age-group cricket at Surrey since Under-9s. He was nearly a professional rugby player but chose to focus on cricket. He forced his way into Surrey’s first team in 2010, making a decent start to his Championship career. He spent the following winter playing first-class cricket for Tamil Union Cricket and Athletic Club in Sri Lanka but had his 2011 season restricted to one game through injury.

 

Tim Linley

 

The tall seamer Tim Linley was a graduate of the MCC’S UCCE programme, and represented British Universities in 2004. He joined Sussex for the 2006 season but after playing just one match, against Sri Lanka, he was released and headed northwards to Surrey. It took him some time to establish a first-team place, but survived Chris Adams’ clear-out and in 2010 began to find more opportunities on offer as Surrey rebuilt their standing in the domestic game. In a squad packed with pacier talent, Linley’s line bowling proved very useful and he helped Surrey win promotion in 2011 with his best season, taking 73 first-class wickets at 18.34.

 

Jason Roy

 

Jason Roy was attracting rave reviews before he turned 20 as a prodigiously talented schoolboy cricketer for Whitgift School and represented Surrey from all age-group levels since Under-11s. Born in South Africa he came to the UK aged 10 and soon started to move through the system. He made his Surrey debut as a 17-year-old in 2008 during the Twenty20 Cup and his fielding talents were noticed by England who used him as a sub later that summer against South Africa. Despite consistent performances in the Surrey second XI it wasn’t until the 2010 that he broke into the first team again. One Twenty20 innings made everyone stand up and take notice as he slammed 101 off 57 balls against Kent at Beckenham. Later in the summer he made his Championship debut and he proceeded to score an unbeaten 76 from 65 balls against Leicestershire. His success was enough to alert England’s selectors who gave him a place on the Performance Programme tour to India before the England Lions tour to Sri Lanka in early 2012.

Jacques Rudolph

With an unbeaten 222 in his debut Test innings, Jacques Rudolph vindicated those who believed that he had been a victim of reverse discrimination in South African cricket. His record-breaking, unconquered 429-run stand for the third wicket with Boeta Dippenaar in Chittagong was a delivery of promise long after he had forced his way into the South African squad in November 2001 by sheer weight of runs in domestic cricket. A left-handed batsman who stands tall at the point of delivery with an upraised bat, Rudolph has pleasing footwork, balance and favours the cover drive. His Test debut was balm to the wounds Rudolph suffered leading up to his first entry to international cricket. Twice he was in line for his Test debut, and twice politics intervened. His first international experience came during the unofficial match at Centurion against India in 2001-02, in the aftermath of the Mike Denness affair. And two months later he was named in the side to face Australia at Sydney, but the UCB Board president Percy Sonn vetoed his selection on the grounds of racial discrimination, and Justin Ontong made his debut instead. He fought back strongly, if undemonstrably – an unbeaten 102 saved South Africa from defeat in a classic at Perth at the end of 2005, but 125 runs from six further innings, against the same opposition in a 3-0 whitewash at home, did little to boost his claims.

In January 2007, he decided to move to Yorkshire on a three-year Kolpak deal, suspending his international career with South Africa in the hope of redeveloping his game. At the end of his first season with the club, he extended the contract to keep him at Headingley until 2011 but was released a season early after wanting to return home. Though he returned to Yorkshire as an overseas player in the second half of 2011 he couldn’t do enough to prevent them being relegated and signed as Surrey’s overseas player for the following year. In his first season back in South Africa, he was the leading run-getter in the SuperSport series, scoring 954 runs in 17 innings for the Titans. His form continued into the 2011-12 season and he was rewarded with a recall to the South Africa Test squad for their home series against Australia. Andrew Miller

 

Matthew Spriegel

Matthew Spriegel is a useful one-day batsman for Surrey who is yet to make the grade in first-class cricket. A graduate of Whitgift School and Loughborough University he is a regular captain for Surrey’s Second XI. He had a superb CB40 campaign in 2011, helping Surrey to the title with 424 runs at 53.00 which was enough to earn him an extension on his Surrey contract.

