Most of the County Championship starts fairly soon!

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< 1 minute read

The wind is tearing the blossom from the trees and depositing it on the dirty wet earth. Men and women in thick winter coats turn their pallid faces to the skies, scrutinising the clouds for tip offs of impending rain showers. Firewood is gathered. Thermostats are turned up. It is time for the county cricket season.

The County Championship starts with six-ninths of a bang on Sunday with just three first division matches. A table comprising nine sides often only finds balance before and after the season, but even so this seems a strange way to start; not so much breaking the door down as gently pushing it open only to find that the cat’s somehow pulled up the carpet and the door’s now wedged.

So sliding through the narrow gap, what do we find on the other side? Durham v Somerset; Hampshire v Warwickshire; and Nottinghamshire v Surrey.

Is it worth looking to last season’s finishing positions to deduce which might prove to be the most meaningful fixtures? Counties seem to bounce up and down almost at random. Sussex were third in 2014 and in 2015 they were relegated. Middlesex narrowly avoided the drop in 2014 and were runners-up last year. The constant has been Yorkshire, who won in both years and were second the year before. As you’ll no doubt notice, Yorkshire aren’t playing.

The story is yet to unfold, you could argue. Weather permitting, let it do so.


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  1. It is imperative that Somerset start their fixtures ‘early doors’ as most of their players are now so old I doubt they’ll last the season.

  2. Middlesex. A combination of the tasty bit in a sandwich and the human race’s raison d’etre (excuse the lack of accent). What’s not to like?

  3. I can hardly wait for the impending titanic clash between the Tasty Sandwich Bit Raisons and the Birmingham You Bears.

    Charley the Gent and I will be taking up our regular death row viewing positions Monday week.

    1. What a First Division it’s shaping up to be:

      Chris Rushworth and Ten Others
      The Southern Hammysphere
      Lancashire Throdkin
      Tasty Sandwich Bit Raisons
      The Leicestershire Talent Drain
      It’s Not a Road Any More, Stop Saying It Is
      The Birmingham You Bears
      and Please Don’t Let Them Win Again.

      Can’t wait.

  4. Love the replies above and wish I could be a bit more light hearted about this issue. But I’m afraid I find it a constant wind-up. As I have written on my blog, a long piece about what I’ve called the confusing parallel universe which the domestic game seems to be, whilst the ECB seems to understand the need for simplicity and consistency in how the fixtures should be organised and then communicated when they seek everyone’s views, they keep shooting themselves in the foot when it comes to execution. Why are there 3 matches instead of 4 on the opening day? have the other teams not returned from pre-season tours in the sun. Is it too cold for the older Umpires and they can only find 6 who can stand up for 4 days running with the temperature 3 below? As the season unfolds, will they be going for Sunday starts and then descending into starts on any / every day as we drift towards Christmas? Keep it simple, ECB and stop tinkering with the schedule and the fixtures as if someone is actually sitting down, looking at the lists and moving things around in case they don’t get too understandable. Keep up the good work, KC 🙂

  5. When is Kent scheduled to play? I know next to nothing about county cricket schedule but I adopted Kent as my team last year and intend to stick with it. The last local team I supported was Chennai Super Kings and that went fairly well till someone borrowed some money. I expect nothing less here.

    1. Did you adopt Kent on a Rob Key basis?

      They’re playing Worcestershire from Sunday (division two, doesn’t count).

      1. If I recall correctly, DC went for a county with a short sexless name. Rob Key was merely a (pretty substantial [in terms of quality {as opposed to weight, you understand}]) bonus.

      2. The paranthesynthesizer is correct. Division two or no, here I come. I shall constantly annoy people with unnecessary updates.

      3. We thought it was our job. And then you lot leave insightful and informative comments underneath.

  6. Only just realised that Chris Tremlett has retired. Definitely won’t add to his very creditable 50 Test wickets at 26.75 … had him in the back of my mind as someone who might just make a recall at some point.

  7. Just checked the fixtures and the usual stuff is unfolding. Div 1 goes through 3 rounds with 3 not 4 matches being played. Why? Div 2 goes through 2 rounds with 3 fixtures before 4 matches are played. (Just typing that lot, I’m already confused). From about half way through the season, the Sunday starts disintegrate and matches start on all sorts of days. Is this just to keep us guessing? Also, Sussex’s match at Arundel starts at 12.00 not 11.00. Maybe they get up later in that part of Sussex? What did that ECB research say a few years back? ‘We want matches starting on the same day of the week but only for half a season as we get bored and then want to guess when matches start’. Yes, that’s right.

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