Butler in Lancashire Talks

Posted: Thursday, September 26, 2013 by Laura in Labels: , , , , , , ,

England one-day wicket-keeper, Jos Butler, could be set to join Lancashire from Somerset ahead of next season’s country cricket campaign.

The 23-year old is out of contract with at the end of this year and talks have already begun with the red rose county about agreeing terms at Old Trafford.

The Division Two champions, who defied the cricket betting odds to secure promotion, have released Gareth Cross, their current ‘keeper, and will be keen to fill his position before they prepare for life back in the top championship after a year absence.

Butler made his international debut against Pakistan early last year and has solidified his spot in the limited overs side. In the recent series against Australia, he hit a career best in an England shirt with a knock of 75 in Manchester.

He then followed that up with an unbeaten 65 in Cardiff which was enough to give his side the victory and level the series at 1-1, before their defeat in the decider at the Rose Bowl.

After making his debut for Somerset in 2009, he has already hit over 2000 runs in first class cricket. He has been a key player in their side in the T20 format of the game, with the bat and behind the stumps.

The right-handed batsman has been competing with Craig Kieswetter at both club and country over the past few years.

Cricket betting pundits have suggested that a move away from Somerset would likely guarantee a regular spot in all formats of the game.

It is also thought that Warwickshire are keen to sign Butler but Manchester may be his preferred destination because both parties are quick off the mark to discuss a possible deal.

He is currently taking part in Somerset’s final Country Championship game of the season against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.

Image by Harrias.

Rankin big winner from Disappointing Series

Posted: Friday, September 20, 2013 by Laura in Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Despite the series ending in defeat, England’s ODI series against Australia did bring with it some bright spots. With a number of key Test players rested, including Alastair Cook, James Anderson and Graeme Swann, this series was always going to be about discovering new talent.

That desire to look at new players did lead to a rather lopsided line-up, with many believing the team was a bowler light. However, one bowler may have just played his way onto the plane to Australia this winter.

Boyd Rankin, at 29, is no spring chicken, but his desire to switch allegiances from Ireland to England could be a significant one, with the cricket betting odds suggesting he has earned himself an Ashes spot.

The 29-year-old was the standout bowler in all three games for England, his powerful 6foot 7in frame able to extract extra pace and bounce out of often lifeless pitches.

His haul of five wickets from three matches does not really do his displays justice, most notably at the Rose Bowl in the final game, where Rankin had a economy rate of 2.83. The next best economy rate was 5.40 from Chris Jordan in an innings where Australia racked up 298.

Back in 2010 Chris Tremlett proved to be one of the key cogs in England’s wheel as the cricket betting swung back in their direction and retained the Ashes down under. Rankin has the same tall powerful build as Tremlett and so should also be able to profit from the hard, bouncy pitches of Australia.

The latest cricket betting suggests that he may well be one of England’s surprise weapons when the two great rivals meet again in November, making this below-par one-day series worthwhile.

Image by Peter Meade