 

Gary Wilson

A former MCC young cricketer, Gary Wilson, the Irish wicketkeeper, signed for Surrey in 2005 as cover for Jon Batty. In 2005 he featured in eight Second X1 matches hitting a highest score of 56. He looked impressive behind the stumps, claiming 32 dismissals which included 26 catches and six stumpings. He has also featured in the Under-19s World Cup in 2004 and 2006 then made his way into regular first-team action for Ireland. However, due to Niall O’Brien’s presence, that wasn’t often with the gloves and he found a specialist middle-order role. It has been harder work securing a county starting berth as he’s been tried in different top-order positions without consistent success.

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Sussex profiles

Monty Panesar
Mudhsuden Singh Panesar, known affectionately in the game as Monty, quickly established himself as a national hero after a series-winning display against Pakistan in 2006. With his black patka, wide eyes and eager (if a touch hapless) fielding, he rapidly became a fan favourite.

Once the saviour of English spin bowling, reaching No. 6 in the Test rankings in June 2007, his position was surpassed by his old Northants colleague Graeme Swann. Panesar, though, remains a quality bowler and very much part of England’s squad.

A Luton lad by birth he progressed through Northamptonshire’s youth teams and was picked for England Under-19s in 2000. He marked his first-class debut a year later against Leicestershire with a match haul of 8 for 131. Opportunities thereafter were limited but a fine 2005 season kick-started his career.

He took 46 Championship wickets at 21.54, and spent the part of the winter at the Darren Lehmann Academy in Adelaide. That was enough for Panesar to be picked for England’s tour of India in February. He made his Test debut at Nagpur picking up his boyhood hero, Sachin Tendulkar, as his first Test wicket and Rahul Dravid as his third.

After years of limited and negative English spinners, Panesar was a revelation. His languid action, hard spin and natural dip deeply exited England supporters. But alongside his skills was an effervesce apparent in his cherubic and unconfined celebrations at the fall of each and every wicket. Like a lamb let loose from the paddock, he cut a joyful figure.

The cult hero became a fully fledged icon during his first international home season against Pakistan. At Old Trafford he made the most of a helpful surface with eight wickets then, at Headingley, he was England’s best bowler on a run-filled strip. The loop, guile and changes of pace outfoxed Pakistan’s top-order, including Inzamam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Yousuf and Younis Khan.

In a matter of months he had elevated himself to the position of England’s senior spinner, pushing aside Ashley Giles. Yet Duncan Fletcher – ever the loyalist; rarely the risk-taker – preferred a rusty Giles for the first two Tests of the 2006-07 Ashes. England were thrashed in both but Monty got a chance in the third at Perth, becoming the first English spinner to take five at the WACA (and eight in the match). As England crashed to a humiliating 5-0 defeat, Panesar was one of the precious few to return home with their reputation intact.

The following summer started with 23 wickets in four Tests against West Indies, that brought his career-high No. 6 ranking, but things began to go awry thereafter. He struggled in the following home series against India, and away in Sri Lanka, where he lost his confidence and misunderstood mutterings began about his lack of variety. Though he fared well in New Zealand a tough 2008 summer, where Graeme Smith swept him to distraction in South Africa’s series-winning win in Edgbaston, blunted his cheerful persona.

He was comprehensively outperformed by a resurgent Swann during his return to India in December 2008, and again in the Caribbean, where he lost his position as England’s No. 1 spinner. The bowling lacked spark but more significantly, so did the man. Lost in a confusion of ‘expert’ opinion around him, he lost faith in his method.

That trend continued in the first Test of the 2009 Ashes, where he and Swann both underperformed with the ball, claiming one wicket between them. However, by batting through to the close in a remarkable tenth-wicket stand with James Anderson, Panesar reaffirmed his cult status. That was as good as the summer got for him though as his bowling form slumped and he lost his central contract.

By the end of 2009 the future of Panesar’s international career looked doubtful but he took control by leaving his life-long county Northamptonshire and moving to Sussex. Trusted to set his fields and take a senior role in the dressing room he rediscovered his vim. A strong 2010 season saw a return to the England squad for the Ashes win. In the 2011 winter tour to UAE he finally got his chance for England again. He returned with seven wickets in the game and 14 at 22 from his two games against Pakistan.

Matt Prior
Matthew Prior can now claim to be the best wicketkeeper batsman in Test cricket. A dashing lower-order batsman and skilled wicketkeeper standing back, he is a crucial cog in the machine that led England up the rankings.

