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Dark days for Worcestershire (experiment)

Aislabie

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That new game mechanic that allows you to swap teams whenever you feel like it has opened up the chance for me to absolutely tank Worcestershire.

How?
  1. First, I cleaned out their squad of players with any quality whatsoever by terminating their contracts.
  2. I then replaced them all with players on one-year deals; I targeted cheap players here.
  3. In the off-season, I went out of my way to sign up the cheapest players I possibly could, on the cheapest deals I possibly could.
  4. All of those deals were three-year deals.
  5. Then, at the end-season screen, I accepted an offer to coach at Middlesex instead, leaving Worcestershire ruined for at least three years with a bloated, incompetent squad.
  6. They could be stuck this way for some time longer though, because I expect the game to try to retain some of their players, and probably to blow some of the money they need to rebuild with on more expensive overseas players as they already have a "full" squad.
The Worcestershire Squad of Death

:eng: :bat: Noel Beckett (R, £18,000)
:eng: :bat: Harry Came (£18,000)
:eng: :bat: Ian Cardew (R, £17,000)
:eng: :bat: Ateeq Javid (£19,000)
:eng: :bat: Dan Mousley (£16,000)
:eng: :bat: Ollie Soames (£18,000)
:eng: :bat: Will Smeed (£20,000)
:usa: :bat: Cameron Steel (£17,000)
:eng: :bat: Olly Westbury (£23,000)

:eng: :wk: Horace Blake (R, £18,000)
:eng: :wk: Wayne Boxall (R, £18,000)
:eng: :wk: Jordan Cox (£17,000)
:eng: :wk: Brooke Guest (£17,000)

:saf: :ar: Zam Bakkes :os: (Reserve, £21,500)
:eng: :ar: George Balderson (£16,000)
:eng: :ar: Anuj Dal (£17,000)
:eng: :ar: Joey Evison (£18,000)
:eng: :ar: Ben Green (£20,000)
:aus: :ar: Chris Green :os: (T20, £20,000)
:zim: :ar: Sikandar Raza :os: (T20, £14,000)
:aus: :ar: Ashton Turner :os: (Main, £32,000)
:eng: :ar: Zain ul-Hassan (£19,000)

:eng: :bwl: Mark Barnwell (R, £19,000)
:eng: :bwl: Jack Christie (R, £16,000)
:eng: :bwl: George Drissell (£18,000)
:eng: :bwl: Adam Finch (£18,500)
:sri: :bwl: Sajith Gamage :os: (R, T20, £16,500)
:eng: :bwl: Hugh Kitson (R, £16,000)
:eng: :bwl: Jake Lintott (£21,000)
:ire: :bwl: Dan Moriarty (£22,500)
:eng: :bwl: Stuart Mutch (R, £16,000)
:eng: :bwl: Ken Owen (R, £16,000)
:eng: :bwl: Abi Sakande (£20,000)
:eng: :bwl: Chris Sanders (£18,000)
:eng: :bwl: George Scrimshaw (£17,000)
:eng: :bwl: Mitchell Spencer (£19,000)
:eng: :bwl: Mitchell Stanley (£20,000)
:eng: :bwl: James Taylor (£19,000)
:eng: :bwl: Ben Twohig (£26,000)
:eng: :bwl: Sam Wisniewski (£22,500)

(R) = Regen player

Why Worcestershire?
Long-term users of the site will be aware of my personal experiences at Worcestershire, of my particular dislike of the club's culture of intense toxic masculinity, and of my personal dislike of Steve Rhodes. We shall merely say that that is reason enough to tank Worcestershire like this.

Why is it in a new thread?
Because I'm going to post occasional updates about how Worcestershire are doing while I sit in my ivory tower at Lord's and gloat. I also plan to chronicle the dark years of Worcestershire CCC
 

zimrahil

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  2. Don Bradman Cricket 14 - Steam PC
Worcestershire are my team :facepalm
What's the short version of your dislike of Stumpy Rhodes?
 

Aislabie

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Worcestershire are my team :facepalm
What's the short version of your dislike of Stumpy Rhodes?
I used to be a very promising fast bowler; I'm 6'5" and could touch low 80s if I bent my back. Also swung the ball, and had a nice repertoire of slower balls and variations. While I was doing the tour of trying to break into the county system, the worst experience I had by far was at Worcestershire. Despite being head coach there, Rhodes was very involved with the whole system from Academy up.

