By now its old news that we have a new Chief Executive, Richard Gould, poached from Somerset where he was held in the very highest regard. Of course the Chairman is also different from 2010, Richard Thompson replaced David Stewart in October of last year. That completes (or does it?) a remarkable clearout over the last two and a half years since Alan Butcher departed in September 2008. Of the playing staff who turned out in the last few games of 2008 only four men remain - Ramprakash, Meaker, Dernbach and Spriegel.
Obviously the Chairman and the Chief Executive have less of an impact on the cricketing side, its their job to keep the club in the black among other things. With a staff roughly 20% smaller than it was in the middle of 2010 that will be a case of doing more with less, though they will hope that the draw of India and Sri Lanka - one test and two ODIs between them - will alleviate some of the financial pressures.
The real test of course remains on the pitch where again there has been a certain amount of upheaval. Out goes Stewart Walters, and as we all know in come Arafat, Maynard and de Bruyn, along with Tait for the Twenty20s. We may see a good deal less of Tremlett, Davies and Dernbach too.
The mettle of young stars like Roy, Meaker, Maynard and even Hamilton-Brown himself will be tested this season. We know they have talent in spades, but can they convert that into regular wins for the club? The average age of a likely starting XI come April will almost certainly be a good deal closer to 20 than 30, to expect too much of such a young side would be foolish, but we should expect at the very least a marked improvement on 2010 - especially in the longer form of the game where they fell shortest last season.
I don't wish to prejudice my more complete 'predictions 2011' posts coming in the next few weeks so I'll say no more. However suffice it to say I am mighty excited about the coming season!
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