North v South one-day series is the future of county cricket

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Counties or franchises? Let’s discard both and instead play endless North v South matches.

Imagine the crowds. Nothing gets people in like a rivalry and this new series has the potential to divide the nation. They’ll have to properly define North and South first, but all it will take is a shibboleth. How do you pronounce ‘bath’? How do you pronounce ‘butter’?

The Southerners could wear top or bowler hats in the field. The Northerners would wear flat caps. Fans will adopt the same attire and there’ll be Gangs of New York style fighting in the streets.

Then the Aussies will come over and everyone will shake hands, apologise and boil the kettle, before settling down for a nice patronising snigger at the tourists’ increasingly rampant metrosexuality.



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    1. We would guess so. It seems simpler to divide the counties and pick players from those counties than to use the shibboleth system or place of birth or personal opinion or whatever.

  1. I fear confusion/argument/stabbings over what the mid-afternoon interval will be called.

  2. North top team: Hales, Moeen, Root, Bairstow, Buttler, Stokes, Willey, Rashid, Plunkett, Broad

    This isn’t a game, it’s a mauling.

  3. As everyone knows, The South is anywhere south of where you were born, and The North is anywhere north of where you were born.

    This all has a whiff of the Stanford Million Dollar Gimmick to it (with presumably a little Game of Thrones “The North”-ness thrown in) , but on the other hand, it’s in March, in Abu Dhabi, so it’s not going to interfere with Proper Cricket.

    Not sure that the players and/or fans of Birmingham/Warwickshire will be happy to be classed as either North or South, to be honest, and I suppose Glamorgan are probably ‘South’ but Wales is more ‘The West’ than anything else.

      1. Cornwall will have seceded by then, in what no-one is yet calling Mebyon Kernexit.

      2. I think you’re just supposed to support Trescothick and Trego. Hey, they sound Cornish.

        What’s your stance on Devon?

  4. Apparently, the nearest neutral venue to the UK is Abu Dhabi, so that’s where it will be. Book your seats now people, those Etihad flights will be chock full by next week.

    Also, the teams are being selected by a computer. I’ve got a friend who does data security for IT systems. I’m going to ask him to hack the program so that only players whose Body Mass Index is over 30 are eligible. Expect a call up for Ian Austin.

  5. I’d be well up for a return of the North vs South match.

    Also, bring back “Probable vs Possibles” – we seem to have a couple of these matches under a different name, when England Senior play the Lions from time to time.

    (Wasn’t there a tournament where Australia A actually beat Australia?)

    1. This whole idea is symptomatic of the North/South bias inherent in English cricket.

  6. I’m guessing that it divides like this:



    The South group defines itself – none of those can be anything other than The South. That means the rest have to be The North, despite five out of the nine being distinctly The Midlands.

    In other northern sports news, Wigan Warriors have drawn Castleford in the Challenge Cup. I wonder if anyone can recall any previous cup encounters between these teams, and whether the result was a favourable one for Wigan.

    1. Five out of nine? Looks like six to me – I guess you’re trying to claim Derby? (as a former resident, you’re welcome to it)

      1. Derbyshire’s neither Arthur nor Martha. Its northern end is close to Manchester, while its southern part is close to Nottingham. I went for Northern because it used to get a mention on Look North West with John Mundy and Stuart Ha… oh, sorry, just John Mundy.

  7. Can’t we simply revert to Gentlemen v Players? That seemed to work fine in the good old days.

  8. Oh, a little slow on the uptake here but I see that this North vs South malarkey is an Actual Thing, and not just some hilarious satire. I would like to take this opportunity to denounce it as a pile of old cobblers, for all the reasons outlined above. Also, as a Somerset man living in Glasgow, I am hopelessly confused as to whom I would support.

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