Though he now, with his starched attire and non-nonsense positivity, cuts a similar air to Alec Stewart, it took Prior a while to establish himself at international level. Early on there were wicketkeeping blunders and misplaced sledging that hampered his progress.

Prior moved to England from South Africa and represented England at all ages, up to and including the Under-19 squad, making his Sussex debut in 2001. He was selected to tour Zimbabwe as part of England’s one-day squad in November 2004 and played in just one match, striking 35. Prior made England’s winter squads for Pakistan and India in 2005-06, but played mostly as a batsman in the ODIs and failed to make any real impact. He missed out on the Champions Trophy in October 2006, but he was named in the Academy squad to be stationed in Perth during the 2006-07 Ashes series.

Garient Jones and Chris Read flunked their chance during England’s shambolic Ashes campaign which meant Prior was ready to step into the Test side and launch Peter Moores’ period at the helm. He began in thrilling fashion, becoming the first England wicketkeeper to score a century on debut with an unbeaten 126 at Lord’s, followed by 75 at Headingley and England’s wicketkeeper batsman problem looked settled. No sooner were they sorted, though, before they started going awry. He struggled against India and was a key protagonist in the Jellybean fiasco that inspired Zahir Khan to bowl out England before a grim tour to Sri Lanka exposed deep flaws with his keeping. He was dropped for England’s tour of New Zealand in 2008, with his old Sussex rival, Ambrose, taking over his role.

But Prior’s extra batting class could not be ignored for long, and he returned to the side before the year was out, with his keeping vastly improved during his spell on the outside. He was one of the unsung heroes of England’s Ashes triumph in 2009, providing momentum-shifting cameos at No. 6 in the order, and pulling off a series of impressive catches and stumpings. He bettered that effort on the subsequent tour of Australia in 2010-11, claiming 23 catches in the series including an Ashes-record-equalling six in the first innings at Melbourne, and concluded the series with his first hundred against Australia, at Sydney. He made 271 runs at 67.75 during England’s 4-0 home triumph as both he and England reached a career high.

Luke Wells
Luke Wells, son of former Sussex captain, Alan, is a left-handed batsman of significant potential. Wells has a tight technique and willingness, uncharacteristic of his generation, to grind out an innings. In 2012 he weathered murky April conditions and a lively Surrey attack to make a 247-ball 103 for Sussex on the ground his dad played his solitary Test. It was enough for Mark Ramprakash to tweet:  “Luke Wells looks a v good young player. V similar to Cook but possibly better technically”.

Wells progressed through Sussex age-group cricket and made his England Under-19 debut against Bangladesh in 2009. A senior Championship debut followed at the end of the next season, with Wells marking the occasion with 62 opening the batting in the first innings. After productive full season in 2011 he took himself off to Sri Lanka to spend the season playing first-class cricket there. Alongside developing his cricket, Wells is at Loughborough University where he is expected to finish his studies in 2012.

Joe Gatting
Like his father, Steve, Joe Gatting was on the books at Brighton & Hove Albion for three seasons, but when offered a chance to join Sussex’s cricket academy in 2008 quit football for cricket. He has, however, made a semi-return playing for Whitehawk since 2010 but cricket, like his uncle Mike, is where his talent flourishes.

A muscular middle-order batsman he made an immediate impression on his debut season in 2009 where he made 310 runs in six outings. After being asked to bat No. 3 he suffered that difficult second season in 2010, averaging 14.09 from eight games. 2011, though, outlined his promise as he bounced back with 513 runs at 51.3.

Luke Wright
As a pace-bowling allrounder, it’s no surprise that Luke Wright admires Jacques Kallis and Andrew Flintoff. When Flintoff retired from Test cricket after the 2009 Ashes, Wright was one the names mentioned as a potential successor but he has never quite managed to make the jump to Test cricket. He has had a taste of international cricket in the shorter formats but his England career has been more stop than start.

His boundary-clearing power means he is never far from England’s plans, however, and he performed admirably in England’s World Twenty20-winning team in 2010. Wright contributed 90 runs in significant circumstances in England’s successful campaign, and though he bowled only one over in the tournament, it was a pivotal one – he got rid of the in-form Cameron White in the final against Australia. Though his international fortunes waned his since his bank balanced gained, with Wright playing Twenty20 cricket for Melbourne Stars in Australia’s Big Bash and Pune Warriors at the IPL.

