Perhaps Glamorgan’s greatest achieve this season was not winning a trophy – the dreaded wooden spoon. Glamorgan were unanimously predicted to retain the infamous reward after only winning two matches in 2018.
However, to everyone’s surprise, Glamorgan showed great improvement in 2019 and were genuine contenders for promotion until rain ruined the final round of fixtures.
Matt Maynard took charge at the end of 2018 following the departure of Robert Croft. It is Maynard’s second spell as head coach of the Welsh County, the first coming between 2008 and 2010.
It is unclear who will take charge next season, but Maynard will have surely put his hat in the ring following the progress made by Glamorgan this season.
Red-ball cricket must have been the priority for Maynard because the white-ball campaigns were, quite frankly, a disaster. They did manage three wins in the Royal London One-Day Cup and finished above Surrey, Essex, and Kent in the process – a feat that not many would have predicted.
The T20 Blast, though, produced a ninth place finish with just a solidity win coming in the final round to avoid complete humiliation. The Welsh County’s score of 44 all out against Surrey was the lowest in the competition.
It’s fair to focus on the positives, however, and an improvement in red-ball cricket over success in white-ball cricket will please those at Sophia Gardens.
Glamorgan have been criticised for the amount of kolpak/overseas in their ranks, but young players have been allowed to flourish this season. Billy Root enjoyed a fine season after his brave move from Nottinghamshire, and his innings of 229 off 252 deliveries – scored in a single day – was a season highlight.
Dan Douthwaite will be on many ‘One to watch’ lists next season after his performance during an MCCU fixture at the start of the season earned the 22-year-old a full-time contract. Other Counties were said to be interested in signing Douthwaite, notably Surrey and Warwickshire, but Glamorgan were able to secure his services.
SSCC: Division Two – 4th
RL50: Group Stage – 6th
T20 Blast: Group Stage – 9th
SSCC: Labuschagne – 1,114, average 65.52
RL50: Root – 386, average 64.33
T20 Blast: Lloyd – 358, average 32.54
SSCC: Hogan – 46
RL50: De Lange – 16
T20 Blast: Slater – 14
Player of the Season:
Marnus Labuschagne made quite the impression in Wales this season, and all over England for that matter. His five centuries in the first ten Championship matches meant he was the first player to go to one thousand first-class runs for the season.
He provided a ‘rock-like’ figure at number three, and allowed the more free-flowing players in Billy Root and David Lloyd to player under him in the middle order.
The signing was clearly made so the player could gain form before the Ashes, but Glamorgan would be mad not to try and re-sign the 25-year-old next year.
Dan Douthwaite is as exciting a prospect as any on the County circuit right now. He is a genuine all-rounder in all forms of the game and one feels the clock is already ticking before the poachers come calling. The 22-year-old troubled batsmen all year and his bowling clocked in at 86mph in front of the Sky cameras during a T20 match.
Could have done better:
The entire T20 side!
Need to work on:
White-ball cricket. A single win in a format as open as T20 cricket is simply not good enough.
Building on the progress made. Leicestershire prospered in 2018, even flirted with promotion, then finished with the wooden spoon in 2019. Glamorgan will not want to follow their lead. The one advantage Glamorgan should have going into next season is the makeup of the side should be the same.
Season Rating: 6/10