Unicorns (cricket team)

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Unicorns
Unicornslogo.png
One-day name: Unicorns
Captain: Keith Parsons
Coach: Philip Oliver
Founded: 2010
Home ground: Arundel Castle
Chester Road North, Kidderminster
Colwyn Bay
Dean Park, Bournemouth
Sir Paul Getty's Ground, Wormsley
The Maer Ground, Exmouth[1]

Unicorns is a cricket team in England that was formed in 2010 specifically to play in the Clydesdale Bank 40 limited overs competition. Starting in 2014 the team will compete in the Second XI one-day and Twenty20 competitions. The 2014 season also includes a 50-over match against Sri Lanka A.[2] Members of the squad are all players without current full-time contracts with one of the regular first-class counties.

In only their sixth competitive game, Unicorns entered the record books for scoring the highest total in the second innings of a 40-over game, beating Sussex by successfully chasing 325.[3]

Formation[edit]

Provisionally called the ECB Recreation XI,[4] the squad was selected by coach Philip Oliver, Mark Alleyne and Min Patel[5] from a pool of 200 players recommended to the England and Wales Cricket Board in December 2009; the pool was reduced to 40 and 21 following training sessions over the winter.[6] 15 members of the squad are former county cricket professionals.[4] Team Manager Gordon Child said, "The Unicorns squad is a balance of youth and experience...For the younger players aspiring to play first-class cricket this is an opportunity to learn from their more experienced team mates and really test themselves and understand the attributes needed to succeed at this level."[6] The squad is captained by experienced professional Keith Parsons, the former Somerset all-rounder, who was playing Minor Counties cricket for Cornwall.[5][7]

2010 Clydesdale Bank 40[edit]

Unicorns played in Group A of the 2010 Clydesdale Bank 40, along with Glamorgan, Lancashire, Somerset, Surrey, Sussex and Worcestershire;[8] The competition was created for the 18 first-class counties, plus Scotland, Ireland and a Recreational XI based on players from the Minor Counties. Ireland declined to compete, thus leaving the competition one team short for the proposed three groups of seven format; The Netherlands took their place.[9][10][11] Unicorns were created to play representing the Minor Counties, thus giving a new opportunity for younger players to gain experience and to learn from experienced professionals. Unicorns have no fixed stadium, but will play their home games at six different outgrounds (stadiums with occasional use by first-class counties).[1][7]

Their first competitive game was due to be against Surrey on 2 May 2010, but was abandoned without any play, due to rain. Both teams received one point.[12] After a promising start in reply to Sussex's 255/8 at Hove, Unicorns collapsed from 207/4 to 211 all out, to lose their first full competitive game by 44 runs.[13] Former England international bowler James Kirtley led the collapse, with four wickets in eight balls.[14] Unicorns then lost by seven wickets to Somerset at Taunton.

In their fourth group game, on 16 May, Unicorns recorded their first win. Batting first against Glamorgan at Dean Park, Bournemouth, Unicorns scored 231/8, including a stand of 126 between Parsons and Knappett. Glamorgan were then restricted to 173.[15] Unicorns then went on to hit the record books when they stunned Sussex, in complete contrast to their batting collapse against them earlier in the competition. Wes Durston smashed 117 from 68 balls as they chased down a target of 325 to set the highest score (327/4) for a team batting second in the history of 40-over cricket. The third-wicket partnership between Durston and Josh Knappett, both making their highest List A scores, made 165 in just 18 overs.[3][16]

On resumption of the competition following the two-month break for Twenty20 matches, Unicorns suffered a nine-wicket defeat to Lancashire, before chasing another large total (277 runs), this time set by Worcestershire to win with two balls to spare; Michael O'Shea hit 90 from 62 balls.[17]

Squad[edit]

The squad, originally made up of twenty one uncontracted cricketers, do not get paid; they only receive expenses.[18] Two former county players, Carl Greenidge (son of West Indies player, Gordon) and Dave Burton were originally in the squad, but withdrew after insisting they received payment. "The ECB would not not agree, arguing that this is an opportunity for players to showcase their ability to the first-class counties.[18] The squad has endured some criticism, not least for the Unicorns moniker; sports journalist Peter May said that what was intended to be a Minor Counties Select XI, featuring some of the best amateurs in the country has included a disproportionate number of players from London with MCC or ECB connections. "This was an opportunity to reward the best cricketers for amateur dedication...and at the same time provide the sternest possible challenge to the county sides. It is an opportunity missed."[19]