Before all that Wright represented England Under-19s, won the Denis Compton medal three times and scored a century on his Championship debut for Sussex. He was also a key part of the Sussex team that won the C&G Trophy final in 2006. He spent two winters at the National Academy based at Loughborough University, where he was right at home having studied Sports Science and Sports Massage there.

It was 2007 Twenty20 Cup, when he was the leading run-scorer with 346 runs, that captured England’s attention. He was selected in the ODI team later that summer, hitting hit 50 India at The Oval. Though he may not add to his 76 international caps a sparkling 60-ball 117 in the Big Bash in January 2012 meant Twenty20 riches will never be far away. Jenny Thompson and Sahil Dutta

Chris Nash
Chris Nash is a top-order Sussex batsman who made his county debut as cover for the injured Mark Davies in 2002. It took five years from then for Nash to really break through into the Sussex first team and his best year came in 2009 when he passed 1000 Championship runs in the season for the first time, making four centuries along the way. He repeated the feat in 2010, helping Sussex win promotion back to the top flight and win him a place in England Lions squad in 2011. Thereafter his season was less productive and with a clutch of youthful alternatives he will probably not play international cricket. He remains, however, an integral part of the Sussex set up.

Matt Machan
Matt Machan is a Brighton-born left-handed batsman. A product of Brighton college, he has played Sussex age-group cricket since Under-13s. He played his first second XI game for Sussex aged 15 in 2006 but had to wait five years for his Championship debut which he marked 71 against Nottinghamshire. He spent the 2011 winter playing Grade cricket in Melbourne for Dandenong CC.

James Anyon
James Anyon was something of a journeyman medium-pacer until he appeared transformed during the 2010 off-season. Having started out with Warwickshire he sustained a serious foot injury in 2008 and had spell on loan at Surrey before signing a two-year deal with Sussex in 2009.
His debut season for the county was impressive – taking 26 at 26.76 in 10 Championship games as Sussex were promoted – but he returned in 2011 bulked out and with more pace. Though a step behind the long list of English pacemen with international potential he is a potent member of Sussex’s attack.
Will Beer
Will Beer is that most sort-after commodity: an English legspinner. Coming through Sussex age-group cricket he had the ideal role-model in Mushtaq Ahmed at Hove. In 2009 he impressed for England Under-19s against New Zealand, taking 10 wickets at 17.10. In the same year it was his performance on Twenty20 finals day, though, that grabbed attention. He blended wrist-spinning ability with guts to help Sussex take the title. Beer was part of ECB’s spin-bowling programme and was mentored by the late Terry Jenner. He spent the 2011 winter at Darren Lehmann ‘s cricket academy in Adelaide but remains behind Monty Panesar in the Sussex pecking order.

Ben Brown
Ben Brown is a promising wicket-keeper batsman for Sussex who has profited from Matt Prior’s elevation to international cricket. He played Under-19s cricket for England in 2006-07 and made his county debut the following summer. His first-class debut came against Sri Lanka A in the same season, when he scored 46 off 25 balls. In 2010 he made a century for Sussex against Derbyshire in his seventh first-class game and was rewarded with a two-year extension to his contract at the end of the season.

Andy Hodd
Former England Under-19 wicketkeeper Andy Hodd rejoined Sussex in 2006 season as Matt Prior’s understudy in the wake of Tim Ambrose’s move to Warwickshire. He had been part of the Sussex youth set up, but found his chances limited and moved to Surrey in 2004 in search of more regular first-team cricket. When Prior became England wicketkeeper, Hodd returned to try to cement his Sussex place but remains in and out of first-team cricket. Sam Collins 

Chris Liddle
Chris Liddle, a tall, whippy, left-arm seamer, showed wicket-taking potential in his early matches for Leicestershire, but after failing to secure an extended run in the first team, he signed with Sussex in 2006. Opportunities initially were not abundant there either but he excelled in the 2008 Twenty20 Cup. His 2009 and 2010 seasons were ruined with injury but he bounced back in 2011 to become a regular in both short-forms of the game.

