Dan Hudson


ODI Debutant
Feb 19, 2005
1. A few basic facts about you would help. where are you from, whom do you support, whom do you want to see lose etc..

I am 19 years old, I am from Gloucestershire in England and I am currently in the first year of an Information Technology degree at the University of Reading. I am a big supporter of both Gloucestershire in county cricket and England on the international scene. I often go and watch Gloucestershire
live but my international cricket watching has so far been confined to the television. The teams I want to see lose are obviously those that are playing either Gloucs or England but the only team I particularly dislike is Yorkshire, after they stole Australian ODI all-rounder Ian Harvey off Gloucs last winter.

2. What do you consider yourself primarily interested in: Batting or Bowling

Being a batsman myself in club cricket my primary interest is definitely in batting. I like to watch attacking players but those who play strokes, rather than try to smash the hell out of the ball, and who are capable of improvisation. One of my favourite batsmen to watch at the moment is Australia's Michael Clarke.
One interest I do have in bowling is the skill of bowling at the 'death' of a limited overs innings. The best performer I have ever seen at this is Ian Harvey and I saw him pull a rabbit out of the hat under pressure a phenomenal amount of times for Gloucestershire.

3. and then whom do you see as the promising ones in the english squad and then globally.

The two most promising youngsters, in my opinion, in the English squad are both batsmen – Warwickshire's Ian Bell and Hampshire's Kevin Pietersen. Bell is only the fifth Englishmen to score a fifty on both Test and ODI debut whilst Pietersen made a positive impression on the recent ODI tour of Zimbabwe.

I have not seen as much of other young players around the world to make a particularly in-depth assessment but going purely on reputation alone, three promising players coming through seem to be Australian fast bowler Shaun Tait, Pakistani opening batsman Salman Butt and South African fast bowler Dale Steyn.

4. why do you rate them highly?

I think Bell's forte will be the Test arena. He has a good technique that should serve him in good stead and he plays the ball late. It seems that he has time to play his shots and has poise and grace about him that makes him look never rushed.

On the other hand, Pietersen's strength is likely to be in ODIs. He is a tall, strong batsman who is capable of hitting the ball a long way. He has the ability to adjust his game to the situation and think on his feet, an important skill for any middle order batsman in the one-day game.

As for the global players, as I have seen little or nothing on them it is difficult for me to answer this question well so I am going to refrain from answering it badly.

5. Are you a stats man or do you like to go for qualitative measures?

I think both are important in order to accurate assess a player's
credentials and it can be difficult to say which is more important than other. An example of this is the debate that Amjid Javed and I have had a number of times over the past year regarding should Michael Vaughan have a place in the England ODI side or not.

Amjid says no, he shouldn't. Vaughan has a moderate record in both domestic one-day matches and ODIs and the fact that he has a poor average shows that he is not cut out for the limited overs game and should stick to Test cricket. I, on the other hand, say yes, he should. We have seen from Test
cricket that Vaughan is a naturally attacking player with all the shots in the book, why shouldn't this transfer to ODI cricket so long he is given a defined role in the batting order? He is also an excellent captain and his calm under pressure is necessary trait in the hustle and bustle of limited overs cricket.

Two very different ways of judging one player and it is very complicated to know which way is best.

6. If youre into batting, then which shot(s) do you believe should serve as a benchmark for a good batsman?

I believe the shot that marks a batsman out from his contemporaries is his ability to play the on-drive. This is because it requires the batsman to trust himself to play the ball late and also necessitates him having excellent balance in order for the shot to be executed correctly.

7. how do you evaluate a captain?

Their leadership skills are vital, the way that they can man-manage and motivate different personalities and mould eleven individuals into one cohesive and forward-looking unit. They must have the respect of all the team and must be able to communicate well to players when they have been dropped or need to perform a different role in the side.

On the field they must have a broad tactical awareness and the ability to read the game quickly. This is important when it comes to deciding upon field placings and bowling changes. They must know when to seek advice from their fellow cricketers and when to follow their instincts.

Oh, and I suspect having a double-headed coin for the toss might help.

8. why has England failed to win a world cup so far?
I once read that one of the reasons England has never succeded much is because it doesnt have that one player who could be the superstar so to speak. no one to go the extra mile. DO you agree then boysie?

One way to win a World Cup is to have a superstar cricketer who can carry the team to glory. The other way is to have eleven tight-knit individuals whose sum is greater their individual parts. When it comes to ODI cricket over the past decade, England have had a tendency to employ neither

In 1996 we had a squad that would have been useful had the World Cup been played in seaming conditions. Unfortunately it slipped the selectors minds that England would in fact be playing in the dusty batting tracks of the sub-continent instead. The personnel selected and the game plan used was hopelessly out of date.

In 1999 we decided to pick a squad full of bits-and-pieces players who at that stage were useful in county cricket but just didn't have the specialist skills needed to defeat top flight international opposition. The outcome was once again predictable.

In 2003 the Zimbabwe crisis where we decided to forfeit the points rather than play the game may well have cost us dear but ultimately the squad was too flimsy and inexperienced in pressure cooker situations, e.g. the final group match where we let the Australia game slip from our grasp.

England's ODI cricket is on the up now though because each player has a clear role defined for themselves within the team and there is more accountability and less factors left to the whims of chance. The need for a preference of specialists over bits-and-pieces has finally sunk in and the fact that we possess the world's best ODI all-rounder in Andrew Flintoff
should give us a better chance in 2007.

9. What are your primary interests other than cricket and would you like to expound on any one of them?

I am interested in psychology and enjoy reading on the subject. Rather than pure theoretical explanations I like to learn how psychological concepts are related to the way that humans live their everyday lives and the effect that different mindsets have on our individual productivity.

10. From what Dan has seen so far, which country has the most and/or least knowledgable fans of cricket ? In other words, given the choice to sit with a bunch of supporters from any side ( except his home side ), which ones would he prefer and why ?

Having discussed cricket over the medium of the internet with fans of England, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan and India, I would say that all countries have some fans that are extremely knowledgeable and articulate about cricket and have some fans that spoil it for everyone else.
In my experience I would put all countries' cricket supporters at the same level. I can't say I have a preference, as long as the group of fans are interesting and good-natured the country they support wouldn't be that important.

11. How have the Gloucs public responded to having Malik and Shabbir Ahmed for overseas players ?

Shoaib Malik and Shabbir Ahmed let themselves down at Gloucestershire with sloppy performances and certainly not those expected from overseas players. Shabbir bowled far too many no-balls and wides whilst Malik's batting technique did not seem up to the challenge. There were also question marks
about their attitude which is disappointing to hear. On a personal note I was really looking forward to having them at Gloucs and I felt Shabbir in particular would be a star. I think the Gloucestershire public felt underwhelmed by them because their ability was obvious but they did not display it on a consistent enough basis.

Some good memories were Malik reaching his maiden Gloucs first-class fifty with four consecutive sixes off Yorkshire off-spinner Richard Dawson and Shabbir's burst with the new ball at Canterbury where he knocked over the Kent top order in next to no time.