2019 Domestic Season Apr 5, 2019 15:49:40 GMT
Post by irishrover on Apr 5, 2019 15:49:40 GMT
Something about the smell of new mown grass and the sound of leather on willow. Some kind of picture of a big Test ground with 6 people waiting for the covers to move off so they can glimpse half an hour's April criket before the light goes. Some kind of vague but angsty existential statement about the game being under threat. Some kind of joke about how old Darren Stevens is etc. Season starts today - thoughts can go here. Here are some early ones.
-This a spectacularly busy cricket season-possibly the biggest English summer ever if you factor in World Cup+Ashes+ECB's desperation to market next year's Hundred at the non-existant audience of non-cricketers. The Championship will make a nice distraction from all of that hype - this is its purpose for me. A moment of calm in the endless ever more self-important rantings that makeup modern sport. It makes for a nice wholesome contrast.
-One of the most interesting underlying subplots is going to be the competition for who gets to open for England in the Ashes with plenty of Championship cricket (some actually at a decent time of year for batsmen for once) to play before then which should create plenty of opportunities to make a case. I still find it strange that Cook retired last summer rather than wait for this one but, from interviews, it really did seem like he'd decided enough was enough. But clearly that has turned 1 open slot into 2 with borderline England prospects rushing to reinvent themselves as openers. Duckett and Vince both opened in these games. I still think Lyth, Robson, Stoneman and (whisper it quietly unless it unnerves him but he has hit 100 today) Hameed could all get themselves in the frame to dislodge the encumbents if they have good summers. I think we'll be hearing a lot of this as a background hum to the early-mid season.
-My goodness the Gloucestershire squad looks terrible - I mean that is an objectively terrible collection of players. The loss of the 2 seamers to Warwickshire hurts enormously as they were covering an awful lot of cracks in a weak squad. I notice they are currently being put under pressure by Oxford University....I think they will finish bottom of the Championship.
-Season is kind of being written up as Notts and Somerset challenging Surrey for the title. Hard to argue with that really. If their seamers stay fit then that Notts team, bolstered by the usual pilfering from their neighbours, looks rock solid. I back them. Somehow I don't think I'll really believe in Somerset until they actually cross the line. I'm not sure a county side has been this consistently good for so long while winning so little. They need to shake that perception of them as chokers with a soft underbelly when it really matters.
-I always hope Hampshire go down so I'll pick them to be the one to go.
-3 coming up to be Lancs (who surely can't be as terrible as they were last year), Sussex and Leicestershire (outside bet - why not? They played well in patches last year and have an interesting young core of players supplemented by proper wiley veterens. This means they will now be awful and make me look a pillock inevitably). For some reason I'm just not really feeling Middlesex or Worcester who would be the more obvious promotion candidates.
-I'll be mainly watching Lancs again this year, which was quite a painful experience last season. Quite looking forward to seeing some different teams/players now they've been relegated. I carry no candle for Lancs but it would be nice to watch a game in which they were capable of putting together a few 50 run partnerships! Provided their batting is simply OK (and there's no excuse for it not to be on paper) then they should storm to promotion with the depth of bowling they have. Also planning to go to Chesterfield, Colwyn Bay, Northampton, Liverpool (not done that yet) and hopefully Scarborough for the first time too. Really want to get to Taunton and Bristol a few times this year if I can.