Navid Arif
Navid Arif is a Pakistani left-arm paceman who signed for Sussex in 2011. Thanks to a Danish wife he is not classed an overseas player and took 15 wickets from his four first-class matches in England. He began his career with Gujranwala Cricket Association in Pakistan and made his first-class debut in 2002 against Hyderabad Cricket Association, taking 5 for 28 in his first outing. He has also played for Sailkot Cricket Association in Pakistan and played Lancashire league cricket for Rawtenstall Cricket Club the season before Sussex signed him. It was at Rawenstall where he, apparently, earned his nickname ‘Barry’  (as in the Great Barry Arif) that Sussex have since adopted.

Kirk Wernars
Kirk Wernars is a South African hard-hitting allrounder who signed for Sussex in 2011 aged 19. He had played for Western Province and South Africa’s Under-19s. He qualifies for English domestic cricket by virtue of a Dutch passport.

Amjad Khan
Amjad Khan is a rarity: a Danish fast bowler. Born in Copenhagen, he became the youngest person to ever play for Denmark at the age of 17 and, in his first full season at Kent in 2002, he claimed an impressive 63 wickets. He failed to regain that form in the following seasons, but 2005 heralded an upturn in his fortunes as he played a significant part in Kent’s challenge for the title by taking 55 wickets. In December 2006 he was awarded British citizenship making him eligible for England selection and earned a place at the Academy. However, a serious knee injury forced him home and reconstructive surgery kept him out of the entire 2007 season. He returned during the 2008 summer with some impressive results, and was named in the Performance Squad to tour India. He was added to the ODI squad before the Mumbai terror attacks brought the series to an early finish, but further elevation followed when he was called into the full squad for the two Test series, making his debut in the final Test in the Caribbean. Despite claiming Ramnaresh Sarwan as his first Test wicket, it was a short-lived stay at the top as a knee injury forced him to miss a large chuck of the 2009 season although he was given a category A position at the winter performance programme which showed the selectors were still thinking about him. But he was overtaken by other pace contenders and when Kent couldn’t afford to keep him he moved to Sussex ahead of the 2011 season. There he remains hostile at his best but without the consistency to push for another international call-up. Sam Collins 

Murray Goodwin is a diminutive and sometimes destructive player who can bat anywhere in the top four. His formative years were spent on the bouncy WACA wickets in Perth, and left him a predominantly back-foot player who cuts and pulls the pace men with impunity. His light feet and willingness to use them make him equally adept against spin, and he is quick and alert in the field. Goodwin was born in Rhodesia, where he returned after his family had emigrated to Australia while he was still a youngster. But his wife could not settle in Zimbabwe, and Goodwin went back to Australia after the England tour of 2000, thus ending a Test career that, despite just 19 games, placed him in the upper echelons of Zimbabwe cricket history.

Since then he has made a name for himself at Sussex. After a prolific season in 2001, he became an instant legend two years later, when he scored a club-record 335 not out against Leicestershire to seal Sussex’s first Championship title in their 164-year history. He has since been involved in the success in the C & G Trophy final of 2006. At Western Australia he has enjoyed some big-scoring years, including 1183 in 2003-04 and 840 the following summer, and moved into the top 15 on the state’s domestic first-class run list. He joined the ICL in its second season, played eight games for Ahmedabad Rockets, before quitting the league to commit to Sussex. Though now very much a ‘senior’ pro he remains one of Sussex’s best batsmen. Geoffrey Dean 

Give money straight to the poor?

G’day everyone,

Are aid agencies the best way to distribute aid or should we just give money directly to the poor so they can do what they like with it?

Aditya Chakrabortty thinks so, and he’s written about it in the Guardian today:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jun/29/revolution-global-aid-poor

Logic is that since a good deal of aid is spent on trying to administer aid without it falling into the wrong hands or being wasted, maybe it would be better to give it directly to the people and see what happens. Perhaps the cost of administering is higher than the value of administration.

Lots of positive feeling on the CIF page where it posted but there are some pretty clear problems in my book. Firstly, if suddenly everyone has twice as much disposable local currency isn’t that just inflation? I suppose if you means tested it, it would be redistributive by reducing the value of everyone’s money. I don’t really think it is as simple as this but there would certainly be an effect.

Secondly, practicalities. I’m sure giving out money is harder than it sounds.

Thirdly, I was reading Paul Collier’s the bottom billion and he is all about the large scale infrastructure projects that help countries gear up to an export economy. I’m not saying I agree with Collier but he does raise some interesting points.  He also examines ‘dutch disease’ where mineral wealth or aid pushes up wages and therefore makes other industries internationally uncompetitive. I imagine he would have a problem with the approach described in the article.

