Tuesday 15 April 2008 

2008 County Preview - Glamorgan

There have been a number of changes on and off the field for Glamorgan as they look for an improved campaign in 2008. 2007 was massively disappointing, as they finished bottom of each and every competition. Their home ground of Sophia Gardens has been extensively redeveloped in time for the Ashes Test next season, but Glamorgan will be looking for more positive news on the pitch.

They have bolstered their squad by signing pace bowler Jason Gillespie, who last year played for Yorkshire. His experience will come in useful as well as his lower-order batting and he can be seen as the direct replacement for Simon Jones, who moved to Worcestershire, but his injury problems and England appearance meant he hardly played for Glamorgan in the last few seasons.

Also joining is England-capped all-rounder Jamie Dalrymple, and with Matthew Wood also joining from Yorkshire, the batting looks strong, especially with David Hemp and Michael Powell remaining with the Welsh side. They have also signed young fast bowler Adam Shantry, who was released by Warwickshire last year and both he and the club will be hoping a change of scenery will bring out the best in him.

Other departures were Nicky Peng and Andrew Davies, who called time on their careers while Dan Cherry was released. Much will again rest on the youngsters coming
through, with James Harris perhaps the most promising of those. Harris, a fast bowler, who had a very impressive Under-19 World Cup tournament, including taking five
wickets against Bangladesh has already put in starring roles with both bat and ball for Glamorgan who will look to him to cement a place as a bowling all-rounder in the
coming season.

Towards the end of last season, there were rumours of other counties looking to sign him up, but Glamorgan have held on to the youngster, who along with Tom Maynard, Michael O’Shea, Ben Wright and Michael Wallace, form the new guard in Wales. Veteran Robert Croft will still play and his vast experience of the game both at county and international level should continue to serve the county well while Dean Cosker, a candidate for most under-rated spinner on the county circuit, will help Croft out with his left-arm spin and experience.

Admirably, Glamorgan’s squad is in the majority Welshborn, and the county has steadfastly refused to employ Kolpak players, although this may change as if they continue to struggle and have to keep up with their rivals. Even though the players they have brought in are not Welsh, all have points to prove, either to former counties or national selectors, which can only stand Glamorgan in good stead for 2008.

Having endured such a torrid time of things in 2007, it won’t be difficult for Glamorgan to improve in 2008, although with Sophia Gardens now providing a stunning backdrop, it is up to the players to give their fans something worth watching on the pitch.

In: Jason Gillespie, Jamie Dalrymple,
Matthew Wood, Adam Shantry
Out: Nicky Peng, Simon Jones,
Dan Cherry, Andrew Davies

2008 Predictions


County Championship Division Two: 7th
Pro40 Division Two: 5th
Friends Provident Trophy: Group Stages
Twenty20 Cup: Group Stages
Star Man: David Hemp
Top Tip: James Harris

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By John Pennington