Glamorgan CCC’s winter of discontent

For all its history and tradition it is unlikely that Glamorgan Cricket Club have endured a more turbulent twenty four hours than that which has hit the club lately.

Losing their captain Jamie Dalrymple and coach Matthew Maynard have potentially left the club in turmoil. But how did it come to this, and what are the reasons behind their departure?

The start of a beautiful friendship

Former batting coach Maynard took over in 2007

In 2007 Maynard took over at Glamorgan, and the former England batting coach was then joined by Dalrymple in 2008 who immediately made a huge impression at the club, being named Glamorgan’s Player of the Year that season. That summer he was named club captain permanently with Maynard praising his “experience and strong character”.

Building for the Future

Under Maynard, the club adopted a policy aimed more towards developing their own young players, mixed with a sprinkling of seasoned professionals such as Dean Cosker and Robert Croft.

James Harris has thrived under Maynard's tutelage

This proved beneficial with the likes of James Harris, Huw Waters and Tom Maynard developing well. But real progress as a team was slow and in 2008/09 the club finished fifth in Division Two with only two wins, while they made little impression on the Twenty20, Pro40 or Friends Provident competitions.

Under Pressure

After a decent season in 2009, where the club came fifth in the County Championship, both Dalrymple and Maynard signed new deals with the club after the season. However Glamorgan chairman Paul Russell said: “You’re as good as your last set of results. The results have been enormously disappointing and that’s what Matthew and I, and [chief executive] Alan Hamer will be discussing in some detail.”

A season of peaks and troughs

Despite starting the season poorly against Sussex, the team bounced back quickly with victory at Lords against Middlesex, before recording a further four victories by June to put them in a handy position in the Championship, prompting Maynard to declare himself “delighted with the first half of the season.”

Yet the spanner in their works came in the limited-overs competitions which were a priority for the Glamorgan hierarchy. The team struggled to make an impact in the T20 Cup-finishing second bottom in the Southern Group, while worse was to come in the Pro40 where they finished bottom of Group A, below minnows Unicorns.

Meanwhile in the County Championship their form fell away, despite the prolific form of Cosgrove and the excellence of Harris and Allenby, and they were eventually pipped for promotion on the final day by Worcestershire, after drawing three of their last four games.

At the end of the season, Maynard hinted at potential trouble behind the scenes, stating: “How the season is viewed is up to the board as it is them I am answerable to. It will be interesting to get their views, one committee man blanked me and Jamie earlier so that suggests that they’re not too happy.”

Winter of discontent

Initially the winter began well, first with the signing of Graham Wagg from Derbyshire, plus the announcement of new deals for Harris, Tom Maynard and Robert Croft. But behind the scenes the club’s management were conducting a stringent review of their performances on the field, led by Colin Metson (more on him later).

Eventually the club came to the decision to remove Dalrymple as captain yesterday and Paul Russell, Glamorgan chairman, said it was made because “the management was under pressure from the committee to improve results.”

As Dalrymple’s replacement, in came Alviro Petersen, the South African batsman, who was charged with improving their short-form fortunes. The club’s statement barely concealed their motives behind his signing, stating: “Glamorgan’s record in one-day cricket over the past few years has been very poor and the appointment of Alviro as our captain forms a crucial part of the club’s strategy to improve our playing fortunes.”

Later Russell declared Maynard’s position at the club was “certain”, but the club’s decision to appoint Metson as head of their coaching staff, eventually forced Maynard into the inevitable as he declared his position “untenable”. Within 24 hours both the captain and coach had gone.

What next?

In truth, who knows what can happen next? The club have not only shorn themselves of the services of a club legend and a capable coach, but their former captain and potentially one of their better players. Dalrymple’s future is in doubt according to club legend Steve James, while a new captain and coach with little track record must take over a group of players who developed well under Maynard.

Furthermore Petersen’s arrival means an end for Cosgrove’s spell at the club, meaning they must also do without their leading scorer in First Class cricket last season.

After a season of peaks and troughs which generally showed that while they are not yet the finished article they were definitely heading in the right direction with a young team has been destabilised.

Though this is a story which has taken on many twists and turns already, there promises to be much more to come in an eventful winter for Glamorgan CCC.

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