Alastair Cook in the second division of the County Championship

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Photo by Sarah Ansell
Photo by Sarah Ansell

We always say that the second division of the County Championship doesn’t count. Hopefully it’s obvious that this is rhetoric.

Our exaggerated stance is not borne of a belief that the cricket played is worthless, but of a perception that some still haven’t quite accepted that it is in any way a lower standard. The sport isn’t always swift on the uptake. When MCC voted on whether or not to allow female members in 1998, it took two votes before the ‘modernisers’ got their way.

We’ve had two divisions for almost as long, but there are still plenty of people who will cite a ‘first-class’ average when pushing the international case of a particular second division player. Alastair Cook has tried to put such figures in perspective so far this season. He has played four County Championship matches and only failed to make a hundred in the first of them, when he made 65 in his only innings.

At the time of writing, he is averaging 156. He is playing in the same match as Moeen Ali, who is averaging 210.

Cook is an exceptional individual, but it’s worth remembering this kind of thing the next time you read an article in which so-and-so’s said to be making waves after averaging 44 – or, more likely, after they’ve made a hundred during a season in which they’re not even averaging that.

Cook’s clearly seeing them well in the second division, so he’ll be hopeful of performing well when he returns to the nets with England.


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  1. As long as he makes at least 36 during the Headingley test, and the 36th of those runs comes during days 3 or 4 WHEN I WILL BE THERE, I’ll be happy.

    Test cricket!

    Meaningless arbitrary decimal milestones!

    1. Arbitrary? How can scoring exactly one thousand times more runs than you have toes be arbitrary?

  2. Clearly he’s wasting all his runs and will have none left for the Proper Cricketings.

  3. If we’re going to start having articles about second division cricket here, we might as well start having ones about foot-to-ball.

    Leicester City. I can’t spake.

    Also, Sussex, you’re rubbish. This young Horton chap Leics picked up from somewhere seems okay. Maybe he should open for England?

  4. Whatever KC, Ben Duckett is obviously going to play for England for years and take the world by storm. STORM I SAY.

    1. The Northampton Storm? One of those new T20 town franchise teams I’ve been reading about?

    2. The Leicestershire Looked Like It Might Be Snow For A Bit But It Isn’t Really Settling

  5. 156? Call that an average?

    Liam Livingstone currently has a career First Class average of 178, and every single one of his First Class runs has been scored in Division One.

    He has also had a beer named in honour of an innings he played for a Cheshire County League club – can ‘Captain Cook’ claim the same?

      1. Depends which Pokémon.

        No there aren’t only 151 of them, the originals aren’t the only ones, don’t make me go full Pokérap I swear to Arceus.

  6. Surrey vs Durham is being skippered by a 38 year old and a 39 year old respectively.

    Fuck you, youth.

  7. What a great DRAW this season’s county championship is turning out to be.

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