He was also a vile, sadistic prick who openly played favourites, took pleasure in seeing how long it would take to break someone down emotionally, and who knew he could get away with it because he was an influential figure in the system so those trying to make it within said system would not want to be on his wrong side. As a by-product, there was also a culture of toxic masculinity where showing the slightest sign of weakness was punished with "consequences". Not in the usual sense of "you failed the thing, do a forfeit" but "you failed the thing, we'll stop the whole session to watch you do a forfeit for as long as it takes you to stop because of the pain, and if you're first to stop you do it again".

It came as no surprise that he chose to cover up the Hepburn rape case, nor that the Hepburn/Clarke/Kohler-Cadmore group would emerge under the sort of environment that Rhodes created.

After experiencing that side of the system at Worcestershire, I immediately gave up on trying to make it in cricket - sent messages to Yorkshire and Ireland that I wasn't going to be accepting their invitations to trial, and gave up bowling quick to become a spinner because there was no longer any reason to put my body through that

EDIT - I'm also not sure how much of this I could actually get away with saying from a legal perspective before it's considered defamation, so I may have to delete this soon. For now, I'm spoilering it.
 

ddrap14

Club Captain
Joined
Jan 11, 2017
That's actually a surprisingly good squad- a lot of promising youngsters, as well as Chris Green who's quality. But they'll need to all fire for them to have a chance to come out OK.
 

zimrahil

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I used to be a very promising fast bowler; I'm 6'5" and could touch low 80s if I bent my back. Also swung the ball, and had a nice repertoire of slower balls and variations. While I was doing the tour of trying to break into the county system, the worst experience I had by far was at Worcestershire. Despite being head coach there, Rhodes was very involved with the whole system from Academy up.

He was also a vile, sadistic prick who openly played favourites, took pleasure in seeing how long it would take to break someone down emotionally, and who knew he could get away with it because he was an influential figure in the system so those trying to make it within said system would not want to be on his wrong side. As a by-product, there was also a culture of toxic masculinity where showing the slightest sign of weakness was punished with "consequences". Not in the usual sense of "you failed the thing, do a forfeit" but "you failed the thing, we'll stop the whole session to watch you do a forfeit for as long as it takes you to stop because of the pain, and if you're first to stop you do it again".

It came as no surprise that he chose to cover up the Hepburn rape case, nor that the Hepburn/Clarke/Kohler-Cadmore group would emerge under the sort of environment that Rhodes created.

After experiencing that side of the system at Worcestershire, I immediately gave up on trying to make it in cricket - sent messages to Yorkshire and Ireland that I wasn't going to be accepting their invitations to trial, and gave up bowling quick to become a spinner because there was no longer any reason to put my body through that

EDIT - I'm also not sure how much of this I could actually get away with saying from a legal perspective before it's considered defamation, so I may have to delete this soon. For now, I'm spoilering it.
Wow that has opened my eyes, so sorry my ‘team’ put you through that :noway
I hope you have been able to move on from such experiences
 

ddrap14

Club Captain
Joined
Jan 11, 2017
I hope you have been able to move on from such experiences
Sorry for the ping you'll get Zim, as this is more of a reply for @Aislabie but I wanted to segway off that.

That is... wow. The only thing I've ever heard of in youth sport that's that bad was the Crewe shit and that ended with someone in prison. The fact that you're here and doing all you do for the cricket community is testament to you; if I was in your position I'd probably have walked away from cricket entirely. So big kudos to you.
 

Aislabie

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Wow that has opened my eyes, so sorry my ‘team’ put you through that :noway
I hope you have been able to move on from such experiences
Ah no worries; I'm pretty much at peace with it really. It was bad for me, but I'm sure there were people who thrived on it. I suspect it suited those who were a bit more gym-happy than me; I'll be the first to admit that I was not fit and motivated enough to actually make it as a pro fast bowler. That experience weeded me out. So there's a twisted logic to it even if it did get way out of hand.

Sorry for the ping you'll get Zim, as this is more of a reply for @Aislabie but I wanted to segway off that.

That is... wow. The only thing I've ever heard of in youth sport that's that bad was the Crewe shit and that ended with someone in prison. The fact that you're here and doing all you do for the cricket community is testament to you; if I was in your position I'd probably have walked away from cricket entirely. So big kudos to you.
There's just different kinds of bad really; I never got any impression that this was the same family of bad as the Crewe stuff at all.

As far as I could tell, it was just the product of having a coaching staff all with roughly the same attitudes and background. Say all four of those coaches had survived by trying to be tougher and fitter than their opposition, both physically and mentally. Or at least that they'd all spend a long time in dressing rooms where that was what was valued. If they created an echo chamber for themselves then you could see how that would get out of hand over time.

