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Get Used To This . . . There Will Be More Darkness Ahead, Says Glamorgan’s Robert Croft

Robert Croft has admitted there will be more dark days ahead for Glamorgan as they pursue their policy of hoping youth players learn on the job in the Specsavers County Championship.

The Glamorgan coach insisted there will be no U-turn in strategy in the four-day game that has left the county suffering five defeats in their eight matches so far this season.

The latest of those came on Monday at Hove as Sussex romped to an innings and 154-run victory which Glamorgan skipper Michael Hogan described as “embarrassing.”

Glamorgan are comfortably the worst side in the Championship. They only sit off the bottom of Division Two at the moment because Gloucestershire have a game in hand.

If there was a division three, they would be heading for it.

Their form would appear to be a direct consequence of spending almost all their budget on a couple of overseas stars for the one-day game and wishfully thinking youngsters such as Nick Selman, Jack Murphy, Connor Brown and Kiran Carlson can deliver runs as they learn their trade in the middle.

It was a policy that failed spectacularly against Sussex where those four batsmen scored just 41 runs between them in two innings.

Croft, however, says the route has been chosen and there can be no turning back, however many defeats inside just two days they may suffer.

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“We are fully committed to making this work,” said the former England spinner.

“We will have some dark times and we’re currently in one of them, but we will work hard to get out of it.”

Glamorgan’s policy of utilising youth has not brought the rewards Croft might have hoped it would this season but he is not about to abandon the club’s plans.

“These boys are having it tough and learning the hard way, it’s up to us to try and manage their confidence,” he said.

“Back in 1997 we bowled Sussex out for 54 and 67 and six years later they’re winning the County Championship, so when you take on a strategy like this, you expect some turbulence and we’re going through it right now.

“What we’ve got to do is put as much faith into these players as we possibly can, giving them opportunity and the support they need.

“I’m confident in my skills and the skills of the support staff around me,” he added.

“It is early days for these players – we saw Kent lose in two days so it is happening [elsewhere].”

Sussex’s third straight win was achieved by taking 20 Glamorgan wickets in two sessions, the two innings neatly divided by the first 40-minute interval.

Although it was a day-night game, the floodlights were not required as the match was wrapped up by 7pm.

Glamorgan vice-captain Chris Cooke said: “They bowled very, very well. All four seamers were on top of their game and made it very difficult for us. It will be nice to have a break of format and play some T20 cricket.”


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