England have dropped Geraint Jones. This is a surprise, because it flies in the face of a longstanding bias amongst the Test selectors in favour of players from the home counties in general, and Kent in particular.
This chart shows what I mean. It plots the number of Test caps won by players from each of the old counties (I'm excluding Durham) since 1946 against the number predicted by a simple two-variable model. The two variables are:
1. A home county dummy. This equals 1 for Essex, Kent, Middlesex and Surrey, and 0 for the others.
2. The number of county championship titles multiplied by a dummy if a county contains a Test ground. Logic tells us that stronger counties - as measured by the number of championships they've won - should produce more Test players. Oddly, though, this is true only of counties with a Test ground.
These two facts alone explain three-quarters of the variation in counties' test caps.
What's even more amazing is the size of the home county effect. The home counties have, on average, 206 more Test caps than other counties. As the average county has only 345 caps, this is a lot.
However, Kent have produced even more caps than this effect would predict - 611, against a predicted 423.
This, I guess confirms what fans outside London have always suspected - there's a bias towards (spit) southern players.
Another thing: did I mention that I don't have a girlfriend?