I'm pretty sure that would be more likely to happen at Worcestershire than anywhere else (though almost certainly not unique) because they've always been a county that provided :"jobs for the boys". I'm pretty sure that all four of the coaches in that particular anecdote will have shared a Worcestershire dressing room at some point during their playing days
 

Aislabie

Black Belt in Statsguru
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That's actually a surprisingly good squad- a lot of promising youngsters, as well as Chris Green who's quality. But they'll need to all fire for them to have a chance to come out OK.
I also fully agree with this - in real life, it'd be a great set of players to work with. Cricket Captain is historically bad at having young players develop though. Players also don't generally accept 20k unless they are bad at cricket in-game

1. :eng: :bat: Ateeq Javid
2. :eng: :bat: Olly Westbury
3. :eng: :wkb: Jordan Cox
4. :usa: :bat: Cameron Steel
5. :zim: :ar: :os: Sikandar Raza
6. :aus: :ar: :os: Ashton Turner
7. :eng: :wk: Brooke Guest
8. :eng: :bwl: James Taylor
9. :ire: :bwl: Dan Moriarty
10. :eng: :bwl: Abi Sakande
11. :eng: :bwl: Jake Lintott

Stick that side on a Taunton style dustbowl in real life and you'd do well in the County Championnship at the very least.
 

Aislabie

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2022 Summary

How did things go at Middlesex?

We got relegated in the Championship after finishing joint-8th on points with Hampshire. We were equal on wins, but one less draw meant that we go down to Division Two and join Worcestershire there. Looking forward to picking eleven batsmen for those two games. 6th in our group in the one-day competition and quarter-finalists in the T20.

How did things go at Worcestershire?
They actually won a Championship game when Ollie Soames got a ton. They also won a few limited overs games which wasn't part of the plan; I missed out on the chance to try to set 500 against them because in my infinite wisdom I chose to play only red-ball games.

PldWonTiedDrawnLostPtsPosLeading :bat:Leading :bwl:
Championship141011274LastCameron Steel - 862 runs @ 28.73 (1 century, best 104)Mark Barnwell (R) - 68 wickets @ 38.64 (4 5WI, best 6/100)
One-Day8300567th of 9Noel Beckett (R) - 317 runs @ 39.63 (1 century, best 108)Stuart Mutch (R) - 19 wickets @ 28.16 (econ. 6.69, best 4/54)
Twenty2014111118LastWill Smeed - 263 runs @ 37.57 (SR: 143.7, best 42*)Sajith Gamage (R) - 25 wickets @ 13.48 (econ. 7.49, best 5/29)


What have we learnt?
:tick: That having loads of bad players isn't much of a disadvantage when all the good players get called up to the Hundred
:tick: Some of the regens are evidently better than their salaries suggested.
:tick: Dan Moriarty is criminally underrated in Cricket Captain.

Any transfer news?
Well, at Middlesex the only players definitely contracted into next year were Andrew Umeed, Tom Taylor, Ollie Robinson and Alex Evans so that was quite a nice blank slate. Took the chance to sign a couple of my favourite county players, Leus du Plooy (someone else got him) Alex Wakely and Aron Nijjar. More importantly at Worcestershire:

:x: OUT - :eng: :bat: Olly Westbury - Played 21 first team games in 2022, but the game released him. One of the handful of players not on a three-year deal. (Signed him at Middlesex)
:x: OUT - :eng: :bwl: Ben Twohig - Played 24 first team games in 2022 with best figures of 7 for 89 in the Championship. (Signed him at Middlesex)
:x: OUT - :eng: :bwl: George Scrimshaw - Played only twice in the Championship with no great impact
:x: OUT - :eng: :bwl: Adam Finch - Played two one-dayers, surprisingly economical
:x: OUT - :aus: :ar: Ashton Turner :os: - Played every first-class and one-day game, curiously no T20s.
:x: OUT - :saf: :ar: Zam Bakkes :os: (R) - Not called upon
:x: OUT - :aus: :ar: Chris Green :os: - Played six T20s, no impact (Signed him at Middlesex as a T20 player)
:x: OUT - :sri: :bwl: Sajith Gamage :os: (R) - Huge contribution with the ball in T20s (Signed him at Middlesex as a T20 player)
:x: OUT - :zim: :ar: Sikandar Raza :os: - Played most of the T20s, didn't do much
:tick: IN - :ind: :bat: Shreyas Iyer :os: (Main) - A great signing when he's available; will presumably miss some of the season for IPL and stuff
:tick: IN - :saf: :bat: Brett Craven :os: (R, Reserve) - Seven career first-class matches, but has a batting average of 120...
:tick: IN - :eng: :bat: Tom Kohler-Cadmore - The misogynist son returns.

Big money signings, but they could only really afford two of them. And neither can bowl...
 

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