Giving out money certainly would reduce some costs of bureaucracy but would this be enough to balance the negative effects on an economy? What does anyone else think?

Rich

Some links

I know this is very lazy of me, but rather than anything clever I thought I’d just post a couple of links to interesting blogs of the last couple of days. The last 2 refer to Osborne’s announcement today that he’s going to axe the Future Jobs Fund and Child Trust Funds – a rather chilling prelude to what’s coming up.

1) Peter Kenway in the Guardian shows that contrary to the popular myth, work is not the route out of poverty

2) A couple of fairly harsh criticisms of the loss of the Future Jobs Fund – both make excellent points.

3) A similarly harsh criticism of the decision to axe child trust funds. Interestingly, all the Community Development workers I asked about this today said they didn’t really know much about it and weren’t that interested. I wonder if it’s a very sad case of an excellent idea that has ultimately failed because no-one promoted it enough. Kate Green used to be head of Child Poverty Action Group and is very well respected indeed.

Is VAT regressive?

The conventional wisdom is that VAT is regressive, because poorer people pay a higher percentage of their income in VAT. Save the Children say the poorest 10% of families spend 14% of their disposable income on VAT, versus 5% for the richest. This is important because a lot of people suspect George Osborne might announce a significant rise (from 17.5% to 20%) in VAT in his emergency budget in June, which would worsen inequality.

However I thought I’d read somewhere an argument claiming it wasn’t actually regressive, because many items (childrens clothes, food, etc) are excluded from VAT, and these are the things that people on lower incomes spend most of their money on.

This IFS paper (love the IFS) sorts it out. Apparently if you look at the percentage of income that goes out again on VAT, then it is regressive, just as Save the Children claim.

However, the IFS researcher argues that, in some ways, it makes more sense to look at percentage of expenditure rather than percentage of income. This is because borrowing and saving can allow a relatively stable consumption level despite fluctuations in income. A retired doctor eating through their savings is going to have a low income level but a high expenditure. So is a student spending their way through a student loan, hoping to earn it back later on, as is someone who is temporarily unemployed as they use their savings from a previous job. All of these might distort the picture, raising the amount of VAT paid by those with low incomes.

It turns that almost everyone pays about the same percentage of their expenditure in VAT. So, on this measure, it’s not regressive (not progressive either, mind).

In some ways this is quite convincing. If you assume that those with the lowest incomes who are actually poor (rather than sitting on big savings) have to spend all their money rather than saving it (there’s probably evidence one way or the other?), then removing the ones who have low incomes but are actually spending more does make sense.

The paper also identifies that 55% of consumer spending is on goods taxed at the full rate of VAT, which lends support to the argument that people on low incomes might be spending most of the money on goods that are not subject to VAT (or not at the full rate).

Pneumococcal vaccine complexity

Hey there bathhousers,

Wow, haven’t done one of these for a while but I just learnt something and feel the urge to share. I’ve been reading about how vaccines work and also about the geographical variation of disease.

This brings me to today’s post which as sciency as it gets round here so hold on to your autoclaves and let’s get stuck in.

Invasive pneumococcal disease kills over 1.5 million children each year according to the World Health Organization (WHO), Ninety percent of these deaths occur in the developing world. [1][2]

You might think that if a vaccine is available in Europe and the US then it should be made available in the developing world too. One of the main vaccines for Pneumococcal disease is called Prenvar. Prevnar is among Wyeth’s top revenue producers, with sales in 2005 of $1.5 billion. [3]

So on the face of it there is an effective vaccine used in Europe and the US that should be rolled out across Africa, seems like a straight forward case where the drugs exist, Pharma has recouped their investment from Western consumers, so there is a moral imperative to bring this drug to the people that need it. Perhaps, within our current system of IP as long as the rich world needs the same drugs then they can pay for the R&D costs and everyone can get the benefit, assuming the minefield of international IP law can be negotiated.

