Glamorgan Season Preview 2024

Glamorgan Season Preview 2024

Glamorgan seem to have been in a “rebuilding phase” for far too long, but it looks like being another season where successes will be hard to come by. With the departures of chief executive Huw Morris, head coach Matthew Maynard, white ball coach Mark Alleyne and club captain David Lloyd, there will be a number of new personnel at the top. New Zealander Grant Bradburn has signed a three year deal as head coach for all formats, having most recently been with the Pakistan national team. Ex-Glamorgan opener Dan Cherry has been appointed as CEO and the captaincy duties will be shared between Sam Northeast and Kiran Carlson. Carlson will lead the side in the white ball formats, having been at the helm when they won the Royal London cup in 2022 and he has stood in for Lloyd during his absences in the last two seasons with injuries. Northeast had a highly productive debut season at Glamorgan in 2022, when he topped the run scoring in all three formats, but had a disappointing 2023. He has been given the captaincy of the Championship side, having previously led Kent and it must be hoped that he will be reinvigorated by the role.

Of perhaps greater significance is the loss of Michael Neser to Hampshire, depriving Glamorgan of their main strike bowler in recent years. Pakistan’s left-arm seamer, Mir Hamza has been recruited for the first batch of Championship fixtures, the 31-year-old having forced his way back into the Test side for the recent series against Australia. There he will have worked with Bradburn, although his Test record is unremarkable, with just nine wickets at 45.44 from his five games. He does have impressive first-class figures, capturing 434 wickets at 22.40. Hamza has also had previous ventures into county cricket, playing six matches for Sussex, back in 2019, taking 21 wickets at 27.47 and then dropping in for two matches with Warwickshire last season. He does not have the batting skills of Neser, so Glamorgan will have to look at how they balance the side. The remaining overseas slots remain filled by Marnus Labuschagne and Colin Ingram. Ingram has played in the Championship when Labuschagne has been unavailable and despite a successful red ball return in 2022, when he scored 596 runs at 66.22, he struggled last summer with just 357 runs at 29.75.

Carlson was the success on the batting front in 2023, reaching a 1000 Championship runs for the first time, supported by Billy Root with 884 runs at 52.00 and Chris Cooke with 733 at 45.81. Cooke remains the first choice keeper, his performances with the gloves seemingly improving year on year as he closes in on his 38th birthday. It will be interesting to see how much more game time 20-year-old Alex Horton is given.

Despite the presence of Hamza, the main concern for the Welsh county is in the bowling department. They were not alone among second division counties last summer in struggling to take the twenty wickets needed for a Championship win. Dutch international Timm van der Gugten was the top wicket-taker with 39 at 29.23 and James Harris had his most successful season with the ball, since his return to Cardiff, with 32 wickets, albeit at an average of 37.15. Jamie McIlroy also progressed, taking 24 wickets in his first season unaffected by injury and was the most effective white ball bowler, with his left arm seam. However they will need more assistance from the pitches than they received in 2023 if they are to put sustained pressure on opposition batters. Glamorgan were also hampered by the lack of a wicket-taking spinner in their regular squad, with Carlson ending up the leading spinner in the Championship, with his part-time off spin.

They employed two overseas leg-spinners during the season, Mitchell Swepson playing four Championship games and Peter Hatzoglou featuring in the Blast. They have now brought in another leg-spinner, Hampshire’s Mason Crane, on a season long loan. His only Test appearance was back in 2018 and his opportunities with Hampshire have been limited in recent seasons, with Liam Dawson being the favoured spin option. He has played just five first class matches in the last two years, taking six wickets at 75. This contrasts with 2022 when he played six games and took 23 wickets at 25.52. He has featured more in the white ball formats and will certainly boost Glamorgan’s chances in these competitions. Glamorgan have frequently turned to the leg spin of Labuschagne in the Championship and it will be interesting to see if both take the field in the early season, especially with the loss of the batting talents of Neser.

Two players have been promoted from the Academy. Wicket-keeper batter Henry Hurle has represented England at under 19 level, while Jersey-born Asa Tribe has played a number of ODIs and T20 internationals for the channel island.

Glamorgan have struggled at the top of the order for many seasons, lacking a pair of recognised openers and with Lloyd spending much of the season on the sidelines, young all-rounder Zain ul Hassan stepped up to the role in the Championship. The 23-year-old grew in confidence, finishing the season with 453 runs at a respectable 30.20, including two half centuries and he will likely continue alongside Eddie Byrom, in the absence of any further signings.

In the white ball formats, the fact that Glamorgan will not be affected significantly by their players being taken away in mid-summer, meaning their best chance of success is in the One-Day Cup, where they just missed out on a quarter final spot last summer. In the Blast their struggles are likely to continue, with both the batting and bowling lacking any real punch.

Key player

Kiran Carlson will be hoping to build on the success of last season and force his way into the minds of the England selectors. As well as his Championship tally, he scored 392 runs in the Blast at a healthy strike rate of 164.7 and 332 at 47.43 in the One-Day cup. He also made significant contributions with his off-spin, taking 14 Championship wickets and eight in the One-Day cup. Giving Northeast the red ball captaincy may be a shrewd move at present, although he will likely take over the role eventually.

One to watch

Without many new faces in the squad, Glamorgan will be hoping a number of their youngsters can step up, although it may be a season or two too soon for most. 20-year-old Ben Kellaway made an impact in the One Day cup last season, leading the wicket-taking with 13 at a creditable economy rate of 5.41. He also scored 195 runs at 32.5. He has the benefit of delivering his off-spin from a good height, but the question is whether he needs to put the emphasis on either his batting or bowling skills, particularly with University studies still taking up much of his time in the early part of the season. Glamorgan have had a number of spinning all-rounders in recent years, who have not quite succeeded at either skill.

Overseas signings: Marnus Labuschagne (Australia), Colin Ingram (South Africa), Mir Hamza (Pakistan) (until 27 May)

Ins: Henry Hurle (Academy), Asa Tribe (Academy), Mason Crane (Hampshire) (season long loan)

Outs: David Lloyd (Derbyshire), Andrew Salter (retired), Callum Taylor (released), Michael Neser (Hampshire)

How will they fare: Bradburn looks a good appointment, bringing a fresh set of ideas into a coaching and management team otherwise comprised of Glamorgan ex-players. However the squad still looks a little light of bowling threats and it could be a long season, with their best chance of success in the One-Day cup.

Opening fixture: CC vs Middlesex on April 5 at Lords


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