We have a lot to look forward to after an awful year!
It’s been five months since I last put pen to paper. As I have, at last , attended live sport I thought it was time sharpen my pencil, the pandemic has hit hard but now we are seeing signs that the vaccine is biting back!
At least we can go to pubs & restaurants again and sporting activities with conditions. I was lucky enough to go to the FA Cup final & Champions League final but alas, when it came to the T20 at Surrey with 4,000 allowed in I’m told it was first come first served. I missed out on two T20’s. I honestly didn’t expect them to be taken up, bit of a school boy error really. Looking back when I used to go to the championship matches in the 70s it was a case of about 30/40 people and a dog! I have been to a few day’s championship matches this season and it feels like Surrey are on the verge of winning the title!
With 4000 in, it just shows how desperate we are to get back to some sort of normality and watch live sport! Surrey boasts 17,000 members from the last time I read the AGM results which I’m reliably informed is the highest of any county, I do wonder what Surrey’s membership was in the 70s?
Over the past few months I have read a lot on social media about the structure of cricket in this country. It seems that the genuine cricket follower prefers test cricket and is genuinely worried about it’s future! I still only know one person who likes the idea of the 100!
With so many T20 competitions around the world why another? The 100 will be attended by the city office guys on a jolly up, they don’t care what the sport or event it is, it’s all about the beer assuming they have returned to working in offices by then.
Now Colin Graves has gone let’s hope the incoming Ian Watmore can improve the cricket calendar!
I wonder how many of you would love to go back to Nat West Trophy & The Benson & Hedges Cup? Albeit under a different name. Something like the old days, try and build on every format, space the calendar out. I think they have a lot to sort out, the calendar just looks untidy, and it needs addressing, I don’t think it would take much, they do their best to complicate it!
Last week we were at Edgbaston, we had a great time, we stayed two nights but only one day’s play, it was so lovely to see so many friends that have been on past tours and are now really looking forward to the West Indies. Holland and Australia next year!
As for the cricket, firstly it was great to see test cricket with 18,000 in the house, the Hollies were well refreshed which guaranteed entertainment! After we won the toss and a good opening stand, things started to change…. England were 1/2 with the bookies to win at that point, I was amazed that they got those odds so wrong. Having been on tour in New Zealand twice in three years I have seen what a great side they are. It doesn’t surprise me they are in the World Test Championship final it’s no fluke – they are great side! I read last week on social media (from one guy reviewing Englands performance) what do you expect without Stokes & Butler? I said, well, you can add Archer to that, but what about the six players that New Zealand have rested? Although Williamson was injured, he is, in my opinion probably the best captain in world cricket today! I could never see Root declaring at Lords like that and trying to make a game of it. What’s worse is England made no attempt to reach the target! I’m sure New Zealand would have attacked that total to at least try to win. Players are being given the chance but all the confidence is being sucked out of them from the management and fear of being dropped. The way Bess has been treated is appalling! I’m sure others are thinking it could be them next, strange thing is… he signs for Yorkshire!!
We have been a lot busier since April working on so many tours. Australia for the Ashes isn’t looking great, the venues for the West Indies are hopefully not that far away, but with the politics in the WICB that could change. We have been asked about the T20 World Cup in India and expect to hear from the ICC at the end of the month. There have been rumblings that it could move to the United Arab Emirates with the same dates.
Richard is back at work and we will be offering a tour if we can travel so start planning to join me for a rather unusual cricket venue but Hey Ho! Its cricket! At least we will be guaranteed some sunshine.
Lastly I would like to say it’s been great receiving messages and calls from so many of you, I know I’ve mentioned this before, but we must be doing something right, I know all those I have spoken too are really looking forward to going on tour once again! We are ready for an evening stronger future.
I look forward to hopefully catching up with some of you very soon!
All the best