Shane Lee: MacLaurin missed chances (9 Aug 1997)

9 August 1997

MacLaurin missed chances

Shane Lee

THE MacLaurin blueprint for the future of English cricket is hardly a revolution. It seems to me that the officials have copped out to an extent by just playing fewer first class games.

Two championship divisions, rather than the conference system, would at least produce stronger county sides.

The increase in one-day cricket would have eased the worries of those counties with an eye on the financial effects of promotion and relegation.

The move to sort out the structure of junior cricket is good, and not just because it is based on Australia's grade cricket model.

Competition for places among a county's elite squad encourages discipline and mental toughness.

But I think the administrators have largely missed out on a good chance to have a real effect on the English game.

Those changes were in a way mirrored by the changes in the Test side for Trent Bridge - window dressing rather than anything of great consequence.

I was a bit shocked about the inclusion of Adam Hollioake as he is more of a one-day bowler and I cannot see him getting a lot of Test wickets.

He can bat all right, but it is really in the bowling department that England need greater strength.

I do not know a lot about his brother, Ben, but he showed he can play his shots in the one day internationals.

John Crawley needs to develop consistency as he seems to be scoring runs when the pressure is off to some extent in the second innings.

This has been something of a hectic week.

On Tuesday I played in a benefit game for Brian Strang, the Zimbabwe player, in Liverpool.

Then I travelled down to Somerset to watch my old county in action against Gloucestershire before celebrating my 24th birthday yesterday.

I stayed with Simon Ecclestone, who came out to play for my grade club, Mosman, last winter.

Haslingden are favourites for the Jennings Worsely Cup Final tomorrow.

But do not rule out today's opponents, Burnley, as Dale Benkenstein, who also played at Liverpool, is a talented cricketer and can change a game.