Test Match Sofa
Rayner urges better use of loan system
By Mark Pennell
Middlesex off-spinner Ollie Rayner believes county clubs should make more use of the loan system in order to benefit the dozens of young players languishing on the fringes of the county first-team squad.
The 26-year-old from Eastbourne came through the ranks at Hove only to find his first team opportunities with Sussex limited, until a loan move to Lord’s last season revitalised a career that was already in danger of flagging.
Rayner’s loan ultimately led to a full-time move to Middlesex in the close season and now he is advocating increased use of the loan network in order to give rookie players their chance to shine on a bigger stage.
Rayner said: “Since making my move permanent I’ve had a few chief executives come up to me and ask ‘what do you think of the loan system?’ simply because they had a young lad in mind who they think might just benefit from it. My answer has been consistent to them all, in that I say ‘just do it, what have you got to lose?’
“If the player underperforms during the loan the county holding his registration have lost nothing, but at least both the clubs involved have had a chance to access his performance levels while the player has finally had his opportunity to show what he’s made of.”
Rayner, who has posted a career-best unbeaten 143 against Nottinghamshire and picked up a five-wicket haul since making his Middlesex move full time, added: “For me, the loan to Middlesex was fantastic because it meant that I eventually had to wrench myself away from my mates and get out of my comfort zone.
“It also made me realise that changing rooms up and down the country aren’t all that dissimilar. I found that I fitted in very quickly at Middlesex and, having ‘tried out’ the club on loan, it made my decision to move there on a full time basis really easy.”
Rayner also believes greater use of the loan system might also help club supporters and officials better appreciate the rookie players they retain on the staff.
He added: “Even when a player is performing well in the second team he doesn’t always get regular cricket at his own club because sometimes he can’t quite force his way into the first XI.
“People then start asking questions of him; wondering why he isn’t playing in their own first team, questioning his commitment or work ethic. Those type of things. I know, because I experienced that.
“Personally, I think all chief executives should give it a go. Firstly, it doesn’t really cost them anything, because the club you’re loaned to picks up the wage bill, but, even more importantly perhaps, there are a lot of young cricketers out there languishing in the seconds with their careers on hold.
“Every club have young and exciting players who are talented yet untested. Even their own clubs don’t know what they might be capable of at first team because, for whatever reason, they can’t squeeze them in to the starting XI. So why not let them try another club? Go on loan and express themselves, rather than sitting and rotting in the ‘dinks’?
“To my mind, loans are a great idea, as long as the player buys into it, and the sooner the chief executives wake up to the fact, the better the game will be for it.”
Terms & Conditions
Developed by Proximity Solutions
Proximity PS Web
2007 - 2013