I personally make an effort to keep up with different domestic cricket leagues from around the cricketing globe. That way I get a first hand experience (well somewhat) of who is doing well and which teams, states, counties, franchises (well you get the picture) are dominating their respective countries (or regions, got to keep the Windies in mind).
For a long time now I have noticed an oke in the English county scene called Steven (Steve) Davies. He has been pretty consistent for Surrey for a long, long time now. He scores runs across all of the formats and not only that, he does it at a rapid rate too. Steve Davies opens the batting for the county in the 20 and 50 over formats and often gets them to rapid starts. He bats in the middle of the order in the four-day stuff and he does what is expected of any batsman, scores hundreds!!
Steve is now 29, with 30 said to be a batsman's age for realising his full potential, I shatter to think what this man's going to achieve with the rest of his career.
He pulled off a brave move of giving up the gloves to focus on his batting a number of years ago. I say that he pulled it off because he has just passed 10 000 runs in first class cricket and he averages 40+ with 21 centuries ( * ) to his name. His 50-over average of 37.50 with 8 centuries also makes for impressive reading, considering that he opens the batting in that format in a country where the ball tends to move more that in most countries in the world (if not all of them).
Steve has had a chance or two in the English team and the results were rather unspectacular, but what I saw in him was someone who is exciting and has an ability to dominate an attack.
The real reason for this entry is to highlight the fact that Steve Davies still has a lot to offer to international cricket. And seeing the way England play these days he will fit into the set-up like a glove.
Maybe he got his chance a bit too soon, and maybe they were not ready for his playing style, maybe they were too quick to discard him. But the point is that it is never too late. He is a totally different player now, he is "just" a batsman, but that does not take away from what he offers, excitement, experience and 100% pure talent.
*At the point of writing this entry Steve Davies had compiled a quick 117 (@ 71.77) the day before, thus registering his 21st first class ton.