Mop-up of the day – spreading Roses

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The Pennines have long separated good from bad, but there’s been an odd inversion in county cricket this year.

White Rose good

Nottinghamshire were the only team who could have prevented Yorkshire from winning the County Championship. Being as Yorkshire are positively monstering them with just one more game to go, the title is basically theirs. The flat-capped monophthong favourers made 532-9, which was already enough even before they reduced Notts to not-many-for-six.

Considering they’ve spent most of the summer without their two best batsmen, Yorkshire have batted well this year. Adam Lyth has scored way more runs than anyone else, continuing a rich tradition whereby players we suggest you watch finally come good many years after we’ve tipped them. His alphabet-straddling opening partner, AZ Lees has also averaged over 40, meaning Yorkshire have frequently benefited from strong starts.

Red Rose bad

Lancashire, however – their batting has not been so crash-hot. Here are Yorkshire’s batting averages for this season and here are Lancashire’s. Compare and contrast. Then weep softly for a bit. Then imagine what Lancashire’s would be like without the two overseas imports. Then bawl uncontrollably for a bit.

Lancashire’s 320 all out against Sussex in their current fixture doesn’t sound so bad until you realise that they were 192-8. Sussex should top 400 which should pretty much relegate Lancs. Frankly, they deserve it. They’ve batted badly for years now with few signs that anything might improve.

Kemar Roach then?

He took 4-64 as West Indies beat Bangladesh. He also said things on Twitter, which we’ve included in our latest Cricinfo round-up. Roach comes across as being… an interesting chap.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


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  1. Lancashire’s failure to improve their batting for years says an awful lot about their previous coach. Does anyone know what became of him?

    It will likely say an awful lot about their new one once he’s been in the job for more than 10 minutes.

  2. Maybe Lancs should start stealing batsmen from Leics instead of bowlers?

    Although you already tried that with Iain Sutcliffe, of course.

  3. I think it’s time the Minor Counties became the County Championships Div 3 and 4. In the CC, Leics have zero incentive to do anything beyond get 11 players on the field so they can continue to exist. Promotion will never happen, so there’s nothing to play for. They focus on the one-day stuff (and which they’re also crap), and never get any better at the proper stuff.

    If there was the threat (guarantee?) of relegation they might try to do something about the appalling state of their organization.

    1. You know your team’s not up to much when people are gloating about their team finishing third or fourth.

    2. My love for some of Warwickshire’s players (Trott, Hain) is counterbalanced by the smugness of some of their fans.

    3. Balladeer – I’m only jesting. It’s swings and roundabouts. We’ll be back in the doldrums next year. Just enjoying it while I can.

    4. Oh don’t get me wrong: I’d be smug if I could be. Unfortunately I support Middlesex.

      I do unironically love Trott and mini-Trott though.

    5. Warwickshire is an anagram of I WRECK HIS WAR, which says it all.

      To be fair, it doesn’t actually say anything, let alone it all. But anagramming any word with two Ws and a K in it is tricky. So let’s just assume that the phrase I WRECK HIS WAR is the most heinous insult you can imagine. Take that, Sam.

      (Lancashire is similarly difficult to anagramize. You can get RICHES out of it, but that only leaves A, N, A and L, and ALAN RICHES doesn’t make sense.)

    6. It could be worse, Balladeer.

      We (by which I mean Middlesex) could be Kent, for example.

      Mind you, young Mr Sterling is trying to emulate Mr Key in the girth and awkward movement department.

  4. Interestingly Lancashire anagrams to A CRASH LINE. Or RACIAL HENS. Or CLEANS HAIR. Or ANAL RICHES.

    But my favourite is A LASER CHIN.

  5. ‘Lancashire’ actually anagrams to ‘China Laser’, which raises the question of what they’re up to.

    ‘Yorkshire’ anagrams to ‘sorry hike’. Given what it takes to get over the Pennines that seems appropriate

    1. Given Leicestershire’s position in the CC table, the only way is up, so Erectile Shires is strangely appropriate.

      Although presumably, much like the Birmingham Bears, they would only be granted permission for said suitable name change for T20 cricket.

    2. Everyone seems to have missed my “Birmingham” anagram above, but two possible angarams of the T20 side’s name suggest that they’ve chosen the wrong animal: “Shabbier Ramming” and “Baa Bring Shimmer”. So, a shiny sheep or a shabby sheep.

  6. Ryan Sidebottom has been bowling grenades at the Notts batsmen. Some of them have appeared to be playing LATE! He’s barely hitting 80mph tops. They must have all been out on the tiles.

  7. You wonder if the wars of the Roses war might not have just been better fought out by people attempting to gain more entries into the ‘What’s Your Philosophy’ section of a Twitter round-up, in fact this might also be a better mode of deciding feuds between pop singers, T20 mercenaries, rap singers (famous diss used by Jacques Rudolph in response to @d_sturridge), reggae mercenaries, CCM mercenaries, etc., in which case it should generally provide a conclusive gauge of their respective cricketing abilities.

  8. Ooh, ooh, I’ve had a good idea. Why not, at 11 o’clock on Fridays, automatically post an article titled something like “This Week’s Badger is Out”, with the generic text “This week’s Badger is out – feel free to comment on it here. If you don’t know what we’re talking about, why not sign up for the Badger on this link?” Then put a link in, one that allows people to “sign-up” for the Badger. That way, when the week’s Badger is out and the signed-up amongst us have read another Ravi Shastri comment in it, we will have somewhere to vent our frustration at his inane stupidity. It will also give you a weekly opportunity to advertise The Badger, with the intention of increasing its circulation by annoying people who read this website but who haven’t signed up so will feel left out and lonely. And if you use “magic” or “programming” to do it automatically, it will happen automatically.

    I read this week’s badger, and was desperately looking for somewhere to post the comment, “That Ravi Shastri, eh? What’s he like?”, but was unable to find anywhere better than as Comment 23 on an article about roses. Who the hell would read that? Who the hell would read this? Who the hell is reading this? Oh, I think I’ve found a flaw.

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