Surrey Stars looking for a strong finish in KSL
Surrey Stars coach Richard Bedbrook has demanded a strong finish to a hugely disappointing Kia Super League campaign.
Stars have relinquished their title with barely a whimper, losing their last six games including a 77-run hammering by unbeaten Western Storm at Guildford on Sunday.
They head to Blackpool on Wednesday (2.30pm) to face Lancashire Thunder and after giving Hannah Jones, the 20-year-old right-hander, her debut against Storm, Bedbrook will give further opportunities to players who have not had much match time during a hectic campaign.
But whoever is selected needs to perform, according to Bedbrook.
He said: “There is an element of going to Blackpool for a game that means nothing in terms of the overall competition, so we are going to give game time to individuals who haven’t played much this season or in 2018. But we have to have every individual turning up and putting in a performance. They are professional cricketers – that’s their job.
“A lot of people at Guildford CC and Surrey made a big effort to get almost 1,000 people to Sunday’s game against Storm and our performance didn’t really reward that effort.”
Bedbrook admits the congested nature of this year’s tournament, with ten games crammed into 20 days has made proper assessment of performances tougher, although he is not using that as an excuse for Surrey’s disappointing title defence.
“It’s been a new challenge for everyone including the staff getting used to the fact that there are so many games in a short space of time,” he added. “You don’t get the chance to take the steam out of it and properly assess each game. You are relying on individuals to work it out for themselves.”
Wednesday’s match will be the last Kia Super League game in the T20 format. Stars will be aligned with the Kia Oval-based Hundred team next year and their coach acknowledges that some of his players will already be thinking about how they can be part of new era.
“They will want to be part of it because it’s going to be a big step forward for the game,” he said.
“But the professionalism that will be needed next year is still needed now. You can’t just palm off a game, you have to turn up and perform.
"We’re going into an era when people who don’t perform over time won’t be involved which is something the players will have to take on board. It’s a big shift going from an amateur to a professional era and that will take some management but it’s also an exciting time too.”