I always rated Stuart and was sorry to see him leave Odsal, although he always seemed like a Union player playing League, not surprisingly I suppose. Big, powerful and quick with ball in hand, not quite such an asset in defence.
Albert's a great technician but I've often thought his playing lacks soul! He's the country equivalent of all those terribly tedious Metal guitar players like Eddie Van Halen. I'd still stand watching open mouthed mind!
Which is pretty much what I did for two hours last night.
Thing about Albert is that he is extremely versatile as well as technically brilliant. Over the years I've seen him with Clapton, the Everlys, Rhythm Kings and Hogan's Heroes, and he always looks supremely comfortable and to be having a great time. At 70 his powers seem undiminished, long may he continue.
The fact that Lyth, Bairstow, Rashid and Brooks have all been unable to find favour with the England closed shop has turned out to be a big advantage. Personally I don't care too much whether they do get called up by England, much as I like to see England win. I think the central contract system has a negative effect on County cricket, which for me remains the lifeblood of the sport in this country.
Rashid was taken into the system a few years ago and has only recently recovered after sitting on his a**e or carrying drinks for two years. If he'd been allowed to develop properly, i.e. by doing lots of bowling, the Swann retirement would have been no big deal.
Great to be Champions again. When I was in my teens winning the Championship was almost routine for Yorkshire, let's hope we have a similar run over the next few seasons.