Current squad[edit]

Players with previous first-class/List A appearances are listed in bold (Correct as of 10 September 2013)[20]

Name Nat Birth date Batting Style Bowling Style Years Notes
Luke Beaven  ENG (1989-08-31) 31 August 1989 (age 25) Right-handed Slow left-arm orthodox 2011–2013
Dean Bell  ENG (1992-05-03) 3 May 1992 (age 22) Right-handed 2013 Wicket-keeper
Harry Bush  USA (1989-11-06) 6 November 1989 (age 25) Right-handed Right arm off break 2013
Scott Elstone  ENG (1990-06-10) 10 June 1990 (age 24) Right-handed Right arm off break 2013
Devon Endersby  RSA (1992-05-12) 12 May 1992 (age 22) Right-handed Right arm medium-fast 2013
Lewis Hill  ENG (1990-10-05) 5 October 1990 (age 24) Right-handed Right arm medium 2012–2013
Paul Hindmarch  ENG (1988-02-08) 8 February 1988 (age 26) Right-handed Right arm medium-fast 2012–2013
Tom Lancefield  ENG (1990-10-08) 8 October 1990 (age 24) Left-handed Slow left-arm orthodox 2013
Warren Lee  ENG (1987-08-27) 27 August 1987 (age 27) Right-handed Right arm medium 2012–2013
Matt Lineker  ENG (1985-01-22) 22 January 1985 (age 29) Left-handed Slow left-arm orthodox 2013
Tom New  ENG (1985-01-18) 18 January 1985 (age 29) Left-handed 2012–2013 Wicket-keeper
Aneurin Norman  ENG (1991-03-22) 22 March 1991 (age 23) Right-handed Right arm medium 2013
Mike O'Shea  ENG (1987-09-04) 4 September 1987 (age 27) Right-handed Right arm off break 2010–2013
Garry Park  ENG (1983-04-19) 19 April 1983 (age 31) Right-handed Right arm medium-fast 2013
Keith Parsons  ENG (1973-05-02) 2 May 1973 (age 41) Right-handed Right arm medium 2010–2013 Club captain
Scott Phillips  ENG (1994-03-31) 31 March 1994 (age 20) Right-handed Right arm fast 2013
Josh Poysden  ENG (1991-08-08) 8 August 1991 (age 23) Left-handed Right arm leg break 2013
Dominic Reed  ENG (1990-03-27) 27 March 1990 (age 24) Right-handed Right arm medium-fast 2013
Chris Skidmore  ENG (1991-04-22) 22 April 1991 (age 23) Right-handed Right arm fast-medium 2013
Bharat Tripathi  ENG (1989-12-15) 15 December 1989 (age 25) Right-handed Slow left-arm orthodox 2013
Vishal Tripathi  ENG (1988-03-03) 3 March 1988 (age 26) Right-handed Right arm leg break 2012–2013
Bradley Wadlan  ENG (1988-12-14) 14 December 1988 (age 26) Left-handed Slow left-arm orthodox 2011–2013
Rob Woolley  ENG (1990-08-06) 6 August 1990 (age 24) Right-handed Right arm medium 2012–2013

Former squad members[edit]