Unfortunately it’s not as simple as that. There are around 90 different bacteria (serotypes) which cause pneumococcal disease. Prenvar is formulated to prevent 7 of those strains. Unfortunately the prevalence of different strains varies geographically. The table below shows the results of a study to determine the relative prevalence in descending order for the developed and developing world [4]. Bear in mind that ‘developed’ and ‘developing’ represent huge areas so there is likely to be a large amount of additional variation between regions. (the number represents serotype number)

Developed 14 6 19 18 9 23 7 4 1 15
Developing 6 14 8 5 1 19 9 23 18 15 7

The table below shows the 7 serotypes present in Prenvar and a new GSK drug Synflorix.

Prenvar 14 6 19 18 9 23
Synflorix (GSK) 14 6 19 18 9 23 1 5 7

You’ll notice that the Prenvar vaccine is designed to prevent the most common strains in the developed world, as you might expect. Unfortunately the 3rd, 4th and 5th most common forms of the disease in the developing world are not covered by this vaccine.

This example illustrates why even if access to drugs developed for the developed world could be assured, in some cases, the efficacy wouldn’t be the same. Furthermore, If you’re going to go to the trouble to run a mass vaccination for a disease that kills millions, you’d at least want a drug that treated most of the common strains in your country, otherwise it could be expensive and ineffective.

Also in the table you can see another drug developed by GSK.  Synflorix, which as you can see covers two of the missing serotypes and is therefore  likely to add to the overall effectiveness significantly in the developing world. But if the missing serotypes aren’t prevalent in the developed world why did GSK develop this drug?

It was possible because of an advanced market commitment from Gavi [5] (the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation). This means that Gavi have committed to buying up to 300 million doses over 10 years and in return for this GSK have developed the drug.

In conclusion, in some cases the developing world will need drugs developed specifically for their own needs. Where there aren’t rich consumers with insurance companies and government funded healthcare, innovative financing mechanisms like advanced market commitments or perhaps publicly developed and owned IP will be needed to ensure that drugs get developed.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pneumococcal_conjugate_vaccine

[2] (http://www.who.int/vaccines/en/pneumococcus.shtml

[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pneumococcal_conjugate_vaccine#cite_note-pmid17324490-11

[ 4] (Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal
Volume 14, Issue 6 http://www.scopus.com/record/display.url?eid=2-s2.0-0029057617&origin=inward&txGid=z2jb5-sWfwbAl6CATF7Gvif%3a2)

[5] http://www.gsk.com/media/pressreleases/2009/2009_pressrelease_10012.htm

Some basic arguments for electoral reform

Some basic arguments for Electoral Reform

From the perspective of someone who is on the left, votes Labour but is certainly not happy with everything they do, and has consequently never summoned the enthusiasm to campaign for them. This motivates my current interest in electoral reform – if the arguments are right, it would re-engage me (and presumably many others) with party politics. However, I know there are dissenting voices, including on the left, and I’d like to find out why. Please do comment on what’s below.

I’m also not an expert on electoral reform, but having read the comprehensive summaries available on the electoral reform society website, what’s below is an argument for something like Single transferable vote, although see the caveat on local representation below. It’s not an argument for Alternative Vote, which is far as I can see isn’t proportional at all and doesn’t really change the current situation very much.

Arguments for electoral reform

1)      It will encourage people (eg me) to re-engage with politics, as they will be able to vote and campaign for parties that more accurately reflect their views, without feeling their vote and effort is wasted.

2)      Related to that, it will (might) lead to more parties, which individually engage fewer people than the current main parties, but collectively engage far more, with far more conviction.

3)      It would discourage parties from ignoring large numbers of people, such as those in safe opposition seats, since their votes would still count.

I think these three points can be summarised as follows: In the First Past The Post system we have at the moment, coalitions form before the election, in the guise of large, fairly diverse parties. Voters are then asked to chose which of them most matches their views, even though there’s a fairly good chance that – because they’re such broad coalitions – you’re not going to agree with everything in there, and might well fundamentally disagree with some of it. THis is (anecdotally at least, amongst me and almost all my friends) a disincentive to engaging. The small parties that might better reflect your views are not worth engaging with, because a vote for them will count for virtually nothing.

Most forms of PR, on the other hand, allows the coalition to occur after the election. This allows people to vote for a party that much more closely aligns with their views, with the consequent increase in participation outside of election time. An advantage of this is that (as long as it’s not a closed list system) you’re more likely to be able to vote for an individual who shares your outlook, and then hold them to account. At present you can end up voting for an individual you quite fundamentally disagree with, because they’re standing in your seat as part of the broader coalition you support.

