A small but very happy group of members joined the Chairman Ian Lovett, Chief Executive Vinny Codrington, and Managing Director of Cricket Angus Fraser in the Thomas Lord Suite on Monday evening.
Unsurprisingly, most of the questions were directed at Angus Fraser, ranging from the decision not to replace Lasith Malinga, through to why the 12th man had to run out onto the field every time a wicket fell. In answer to the former Angus said that he wanted to show the players that this wasn’t just a money saving exercise and therefore the money was being used to incentivise the players, and there was not the availability of a world class player to replace him, so we have decided to give the opportunity to our young players, and to the latter, Angus had sympathy for this view but said that the Strength and Conditioning Coach feels it’s important to keep the players hydrated.
A question was raised about the strength of the 2nd XI structure around the country. Gus began by saying that in general he felt that the modern day 2nd XI set-up didn't compare to that of his day, in that many other counties have smaller professional squads and therefore use a lot of their Academy players in their 2nd XI. However, Middlesex are of the opinion that the 2nd XI should be a breeding ground for the 1st XI, and hence the club has a larger squad to accomodate this.
He agreed with the question asked about why we put ourselves under pressure by getting behind the over- rate, and said that the players were constantly reminded of this. It was a shame that we were not playing another Championship match next week, as the team were in excellent form. There was disappointment that we weren’t playing another 4 day match at Lord’s until September. Vinny pointed out that although this was a most unusual fixture list, he was nevertheless delighted that we have managed to get the amount of play at Lord’s that we have, and this was always our first priority for members. He also said that we were still committed to 16 County Championship matches, and that the ECB were fully aware of our views.
Ian pointed out that with the Champions Trophy being held in June of next year, this will disrupt the fixtures for 2013. He thanked Kevin Hand of the BBC for his outstanding commentary, which met with large applause.
Ian closed the meeting by thanking everyone for their loyal support.