Name Nat Birth date Batting Style Bowling Style Years Notes
Jahid Ahmed  ENG (1986-02-20) 20 February 1986 (age 28) Right-handed Right arm medium pace 2010
Arfan Akram  ENG (1983-11-17) 17 November 1983 (age 31) Right-handed Right arm leg break 2010
Atiq-ul-Rehman  ENG (1981-11-08) 8 November 1981 (age 33) Right-handed Right arm medium-fast 2010
Gavin Baker  ENG (1988-10-03) 3 October 1988 (age 26) Right-handed Right arm medium-fast 2012
Chris Benham  ENG (1983-03-24) 24 March 1983 (age 31) Right-handed Right arm off break 2011
Tom Brett  ENG (1989-11-13) 13 November 1989 (age 25) Right-handed Slow left-arm orthodox 2012
Chris Brown  ENG (1974-08-16) 16 August 1974 (age 40) Right-handed Right arm off break 2010
Dave Burton  ENG (1985-08-23) 23 August 1985 (age 29) Right-handed Right arm medium-fast Quit before 2010 season
James Campbell  ENG (1988-11-25) 25 November 1988 (age 26) Right-handed Right arm medium 2011–2012
Steven Cheetham  ENG (1987-09-05) 5 September 1987 (age 27) Right-handed Right arm fast-medium 2012
Tom Craddock  ENG (1989-07-13) 13 July 1989 (age 25) Right-handed Right arm leg break 2011 Joined Essex during 2011 season
Dan Davis  ENG (1989-01-23) 23 January 1989 (age 25) Right-handed Right arm medium-fast 2011
Wes Durston  ENG (1980-10-06) 6 October 1980 (age 34) Right-handed Right arm off break 2010 Joined Derbyshire during 2010 season
Ned Eckersley  ENG (1989-08-09) 9 August 1989 (age 25) Right-handed 2010 Wicket-keeper; joined Leicestershire in 2011
Tom Friend  ENG (1991-05-03) 3 May 1991 (age 23) Right-handed Right arm fast-medium 2011
Carl Greenidge  ENG (1978-02-20) 20 February 1978 (age 36) Right-handed Right arm medium-fast Quit before 2010 season
Neil Hancock  ENG (1976-04-13) 13 April 1976 (age 38) Right-handed Right arm fast-medium 2010
Mark Hardinges  ENG (1978-02-05) 5 February 1978 (age 36) Right-handed Right arm medium 2010
Benny Howell  ENG (1988-10-05) 5 October 1988 (age 26) Right-handed Right arm medium 2012 Joined Gloucestershire in 2012
Alan Ison  ENG (1990-11-16) 16 November 1990 (age 24) Right-handed Right arm medium 2011
Andy Kerr  ENG (1985-01-06) 6 January 1985 (age 29) Right-handed Right arm medium 2012
Josh Knappett  ENG (1985-04-15) 15 April 1985 (age 29) Right-handed 2010–2011 Wicket-keeper
Robin Lett  ENG (1986-12-23) 23 December 1986 (age 28) Right-handed Right arm medium 2011
Jayden Levitt  ENG (1986-06-23) 23 June 1986 (age 28) Right-handed Right arm off break 2011–2012
Andrew McGarry  ENG (1981-11-08) 8 November 1981 (age 33) Right-handed Right arm fast-medium 2011
Tom Mees  ENG (1981-06-08) 8 June 1981 (age 33) Right-handed Right arm medium-fast 2010
Jonathan Miles  ENG (1986-02-21) 21 February 1986 (age 28) Right-handed Left arm medium 2010–2011
Chris Murtagh  ENG (1984-10-14) 14 October 1984 (age 30) Right-handed Right arm off break 2010
James Ord  ENG (1987-11-09) 9 November 1987 (age 27) Right-handed Right arm off break 2011–2012
Max Osborne  ENG (1990-11-21) 21 November 1990 (age 24) Right-handed Right arm medium-fast 2012
Craig Park  ENG (1986-03-01) 1 March 1986 (age 28) Right-handed Right arm fast-medium 2011–2012
Sean Park  ENG (1980-04-24) 24 April 1980 (age 34) Right-handed Right arm fast-medium 2010
Chris Peploe  ENG (1981-04-26) 26 April 1981 (age 33) Left-handed Slow left-arm orthodox 2010–2011
Joel Pope  ENG (1988-10-23) 23 October 1988 (age 26) Right-handed 2011 Wicket-keeper
Glenn Querl  ZIM (1988-04-04) 4 April 1988 (age 26) Right-handed Right arm medium 2010–2013 Joined Hampshire during the 2013 season
Amar Rashid  ENG (1986-05-16) 16 May 1986 (age 28) Right-handed Right arm leg break 2011
Luis Reece  ENG (1990-08-04) 4 August 1990 (age 24) Left-handed Left arm medium 2011–2012 Joined Lancashire in 2013
Michael Roberts  ENG (1989-03-13) 13 March 1989 (age 25) Right-handed Right arm off break 2012 Joined Hampshire in 2013
Neil Saker  ENG (1984-09-20) 20 September 1984 (age 30) Right-handed Left arm medium 2010–2011
Shahzada Khan  PAK (1984-03-24) 24 March 1984 (age 30) Right-handed Right arm medium-fast 2011
Zoheb Sharif  ENG (1983-02-22) 22 February 1983 (age 31) Left-handed Right arm leg break 2010
Tom Sharp  ENG (1977-11-07) 7 November 1977 (age 37) Right-handed Right arm off break 2010
Duncan Snell  ENG (1984-10-14) 14 October 1984 (age 30) Left-handed Left arm medium-fast
Chris Thompson  ENG (1987-06-26) 26 June 1987 (age 27) Right-handed Right arm fast-medium 2011
Jackson Thompson  OMN (1986-02-07) 7 February 1986 (age 28) Left-handed Right arm off break 2010–2011 Represented Oman Under-17s
Michael Thornely  ENG (1987-10-19) 19 October 1987 (age 27) Right-handed Right arm medium 2011–2012 Joined Leicestershire during the 2012 season
Dan Wheeldon  ENG (1989-03-14) 14 March 1989 (age 25) Right-handed Right arm fast-medium 2011–2012
Adam Wilson  ENG (1988-10-10) 10 October 1988 (age 26) Right-handed Right arm fast-medium 2011
Ed Young  ENG (1989-05-21) 21 May 1989 (age 25) Right-handed Slow left arm orthodox 2010 Joined Gloucestershire during the 2010 season

