Featured News | 27th March 2010

Ryan's Column: Age Is Irrelevant

I know I speak for many a county cricketer when I say I have concerns about the method the ECB is using to try and develop more young English players.

They hope to do this by rewarding those counties who play more home-grown talent with a greater amount of central funding.

Notts and others clubs will benefit most if they select two players under the age of 22, three under 26 and a maximum of four over 28.

It is a system designed to make the county game less dependent on Kolpak or European-qualified imports.

But where does this leave those experienced pros, who can pass on the benefit of their experience to younger team members?

The best players should be playing whatever their age – no matter whether they are 40 or 20.

Some teams will be able to put younger players out easily because they have nothing to lose by doing it.

But others may have to do it to the detriment of their team and I don’t think it is going to work in the long run. It will certainly affect the standard of cricket.

Why should a guy who is 30 and still a fantastic player be dropped and left on the sidelines for someone who is 20 and inferior, just to save money?

It doesn’t make sense and, for me, we have to find another way.

In my view the best thing to do would be to reconsider the rules surrounding Kolpak players, although there could be legal problems in doing that.

I suppose it would have to be something that all the clubs agree on, but, if they are no longer involved, then there will be ample opportunity to blood younger players in their early 20s.

For me it is much better to have an 18 or 19-year-old in the team in these matches, learning their trade.
 
THE big night of my black tie opening dinner next Thursday is fast approaching – and I’m a nervous wreck!

I’m looking forward to the event itself at the Nottingham Belfry Hotel, it just the speech I’m worried about.

Public speaking is something I absolutely hate with a passion, yet I never get nervous when I go out and bowl.

That probably seems strange, but I suppose everyone is different.

I will just have to make sure it is like my wedding speech – short and sweet.

COMING back from injury, I was disappointing to miss out on the fun of a training session for our boys with Nottingham Rugby this week.

Glenn Delaney drove them hard and I know he had anyone who dropped the ball pushing the scrummaging machine as a penalty – with one of the Nottingham forwards sitting on top.

I’m sure it will have done wonders to sharpen up our catching before the start of the new season!

In the end, it was probably best I did miss out, because I’m a bit of a wimp. I’ll stick to bowling.

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Ryan Sidebottom

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