Tag Archives: County Cricket

How Good is County Cricket? (And Why ‘Tweeting’ Cricketers are Sometimes Actually Good)

The answer to the first is, pretty rubbish.  The answer to the second is, because I can esoterically read them to make a point in a blog.  More on twitter later.

County Cricket frustrates me no end.  This is hardly a revelation, I don’t think anyone actually likes county cricket, they just put up with it because well, otherwise there isn’t any non-International cricket to follow!  Apart from journalists, some die-hard CCC fans, Telegraph readers and the odd uncharacterisable (ie this blog) no one seems to care.

I am a massive sports fan.  I follow both football and cricket with an almost life ruining passion.  I particularly follow the County Championship, I even go to a couple of games a year, I read every scorecard and look at all the stats, I know most of the players.  Yet the table means nothing to me.  When compared to the Premiership (as in the ol’ football), this seems absurd.  I could find out, but to be honest, I can’t be bothered, because it doesn’t really matter.  Yet, as a 21-year old unemployed graduate absolutely brimming with enthusiasm, I should be the type of person the ECB should be after!  I lament.

Of course, one the biggest problem is that many of the matches are below standard.  Below standard players, below standard facilities, overpriced ticketing “fighting out” draws.

Today’s only Championship game between Notts and Yorks should be an exception to this: two Test ground counties, with a couple of “big”-ish draw players (erm, Mark Ealham and Matthew Hoggard…?) should be an exception.  It wasn’t.

Lancs went into the 3rd day batting the third innings, with a lead of around of 137.  They could have batted aggressively, pushed on and made an attacking declaration, maybe half-way through the 2nd session, with a 300 lead.  Nope.  Yorkshire batted out the day.  They made over 500.  Chris Read, probably in frustration, even had a bowl.

The funny thing is, I think Joe Sayers, the promising young Yorkshire opening batman who played in this game, agrees with me (this is the bit about Twitter).

Sayers, who tweets on his twitter, was tweeting throughout the early part of the game.  “The final day at Trent Bridge. Can we negotiate a chase?” he says, the zeal I believe even clear (admittedly, rather esoterically) from those 11 words.  Three hours later: “Time running out for a result at Trent Bridge…”.  I wish young enthused cricketers like Joe Sayers were captains.  I’d be happier.

Maybe its a self-fulfilling prophecy: no one cares about the outcome of the game, bar a few fanatics, so the players don’t?  Mayeb  when Joe Sayers is an old county-gent at the age of 35, he’ll be tweeting about how he cannot wait to get to the pub after yet another draw.  It’s a pretty eccentric crack-pot theory, but I thought I’d throw it out there.

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Who’zat?! #2 – Rory Hamilton-Brown

Rory Hamilton-Brown

Rory Hamilton-Brown

Name: Rory Hamilton-Brown

Teams: England U-19s, Surrey, Sussex

Links: Wikipedia / Cricinfo

Rory Hamilton-Brown, essentially, is a young one-day player for Sussex, who occasionally opens the batting in an “explosive” way, and bowls off stump off-spinning darts – my personal favourite.

Rory is basically famous for two things: for the ECB thinkin’ he was a naughty boy for drinking alcohol before an U-19 Test match (when he wasn’t, uh oh!), and for his matchwinning performance against Warwickshire in the Twenty20 quarters.  Oh, and he’s mates with Danny Cipriani.  “How cool?”

What a bastard...in a good way

What a bastard...in a good way

Rory is more than that though: he’s just pretty cool.  He is just so cool.  If most young English players appear to be the zany dork with oversized magnified NHS spectacles who can barely mutter a whisper of even the most mundane cricketing doublespeak (Will Beer perhaps?), Rory Hamilton-Brown is the bully.  He’s big, he’s strong, he looks like a bit of a bastard.    I bet he’s nutted someone before.  And he’s pretty talented too.

At the Twenty20 game against Warwickshire he was getting a bit of stick from the crowd – ‘Oi, so who’s a pretty boy then?’ etc.  Some alternate fledglings may have wimpered and quivered, but not our Rory – he went out and took 3 wickets.  Oh yes.

Could he play for England?  At this time, he’s about as close to getting into the team as Mark Ramprakash (which is quite a long away indeed).  He has the potential to be a decent one-day player, but is a batsman or an off-spinner?  Hopefully he can be more than what Jamie Dalrymple offered.  Which shouldn’t be hard.

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Somerset vs Sussex, Pro40, Clash of the Titans, Highlights etc.

It’s a lovely evening at Somerset for this pro40 game. Trescothick and Kieswetter set about avenging themselves for the Twenty20 Final on a pancake surface.

17:00 – Tres out for 26 chipping a slower one from Wright to Goodwin.
The Leading Edge, unsurprisingly, likes Wright, he’s got genuine pace and bowls with real fire. Something the Sussex attack really lacks. Kirtley on the other hand is hard to like. He runs in with all the panache of a duck.

17:30 – Wright and Smith take on the bowling powerplay. Smith’s variation is class. In a brief interlude the camera pans around Taunton confirming that it is the nicest of the county grounds sitting amongst rolling hills with perennially blue skies and a church spire overlooking the action. Its better than Grace Road at any rate.

17:36 – Commentators take some time out to recommend Shane Warne’s column in the Times. If I was that kind of annoying woolly liberal type I’d have a rant about the ‘Murdoch Press’ monopoly.

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Leicestershire v Kent Sky Sports 1

Tuesday night is set for fireworks as the cream of the Natwest Pro40 Division two lock horns. Rob ‘Key Lime Pie’ will be pretending the ball is Geoff Miller and hitting sixes whilst bottom of the table Leicestershire will be sporting the shiny new James Taylor, the youngest player ever to record a double century for the team. When you see their season this is some achievement!!!

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Twenty20 Finals Day highlights

Oh Twenty20 finals day, the most glorious, high-octane, nutty day of cricket in entire, long, boring, too-much-cricket county season.  It’s so crazy, someone wise once told The Leading Edge that every single ball, every single ball, either goes for a six, or sees the batsman clean bowled. Not only that, not only that, but this wondrous exhibition of bludgeoning batting and tumbling stumps is wonderfully supplemented by the absolutely insane mouth-watering possibility of a mascot-race and a documentary about Kerry Packer and WSC (which is a repeat).  I can barely contain the excitement.

Clearly, this is worth not only sitting on the sofa all day, but also missing the beginning of the football season.  Crikes.  To see if this meets expectations, The Leading Edge will deliver a magnificent text-based highlights package, all equipped with an ‘excitement rating’.  Yes!

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