Sport

Glamorgan CC season review

Despite starting the County Championship in blistering fashion, Glamorgan finished the season in a very disappointing fourth place.

The Welsh Dragons failed to capitalise on a strong beginning, ending their Second Division campaign 81 points behind winners Surrey following a winless second half of the season.

Captain and overseas player, Jacques Rudolph, 34, claims that a lack of depth in the squad is hampering the side’s competitiveness in all three formats of the game. But, that could also be attributed to Glamorgan being unable to attract some big names from overseas.

Surrey, for example, won Division Two of the County Championship after attracting Sri Lankan legend Kumar Sangakkara, who played a pivotal part in their league success.

When asked about potential signings for the 2016 season, Rudolph cited the requirement for the squad to gain a greater depth of seam bowlers as well as some additional batsmen. A glance at the league’s batting averages certainly validates this statement, with Glamorgan only having one batsman in the league’s top 30. That man was Dean Cosker, who managed to average 48.67 in just five out of 16 County Championship matches this summer.

It was a similar story in the bowling department, with medium pacer Andy Carter the only Glamorgan bowler in the top 25 after averaging a very respectable 23.31 in just four games.

The absence of both Cosker and Carter clearly hampered Glamorgan in their pursuit of silverware, vindicating what Rudolph was eluding to when he mentioned the lack of depth.

And there was further disappointment in Glamorgan’s limited overs campaigns, finishing eighth in Group B of the One Day Cup having picked up just two wins from five, despite batsman and South African overseas player Colin Ingram averaging 81.

On a somewhat more positive note, Toby Radford’s side did finish in a respectable sixth place with a 50 percent win rate in the ‘South Group’ of the Natwest T20 Blast.

There were also a number of positives to be taken from the season, most of which were recognised at the recent Glamorgan awards night. Graham Wagg was the most decorated at the ceremony; winning Glamorgan CC Player of the Year and Glamorgan’s LV County Championship Player of the Year.

And these awards were well deserved as the all-rounder smashed 1160 runs in all forms of cricket and took 60 wickets this year. Wagg’s personal highlights included a career best 200 with the bat, which led his team to an unlikely victory over Surrey, and a few noteworthy records on the way as he became the first number eight to score a double hundred in the County Championship since 2000. His 11 sixes in the innings also beat the previous club record of nine.

In T20 cricket, a match-winning 53* at Kent and figures of 4-27 against Hampshire elevated Wagg to the status of leading all-rounder, with 209 runs and 13 wickets overall.

But, after accumulating a total of 461 runs at an average of 41.91- including a fantastic 101 against Gloucestershire, it was Rudolph who was named the T20 Player of the Year.

Elsewhere, Colin Ingram received a fully deserved award for his endeavours in an otherwise disappointing one day cricket season. His efforts were epitomised by three centuries, including a career best 130 in front of the home fans at the SWALEC Stadium. Ingram was also the club’s top all-rounder for the season- cruising to 1712 runs in the 2015 season.

Young David Lloyd, meanwhile, received the Young Player of the Year award for his impressive contribution to both the County Championship and one day sides. His season highlight was a classy 94 against Northamptonshire.

The awards night brought the curtains down on what was ultimately a mixed season for Glamorgan. But, it was one that has enabled them to identify key areas for improvement as they target promotion to the first division of the County Championship.

As well as strengthening the squad, particularly in the seam bowling department, there have been big calls from Rudolph to make the pitch at Cardiff more of a batting wicket, favouring the current Glamorgan side. That argument was given more weight as Glamorgan lost points in limited overs cricket for pitch problems.

However, bettering their eighth-placed finish in the previous season has led to a new found optimism around the SWALEC. The only negative is that it is a full seven months before the cricket season restarts.

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