The ECB and the England team have a long-standard in-joke that the rest of us mere mortals just don’t understand. For years they’ve decided that Hampshire players are not deserving of playing for England and the only time they’ll play one is in a really bad situation where they can fail a lot easier so they can quickly say that they’ve tried and the player failed. It is getting boring but they still find it funny. The rest of us don’t.
The latest example is James Vince. Look as those who know me will attest, James Vince has been frustrating me for a good few years because you knew there was a mighty fine player in there ready to break out but he would more often than not flatter to deceive. This year though that has all changed and I completely trust Vince’s batting because he has performed week in, week out at the T20 format and indeed was the top run scorer in the competition this season.
Vince is a classical player and has been likened to Michael Vaughan for several years but as Michael Atherton pointed out on Saturday during Sky’s coverage of the T20 Blast Finals Day, what you are surprised with is just how hard Vince hits the ball. He isn’t all muscle but is just a pure striker of the ball. He isn’t getting out in dumb ways any more and instead is extremely reliable. He susses up a pitch very quickly and to be frank is clearly the best player who has played a full season at domestic level this season.
Today with Joe Root being out then he could easily have slotted in at number three but the selectors and captain have decided to go with Moeen Ali instead. Ali is a good player and might well play well but at some point you have to see what you’ve got with Vince instead of just taking him around from ground to ground with no desire to play him. Of course Vince can open but England have clearly decided that Jason Roy and his top score of 39 in all international matches is the man for them. I mused on twitter that had Roy played for Hampshire and Vince for Surrey that Vince would have gotten his chance. T20 isn’t all crash, bang wallop, you need to have some basic technique too and I think Roy technically is not just a notch below Vince but a full level.
This is just the latest snub from England on Hampshire players. Michael Carberry played just one T20 international and six ODIs. He of course played six Test matches when he was in superb form in the warm-up games that he was only playing in because of injury concerns to other players and got the nod. He wasn’t great in the Ashes tests but he wasn’t completely out of his depth either and was arguably the best batsmen on that tour. England though went with the new golden boy Sam Robson for the next series and Carberry was discarded.
Danny Briggs had a few games but then got smashed around the Bellerive Oval on a road and England decided that was enough so brought in Stephen Parry for the T20 World Cup. The Lancashire spinner wouldn’t take a wicket. You don’t get dropped for one bad game, certainly when you are a spinner on the flattest and hardest of decks when you are asked to bowl in a Powerplay. Yet again though this backs up by PoV that England do not put Hampshire players in a position to succeed, in fact it is quite the opposite.
Hampshire have made in to Finals Day six years on the spin and in that period Hampshire have been represented England at T20 level on just eight occasions (seven for Briggs and one for Carberry). By then England had moved on from Dimitri Mascarenhas. James Vince has never played and nor has Chris Wood. There was even a year when Jimmy Adams was the top scorer in the T20 tournament but he was never given a shot by England.
The hate that England have for Hampshire players is pathetic and I just don’t know what more James Vince can do. He is clearly more than good enough to play but they keep deciding not to give him a go. I can only image just how frustrated Vince is, I am and I’m only a fan. Jason Roy scored 273 in ten innings for Surrey in the T20 Blast this season. James Vince scored 710 in 16. Vince’s season average is nearly double that of Roy but lets keep Jason Roy and his helicopter bat in the side because he plays for a big county in Surrey and therefore he must be good.
Give us a break.
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