Does it have to end in September?
Obviously it does, but the start of autumn’s a maudlin sort of time anyway. Do we really have to exacerbate it? While a big finish to the season would appear a cheering sort of thing, what it actually seems like is the death of summer.
Let’s say the championship’s decided on the final day of the season again. The final ball goes for four or whatever and the winning team cheer.
‘Hurray,’ they say. They punch the air, grab a stump and then run inside, because it’s getting chilly and dark. Once inside, they stay there for seven months.
There’s also the problem that the counties have been playing for five months now and the county in first place, Nottinghamshire, have four wins and eight draws, while the county in seventh place, Lancashire, have three wins and nine draws. Have we got anywhere at all? There was a bigger gap than that after one match.
Firstly, they should change the County Championship to three leagues of six. With ten first-class fixtures a year, they could have reserve days and therefore get through more matches. If they get more results, championship victory will be more meaningful and with fewer matches ordinary people could actually have an outside chance of knowing what’s going on.
Secondly, they should play the Twenty20 Cup – not the Twenty20 league, but the EPL thing – in Sharjah or somewhere in October or November so that we all have something to look forward to.
They could even charter a load of flights and try and organise some affordable, week-long holidays, so that British people could submit themselves to some daylight while also catching a bit of cricket.
Of course it can’t happen because cricketers all play for five different teams and it’s impossible to find a window where anyone’s free.