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Clydesdale Bank 40 2010 Fixtures, Cricinfo Retrieved on 2 May 2010
  2. ^ Unicorns / Fixtures ESPN Cricinfo, Retrieved on 15 March 2014
  3. ^ a b Durston ton sets up Unicorns' record chase Cricinfo, 23 May 2010, Retrieved on 25 May 2010
  4. ^ a b Bolton, Paul Wes Durston to play for Unicorns Telegraph, 8 April 2010, Retrieved on 2 May 2010
  5. ^ a b Parsons to captain Unicorns AOL Sport, 14 April 2010, Retrieved on 2 May 2010
  6. ^ a b Cricinfo staff, Unicorns name squad for Clydesdale Bank 40 Cricinfo, 13 April 2010, Retrieved on 2 May 2010
  7. ^ a b Unicorns in shop window BBC Sport, 27 April 2010, Retrieved on 2 May 2010
  8. ^ Clydesdale Bank 40 2010, Cricinfo. Retrieved on 2 May 2010.
  9. ^ Ireland decline Englands 40-over invite Cricinfo blogs, 29 September 2009, Retrieved on 25 May 2010
  10. ^ Rod Lyall Dutch Pro40 spot remains a possibility Cricket Europe, 26 September 2009, Retrieved on 25 May 2010
  11. ^ Rod Lyall, Irish withdrawal gives Dutch their Pro40 chance Cricket Europe, 28 September 2009, Retrieved on 25 May 2010
  12. ^ Surrey and Unicorns hit by rain BBC Sport, 2 May 2010, Retrieved on 2 May 2010
  13. ^ Sussex v Unicorns in 2010, 3 May 2010, CricketArchive. Retrieved on 4 May 2010.
  14. ^ Somerford, Matt. Kirtley Sparks Unicorns Slump Sporting Life, 3 May 2010; Retrieved on 16 May 2010
  15. ^ Unicorns v Glamorgan CricketArchive, 16 May 2010, Retrieved on 16 May 2010
  16. ^ Unicorns v Sussex CricketArchive, 23 May 2010, Retrieved on 25 May 2010
  17. ^ Worcs stunned by Unicorns chase, 26 July 2010, BBC Sport. Retrieved 26 July 2010.
  18. ^ a b Geoffrey Dean, Ivo Tennant, Patrick Kidd Dispute overshadows first sighting of Unicorns Times Online, 2 May 2010, Retrieved on 3 May 2010
  19. ^ May, Peter, Minor scandal hits county circuit Cricket365, 13 April 2010, Retrieved on 21 May 2010
  20. ^ "Players who have played for Unicorns". CricketArchive. Retrieved 10 September 2013. 

References[edit]

  • Lyles, Christopher, "Unicorns for real", The Wisden Cricketer May 2010, 95