England’s ODI wicket-keeper – The most cut-throat job in cricket

England travel to the scenic shores of New Zealand in a few weeks, without the latest casualty of the ECB’s campaign to find a keeper with strong enough attributes to replace Alec Stewart, Craig Kieswetter. At just 25, this ex-Safa U19 already has 46 ODI’s under his belt in his 3 year tenure behind the stumps. It was promising at first, but then again, they always are…

Pietersen tries to strangle Kieswetter after he dropped a catch, or the less likely scenario, congratulates him for taking a catch (PC: The Gaurdian)

Pietersen tries to strangle Kieswetter after he dropped a catch, or the less likely scenario, congratulates him for taking a catch (PC: The Gaurdian)

England have now have used 13 glove-men in ODI’s since Stewart’s retirement that still play county cricket. An obscene number of keepers when you think how long the likes of Gilchrist and Sangakarra held the honour in all three formats. The list is unbelievable when you look at it, plus it contains someone who is probably still one of the best keepers in the world, James Foster of Essex. There is also Chris Read of Nottinghamshire and Steve Davis of Surrey. Sadly, the calls for these fantastic three to get the call up were back in the days when Kieswetter was showing potential, and they would be stopping the younger generation if they took up the job now. Ben Foakes, Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow and Ben Duckett are all future occupants of the position, it would be unfair to give the job to someone who’s joints will soon give up due to their arthritic backs! (Their aren’t actually that old, I hear the usual age for Arthritis is older than the early 30’s…)

22 year old Jos Buttler keeping for what is soon to be Kieswetter's old county, Somerset

22 year old Jos Buttler keeping for what is soon to be Kieswetter’s old county, Somerset (PC: cricnet.com)

The most obvious name that sticks out at me from that list (below) is that of Matt Prior. The Sussex man has already been billed as a great like Stewart, Gilchrist and Sangakarra, so why won’t the ECB give him an opportunity to flourish in all forms of the game? Who better to tutor the young understudy on long away tours than this reformed bad-boy, now loved by all the people that wrote him off in 2007?

Kieswetter no longer getting on the team plane my have a more significance life change for him than just being dropped from the squad. With a likely replacement being fellow Somerset-man Jos Buttler, the ECB will encourage Somerset to give the gloves to him above Kieswetter whenever they can. Meaning, if Kieswetter ever wants to play International cricket again, he will have to find a new ground to crouch behind the stumps and call his own. It is not that simple however, with a mixture of youth and experience currently holding the squatting positions at all the counties that would be able to meet his wage demands, it may be harder than he thinks to find a county that want him. Buttler and Bairstow who travel to New Zealand as the only keeping options are only 3 years younger than Kieswetter, who in keeping terms definitely still has his best days ahead of him. Both Read and Foster were blooded to early and fell by the sword, I hope the Somerset man hasn’t been condemned to the same fate.

List Of England ODI Keeper’s still playing County Cricket

Tim Ambrose (Warickshire)
Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire)
Jos Buttler (Somerset)
Paul Collingwood (Durham)
Steve Davis (Surrey)
Chris Read (Nottinghamshire)
James Foster (Essex)
Phil Mustard (Durham)
Matt Prior (Sussex)
Marcus Trescothick (Somerset)
Vikram Solanki (Worcestshire)
Geriant Jones (Kent)
Craig Kieswetter (Somerset)

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7 thoughts on “England’s ODI wicket-keeper – The most cut-throat job in cricket

  1. It’s gotta be Prior. He moulded himself into a world class Test keeper/batsman, by the time he established himself properly (he got shedloads of criticism at first and rightly so) he’d already been dropped in ODIers. I’d give the gloves to him, bat him at 7, and re-think the plan post WC2015. He’s the strongest, most consistent part of the team!

    • At only 30 he defiantly will be able to make the next world cup, seems crazy the ECB aren’t ready to return to that option! I feel 7 will be too low for him as with the need for 5 bowlers in ODI’s, which all-rounder could you see batting higher than him?

      • Root, KP and Trott to dig out 10 overs between them? Not exactly reliable though, missing that Collingwood figure who was always good for his quota. Unless Woakes develops his international figures to the same standard as his List 1 stats!

      • Sorry I meant that five bowlers, hopefully including Woakes, would be able to fill the 7-11 spots, so Pietersen Root and Trott could concentrate on fielding rather than having to bend their backs!

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