Promotion day in the County Championship

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There are still two matches to go in the second division of the County Championship, but somehow we already know both the counties who will be promoted. What this basically means is that the other seven teams in that division were sufficiently crap that they failed by a distance.

There will now be eight further pointless matches. If only there were relegation as well – that’d add a bit of jeopardy. Imagine being in the third division of the County Championship. We’d really have to ignore the teams down there, to the extent that we probably wouldn’t even acknowledge when they’d earned promotion.

The two teams promoted from division two are Surrey and Lancashire. Surrey think that they achieved their aim in fine style with Gareth Batty securing an innings victory with a hat-trick. Sadly for them, Lancashire went one better, earning promotion via a drawn match in which Rob Key made a hundred. What could be more magnificent than that? Even Glen Chapple couldn’t get him (or indeed anyone) out.


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


Why risk it when it's so easy to sign up?


    1. Stop it, Ged. It should be clear to anyone reading his comment that daneel only believes they had a chance to be a shoo-in for promotion.

  1. I think 3 leagues of 8 each would be fair with third division having only 3-day matches, but the teams should also include squads from other countries such as Scotland/Holland/Ireland. Not sure how feasible it would be though.

    One way to make us care would be to allow all winning/qualified teams to have a shot at winning the current years championship (like the Ranji in India – where topper from bottom league won the FC championship)

    another alternative is to take inspiration from chess and have a single Swiss/McMohan/Danish league instead of multiple divisions. That would be really interesting

    1. if we assume that in the Swiss cheese system we distribute equal pieces to everybody only once then in the Danish system we don’t disallow same players having more than 1piece whereas in McMohan cheese system we give bigger.different chunks of cheese to some players bases on seeding/pre-determined rankings.

      hope that clears up all the doubts on the different cheese systems

  2. Things change. Things move on and we can’t go back. In fact, in many situations, we wouldn’t want to. But if in all the discussions about further changes to the formats and schedule of the domestic game there is one thing I yearn for, it’s the certainty of the way things were back in the 1960’s as far as consistent scheduling of the fixtures. While there are strong arguments that in a 17 team (pre-Durham)league, there were lots and lots of meaningless matches where players were performing for their own figures, averages and future contracts, at least as a cricket fan, you knew what was going on. In the days of 6 day a week cricket, if it was a Tuesday, you’d know matches were on their last day. If it was a Saturday, they’d be on their first. The season and a 4 month cycle and you could keep track of it, not like now where it starts in Winter and ends at a time when people are already starting the countdown to Christmas. The Gillette Cup added in a bit of spice and matches, especially from the Quarter-Final stage onwards would mean something and would be very well attended. The Tourists played everyone and these matches also meant something (remember Glamorgan beating the 1968 Australians at Swansea). There was NO music played while the match was going on. Why would there be? This all changed for various reasons but covered wickets actually made final day daft declarations created by spells from joke alternative bowlers more likely; the chasing of the money saw more One-Day cricket and the rise of International cricket too. With talk now of further reductions in LVCC cricket, I ask for one thing; a schedule where we know what is going on at any given time. They created a strategy where LVCC matches were supposed to start on a Sunday and half way through the season, they appear to strategy all over the week again. Make LVCC matches start on a Sunday and STICK TO IT!. Make the One-Day Cup knock out with a final earlier in September like the Gillette Cup Final used to be and complete the T20 in one block, avoiding franchises at all costs. The ECB and the counties need to have some faith in their product. I spent a marvellous day at Colchester a few weeks ago watching Essex and Surrey – what a great day’s entertainment not based on the number of 4’s and maximums but on innings built and wickets earned. Finally, whatever they do in the One-Day formats, ban the music and the fireworks. Cricket is not sports entertainment, its sport and when at its best, it is the best.

    1. I feel much the same way but we are a couple of dinosaurs watching the approaching asteroid. The most annoying thing is not that things change but that no one these days leaves anything alone for more than five minutes. You just know that if the CC format is changed it will only be a few years before there is a clamour to change it again. Which is why I think it’s doomed, people who are permanently dissatisfied with what they have sooner or later chuck it away and look for something new to divert their goldfish like attention span.

  3. Good point, Short Leg. I really do think that if they kept the current structure / formats but sorted out the schedule actually sticking to the strategy they came up with in the first place (Sunday LVCC starts, for example) that they could all do a Harry Enfield Scouser and ‘Calm down, calm down’. Wouldn’t it be so much simpler for everyone to know what is happening at each point in the week, month or section of the season. I even started to get mildy confused with the latter bits of the ODC and the T20. The lack of overview coverage in the media doesn’t help. Was amused and irritated in the same measure to see that the reduction in LVCC matches may well be fixed at a compromise number of 14. Well, they started talking about one-day cricket exactly 100 years before the Gillette Cup began in 1963, so what should we expect but a bit of debate, procrastination and ultimately, compromise?

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