Friday, April 28, 2006

Dalrymple Left Out of England A

The career of Jamie Dalrymple is a something that Kenyan selectors may want to keep abreast of. After all, Jamie was born in Nairobi and so is eligible to play for Kenya until he recieves a full England call-up. He is also only 25, so has plenty of years playing cricket ahead of him. He is currently contracted to Middlesex, for whom he took 3-33 during Kent's first innings of their ongoing Liverpool Victoria County Championship Division One match. He also scored 17 in the first innings. He has however been omitted from the England A squad to play Sri Lanka.
According to this article on cricinfo, it will be difficult for even those selected for the curent England A squad to get a call-up for full national duty in the near future. Dalrymple who missed out due to an indifferent tour of the West Indies, would therefore be considered even more unlikely to be selected. Should the Kenyan selectors approach him, this would leave him with a bit of a dilemma. If he agreed to play for Kenya, he will no doubt miss out on some matches for his county and a slight chance at playing for England. He will however, almost certainly provide a huge boost for the Kenya side and one would think be an almost certain starter for Kenya in the World Cup. It will probably be his only chance to play in the top one day event in the cricketing calendar, and that alone should make him seriously consider it. At 25 he may be running out of time to play for England, and even Kenya will be looking to the future with their team selection.
To my mind, he has far more to offer Kenya than he does England. England already have plenty of match winning players. Kenya are thin on the ground, and his skill and experience would make a huge difference, especially in strengthening the batting. With Kenya, he would have somewhere in the region of 10 years international cricket ahead of him. With England's depth, he may never even get a game, and if he does, he will have a much shorter international career. From next year, the Intercontinental Cup is a full round robin event, so he will get the opportunity to play plenty of first class cricket. He would also play in at least one World Cup, something that looks unlikely for him if he opts to wait on an England call up.
As a player, he is a quality batsman, and tidy off spinner. He may not be as electric as Steve Tikolo with the bat, but would go a long way towards filling the gap that will be left when Kenya's skipper finally calls it a day. He has also played 52 First class matches and averages over 37 with 5 centuries to his name. Kenya need batting like that if we are to have a chance of winning the Intercontinental Cup. The fact that he can bowl and take wickets is an added bonus. Dalrymple may not be that interested in playing for Kenya at this stage, but both he and Cricket Kenya would be crazy if they didn't at least sit down and talk about it. There could be an aweful lot of benefit in it for both sides.


Andrew said...

I seem to recall reading that now Ed Joyce has played for England A, he is no longer eligible for Ireland, unless he waits four years, so Kenya would have to wait some time for Dalrymple.

It would appear that England A selection counts as selection for another national side, in the same way as Under-19 selection would.

Chemosit said...

Hi Andrew - you may be right, especially in regards to the Intercon Cup, but my understanding of the rules means he will be eligible to play for Kenya come the World Cup. I suspect though it will be a moot point as he will be earning more playing for Middlesex than he would get for Kenya. Still, sometimes we can visit the world of 'What If' for a while...

Andrew said...

The qualification rules for international cricket are certainly a strange beast! Look at David Hemp, born in Bermuda yet needed to spend 100 days living their to be eligible to represent them.

The main problem is that there are different eligibility requirements for the non-test tournaments and for ODIs.

For example, Canada wanted to pick a player from the Australian Academy who was born in Canada for the ICC Trophy last year. However, as he had spent no time in Canada since he was born, he was not eligible. However, he is now eligible to play for them in ODIs, and is in their squad for their forthcoming tri-series, despite still having spent no time in Canada.

Still at least it's better than some other sports where it sometimes seems you can play for Ireland if you once drank a pint of Guiness.