COUNTY CAPTAINS - THE NORTH
(from issue 6.3 back in 2007)
Once more we examine of the key discussion points on the lips of all true cricket lovers - who would win a mass brawl between the county captains. Due to geographically logistical complications we have decided to separate the 'North' from the 'South' (how would they decide on a neutral venue?) This issue, The North ...
Darren Gough (Yorkshire)
Dazzler was once called Rhino but that was before he tarnished his image with all that girly ballroom dancing. However he promises to be light on his feet, which will be a distinct advantage in the confines of a pub car park, and will take some bringing down. Will be a definite early target of Mark Chilton but should withstand the assault. However this will weaken him and will fall foul to other skippers looking for a 'celebrity' scalp.
Mark Chilton (Lancashire)
His rivalry with Gough will prove too much for the more cerebral Chilton. The skinniest of all the competitors Chilton will be keen to put one over on his Cross-Pennine enemy but he does not have the firepower to live with him. Still, he will persevere and inflict considerable punishment on Goughie, working in tandem with Solanki for a while. A quick assault from behind by Maddy will finish him off.
Dave Hussey (Notts)
The smart bet to go the distance in this brutal arena. Built like the proverbial brick outhouse, Hussey will definitely last longer than his predecessor Fleming (one punch and he's down) would have done. Most other skippers will try to keep out of his way, which will leave him pretty fresh to pick off the likes of Gough and Maddy at mid-contest, and when the melee thins out he will be set to administer severe punishment. But his confidence will be his ultimate downfall, as weakened by contests with fellow Aussies, Solanki will be ready to pick him off with low blows.
David Sales (Northants)
Has the requisite 'body mass' to become difficult to put down easily. His limited reach will probably be compensated for by lower centre of gravity and may last a while provided he stays out of trouble. Likely to last until the last four or so standing but lack of bite may leave him stranded and sprawled on the deck in agony after this point.
Dale Benkenstein (Durham)
As a Kolpak player Dale is a true mercenary. This makes him ideally placed for the cut-throat world of a car park brawl. Despite his steely resolve, he will attract attacks from the likes of Gough and Nixon early doors. He is also extremely unlikely to get any moral support from any Englishmen, and is likely to be demolished by a combination of Hussey and Gough within five minutes of kick off and squealing like a pig loudest of all.
Darren Maddy (Warwickshire)
Not quite suited to this environment, Maddy is a 20-man brawl specialist and works better in the even greater hurly-burly of large-scale brawls. Darren has all the skills to succeed, but will look too often to fight at close quarters with anyone and everyone, which will be his undoing. After a few early successes at the expense of the more pedestrian combatants such as Chilton and Katich, his come-uppance is likely to be delivered in one blow by a giant such as Hussey.
Paul Nixon (Leicestershire)
Taking over the captaincy officially from Darren Robinson robbed us of one of the most solid citizens who was likely to be entered into this contest. Nico will be continuously talking throughout the brawl, egging on rivals and trying to attack them with verbal disintegration. Yet his verbal strengths will also be his downfall as too many of his opponents will target him early just to shut him up. Likely to go down among the first three casualties, pleading for mercy.
Simon Katich (Derbyshire)
Being a south-paw will doubtless fox some of his opponents early on before they get used to his style. However in the thick of the melee of flaying fists and boots, Katich is essentially a wimp and he will be found wanting. A natural target for anyone English, the Aussies will doubtless pick on him too, and he is a certainty to be eliminated within two minutes of it all kicking off.
Vik Solanki (Worcester)
A smart cookie and one who is likely to try to keep himself out of trouble. With his 'street' moves, Vik will fight pretty dirty when he needs to, and survive deep into the contest. His 'Banzai' approach will ward off most opponents, and lacking any real serious rivals he will be left in the ring with Hussey, polishing him off with several low and dirty blows.