A journeyman indeed – A little Linley fuss

Theres been a bit of a Linley fuss (no surprises there I hear you cry).

Now traditionally Linley family fusses are about which train to catch, whether so and so has eaten his sprouts or whose wearing whose clothes. But this one was a little different…this one even hit the national press!

It all started with a tweet…

‘This appalling excuse for journalism is deserving of a Tim Linley bouncer’ it read. You can read the full article/blog rom the Guardian herehttp://t.co/p1wC1POI

[If at first you don’t succeed]

Needless to say Linley family feathers were ruffled. A journeyman indeed!. Protesting brother started preparing placards and organising illegal protests whereas Business Bro started a response.

And o boy – what a response. It went on….and on….and on. Lord only knows what Claudia (business bro’s beau) thought as he spent the entire night composing his epic three volume missive.

Space prevents me from reprinting the whole thing – so here are just some of the highlights…

Dear Editor & Patrick (Kingsley),

I have just been sent Patrick’s blog named ‘Cloudy summer gives Journeymen bowlers chance to shine’. I was extremely disappointed by this blog…

You have mentioned three journeymen bowlers in your article and I have taken Tim Linley as one example I know well.

First and foremost, the Oval is well known as a batting heaven and contests this title every year with Taunton. This would suggest, that any quick bowler, (Tim has put on a yard of pace this year, well acknowledged in a lot of Chris Adams [Surrey Head Coach] interviews) Tim should have struggled at the Oval this year.

[try, try….]

Secondly, to say Tim Linley is a experienced journeymen bowler is both unfair and grossly incorrect. Tim has worked very hard to get where he is and has prospered through hard work. He has indeed changed counties once from Sussex to Surrey and trialled at several others. Surely he should be praised, not given derogatory names, for his perseverance to do what he loves as a career.

Tim is highly regarded by the likes of Mark Butcher, Alec Stewart & Martin
Bicknell, all Surrey and England legends. I have only heard praise for Tim’s work ethic and ability this season from all three of these legends. Admittedly, in previous seasons he has struggled to get established into the first team and has tended to get injured whenever he broke into the first team. This has meant he has flourished rather late in his career, but he will no doubt continue this successful vein of form for Surrey for many seasons to come.

I think a more honest reflection on why the three best bowlers have been a little older than the majority in Division Two is they have learned to bowl in tandem with their colleagues and have mastered the Tiflex ball. The Tiflex ball has indeed done a lot more than the dukes in Division One, but even the likes of Matthew Hoggard and Steven Finn have not managed to bowl the nagging line consistently like the top three bowlers have. The fact that Masters, Murtagh & Linley (sounds like a good name for a brewery…ed) have mastered and managed to maintain this on differing pitches and in various conditions where others have struggled,should be praised and not just be put down to poor batsmen or experience.

[and try again…(but don’t look too desperate)]

Having got all that of his chest Tom donned a Frindallesque beard and started wheeling out the stats:-

Over 20% of Tim Linley’s wickets were former internationals, disproving your assumption that Division two batsmen are poor. Tim Linley took 19% of Surrey’s total wickets in a team including 7 nearly 8 current or former internationals. He took 73 wickets in only 14 games (season is 16)- in so do taking more than many established names including Chaminda Vaas, Jon Lewis, Corey Collymore, Steven Finn, Matthew Hoggard, Andrew Hall, Azhar Mahmood and Yasir Arafat. Not bad for a journeymen bowler I would say.

Its a view backed up by other writers – heres a recent piece on the ECB web site

And here is Tim himself chatting with ‘that nice man’ (as the viscounts mother calls him) Mark Church.

Being terribly well brought up business bro ended the rant graciously.

Thank you for taking the time to read my e-mail, I’d be interested to hear any further thoughts you may have. A disappointed Guardian Reader.

Now its clear that Patrick too is equally well brought up. The other day the following message dropped into business bro’s in box:-

hi Thomas,

Just saw your tweet. Sorry for not replying earlier – I am on my belated summer holiday, and haven’t been checking my emails properly.

Thanks for writing. I agree: you don’t get 80+ wickets by bowling badly, and as several commenters noted, I should have mentioned the Tiflex, and the roller regulations! But I am a bit sad my main point has been misconstrued – which is that the success of bowlers like Tim are a reminder of why it’s important not to cull too many experienced players from county cricket. (My fault, though: I could have been clearer.) And I do stand by the points that (a) it is pleasantly surprising to see bowlers like Tim, Murts and Masters up there at the top of the wicket-taking tables, and that (b) there are fewer top-class overseas players playing for any length of
time.

Anyway – I live round the corner from the Oval, and try to go as often as possible (despite being a Middx fan at heart!), so perhaps next season you can give me a piece of your mind in person!

thanks again for writing

PatrickSo like all good Linley fusses (like the time I experimented with trying to boil water in a plastic cup on the hob, or the year I told the folks I was learning violin at school and told my music teacher I was learning violin at music centre) it all ended happily ever after.

So thats allright then!

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