Way back when, after England legend Jamie Dalrymple was ousted amidst plenty of controversy from Glamorgan, I started a bandwagon. Having always been a Dazzler fan from his success at Middlesex and his all-round brilliance in ODIs for England, I started to tweet the #dalrympleformiddlesex hashtag.
I know it didn't have much of a chance. Middlesex were hardly flush with cash, and had announced they were happy with who was already there. Plus, Dalrymple left under a bit of a cloud a few years back, so getting him in would be a long shot. But still, I hashtagged anyway, hoping the powers that be would see the bandwagon, and sign him up.
The months went on, and Dalrymple remained unsigned by any county. My faith remained, and the bandwagon continued. The Kenyan born off-spinning batting hero remained in limbo, and the #dalrympleformiddlesex bandwagon grew.
Until finally, on the eve of Middlesex's season starting, it was announced that Dalrymple had re-signed for Middlesex. While head honcho Gus Fraser said things about "fine cricketer", "natural leader" and "match winning middle-order batsman", sources close to Gus claimed that the real reason was the public pressure created by the #dalrympleformiddlesex bandwagon. I'm taking the credit.
On a more serious note, how strong will Middlesex's batting line up be this season? If all are fit and available, Middlesex will have a batting order of Strauss, Rogers, Malan, Dexter, Morgan, Dalrymple and Simpson. Throw into the mix the likes of Murtagh, Roland-Jones and Finn, it looks as though Middlesex have the makings of an incredibly strong county side. While this team will never play together as an eleven due to international and other committments, on paper Middlesex should be pulling up a few trees. However, as it always is with the Middle, the key is finding a level of consistency, and performing to the level expected week-in, week-out.
But anyway, here's a nice flash image of Dalrymple's finest hour, THAT catch in the 2007 ODI series against Australia...