DateLine: 22nd November 2005
Ian Hunter has so far failed to get the best out of himself as a professional cricketer. At 6 2Ē, and bowling at a decent pace, he has the attributes of a legitimate new ball and strike bowler, although a First-class bowling average of 42 isnít good enough. His main problem seems to be consistently landing the ball in the right areas, with two or three balls an over being threatening but with the rest easing the pressure on batsmen by being easy to defend or score off, although in 2005 he suffered a disproportionate amount of dropped chances off his bowling. Hunter began his career with his native county of Durham, although his release in 2003 left him with something of a sour taste, as he felt he had never been given sufficient opportunity to show what he could do. However, 45 wickets in 21 First-class matches was hardly a compelling record. Early hopes that Hunter could be a legitimate all-rounder where given sustenance with a patient 63 on his debut (while batting with Simon Katich), although his batting has since fallen away to the extent that he frequently bats at no.11 even in a struggling Peakite side. Derbyshire Coach David Houghtonís signing of Steffan Jones for the 2006 season, (saying that it would at last give him a bowler capable of giving opposition batsmen a hurry up) was hardly a testimony to Hunter, who had consistently been given the new ball in 2005. However, hope comes in the fact that in Hunterís penultimate match of the 2005 season he claimed the first 5 wicket haul of his career (against former county Durham at The Riverside). It may well be that Hunter would be better suited to concentrating on bowling a consistent line and length (with awkward bounce being a handy concomitant of his height) in the middle overs of an innings rather than being marked down as a strike bowler.
(Article: Copyright © 2005 Matthew Reed)