- Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:38 am
You have to ask why Blake didn't play red ball cricket...As this was a question asked at more than one forum this season, I can tell you the answer that Matt Walker gave: - Alex was told he needed to score runs consistently in red ball cricket for the Seconds...and he hasn't been able to do that. (Indeed he was a lot less successful than Adam Ball and Zak Crawley - which is presumably why the latter was selected ahead of him at the end of this season).
Personally, as a KCCC member & supporter, I'd like to see Alex forcing his way into the 1st XI. But I can't fault the thinking Walker revealed.
By the way I agree with you about the lack of new players coming from state schools, but this is something that has its roots in changes in schools going back to Thatcher (selling off playing fields) and Major - ironically (in establishing the National Curriculum and OfSTED). As a new teacher in 1981 who was a keen, if untalented, cricketer, I was given control of the school 1st XI (I was not a PE teacher, incidentally), and I spent a lot of time in the summer running said team. If starting today as a young teacher I would have no time to do so given the results driven environment state schools inhabit these days. And state school, unlike (some) independent schools don't have the money to employ professional sports coaches.
So it is down to clubs - both amateur and professional - to fill the gap.
Last point - Harmison (less so Powell) was a limited player, perhaps, but he averaged more than Alex Blake in first class cricket, although I think we'd all say Blake has far more natural talent. It's up to Alex to respond to that with runs in red ball cricket.
PS My loyalty, as you put it, is far from 'unquestioning', but the average criticism opined by supporters (in all sports, I suspect) is formed from thoughtlessness and a measure of ignorance. Not aiming at you here, but too often comments don't reflect the very real difficulties of the situation clubs like Kent find themselves in.