4)      Plus the obvious one – some people’s votes are currently worth much more than others, (see much-repeated difference between share of the vote and share of the seats in this election).

I think arguments 1 and 2, and 3 – which are based on the way party politics would change before, not after, the election – are often forgotten by those arguing against PR (see below), who concentrate too much on number 4.

Arguments against it, with rebuttals

1)      It will give the fascists some power: I think this is weak. Trying to pretend the BNP don’t exist because they don’t have a parliamentary seat is ridiculous. 1 in 50 people in the last election voted for the BNP – ignoring them will probably make them angrier. PR should be positive in that it would force mainstream parties to engage with the issues motivating BNP voters (who I don’t think we can dismiss as all fascists, even though the BNP itself is.), rather than pretending they don’t exist.

2)      It will lead to weak and ineffective government: I’m not a constitutional expert by any means, but the record across most of Europe, and much of the rest of the world, seems to suggest it’s perfectly possible to successfully run a country under PR. Is there any reason why Britain is special? Germany, for example, seems to have done it very successfully. I read a very good argument for this somewhere, but now I’ve forgotten where, if you know it please comment.

3)      It will lead to back room deals. I think we have those anyway, they just go on within the big parties (which are all coalitions anyway), and behind the scenes in government. Also, it would be pretty obvious which deals had been done once it came to voting time in Parliament, since you could still compare each MP against the manifesto their party stood under, just like you can now. In fact, on this basis, I can’t see how it would be any different to the current system – in both we hold parties and their MPs to account at the next election, based not just on their promises for the future but also how well they stuck to their promises from last time.

4) Losers get into government (eg the argument that goes ‘how can Clegg, leader of the third party, end up as kingmaker?’). I think the problem with this argument is that it applies a FPTP analysis to a PR outcome. PR is far less likely to produce one party with a majority – the point is that it leads to coalitions with a majority. And those coalitions are not necessarily made up of the 2 (or 3, or 4) largest parties, they should be made up of the parties which can most successfully agree on a shared programme while commanding a majority of seats. If the centrist party feels that it has to negotiate with the largest party, rather than the one it feels most ideologically close to, it rather defeats the point of PR (which seems to be what Clegg did, in arguing for PR but sticking to FPTP politics). It would be interesting to know how this plays out in other PR systems – are there often situations where the largest party ends up in opposition?

5) Labour would be less likely to be in government. This is one of the arguments (I suspect a particuarly important one) coming from those in Labour opposed to PR. But I think that in making it they forget arguments 1,2 and 3 above -the fact is that you can’t just say ‘well, if we had PR then the BNP would get in, or Labour would be only just ahead of the Lib Dems, or Labour would never win again,’ because if we had PR then previous elections would have produced completely different results.

The parties wouldn’t have campaigned in the same way, they might not even have been the same parties, and people certainly wouldn’t have voted in the same way. If you want to predict what might happen under PR, you have to take all this into account.

I think one of the main things turning people off politics is the perception that politicians will happily abandon their values in favour of political tribalism. “I’m Labour, therefore I’ll support the party, even if they’re doing something I morally disagree with.” Under the current system you could defend that on the basis that overall the party best embodies your values, even if it goes against them fairly fundamentally on some issues. Under PR I think that would be much harder to do. So here’s a question for Labour opponents of PR – is your opposition based completely on furthering the values you believe in, or does it stem from a (completely understandable, given people’s long history and involvement in teh Labour party) dedication to the name and the badge? PR probably won’t further the cause of the Labour party, but there’s no reason why it can’t promote the values you’re hopefully in politics to uphold.

6)      It will remove the vital constituency link. I can’t decide whether this is important or not, but I certainly don’t think it’s a barrier – they are plenty of top-up versions of PR that keep fairly small constituencies. There’s probably room for  a more detailed discussion about this elsewhere, but I’m interested in whether MPs’ votes on national issues really do reflect local concerns (as opposed to party line, their own beliefs, etc etc), or is being part of the national legislature actually a separate function from standing up for the interests of local people. (and where, for example, do local councillors fit in to it?). The Jenkins Commission – set up by Labour in 97 to look into PR, suggested the AV+ method, and was then ignored – has an interesting paragraph about the roles of MPs here. It suggests they do local stuff quite well, but are hopeless at legislating.