The Hundred month is almost over already. This is why we never really got a toe-hold with it this year

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The Hundred moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

Do you know what type of person is very badly qualified to write about cricket scheduling? A cricket writer, that’s who.

Anyone who writes about the sport will almost certainly spend a hell of a lot of time watching it and reading about it. That’s entirely sensible and justified as that’s how you stay well informed. That level of investment does however mean that bigger events can take their toll a bit, necessitating what you might call ‘a period of rejuvenation’ or which you might just as easily and accurately call ‘not doing a right lot’.

Those of you who read everything we publish and also have a working memory (not sure how many of you are in the middle of that particular Venn diagram) will be aware that we planned to cover the Hundred this year. It is pretty clear we have not done this. Not even slightly.

Time has passed. The first week or so after the Ashes was taken up by the usual overspill from that series. (We won’t link to that stuff – we’re sure you can navigate a website where the articles are pretty much displayed in chronological order.) After that, we went away for a week. Then we tried to catch up with the backlog of things that need attention after a nice relaxing break. (Quite a few components of this website needed fixing for a start.) Now it’s now and the two Hundred finals are on Sunday and who knows if we’ll catch any of them or not.

This is a bit of a shame. Cricket that people can watch on telly is a good thing to write about. There was also a brief moment where we thought we might actually get to a game, but between other plans and the whims of a six-year-old, that unfortunately didn’t happen. (We were quite surprised by the initial ‘can we go to a game?’ whim, which presumably-not-coincidentally manifested in the immediate aftermath of Ashes fever. Going on holiday appeared to fully quench any desire to do new things in new places however.)

While the can’t-be-arsed part of our brain softened the blow, we were nevertheless mildly disappointed by our non-attendance. After a day in the party stand at Old Trafford for the Ashes, we were keen to experience a different live cricket atmosphere.

Blokey Test crowds are pretty familiar by this point in life and at times a little bit wearing. It’s easy to lose sight of how the whole specator experience has increasingly been geared towards the biggest-spending demographic, regardless of whether they give a flying full toss about what they’re watching.

Joe Root chose his words very well the other day when he said the Hundred offered, “a very different feel to a lot of other Blast and Friday night cricket.”

Just to underline that, we were looking to go to a women’s game on a Sunday morning which we’d guess would offer the right feel. We’ll try again next year because it wouldn’t have been too expensive. Maybe if every match wasn’t a double-header it could be cheaper still. Or maybe the consolidation helps keep costs down – we don’t know. Either way, we’d probably have left before the men’s game, if we’re honest. Cricket is long.

In short: Having the Hundred straight after the Ashes was right for the Hundred’s target market, but not for cricket writers. Similarly, the Hundred’s condensed schedule is largely a strength, but it also means it can pass you by.

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  1. Have no fear, folks, I’m totally on top of this topic and I’m here for you.

    I must admit that I’ve not been doing well with the walk on music this year. When I was at Lord’s with Olaf the other week, he and I agreed that, not only did we not recognise any of the pieces and artistes on offer, we couldn’t even work out which phrase was the song title and which was the name of the act on any of them. We were rescued by the 10 year old daughter of the gentleman sitting net to us. The young girl recommended one of the three offered items to us and seemed utterly thrilled that we had taken her advice and voted for her choice. Daisy and I have resolved similarly to seek help on finals day.

    The live music on Olaf’s evening was VC Pines. I liked Colours, which was lively, but found his other pieces a bit dull. Word was that VC Pines performed at Glastonbury this year, but he looked far too young for that. I thought this year’s Glasto acts needed to be qualified for Lord’s pavilion death row (for test matches, a row or two reserved for those who are 75+and request it).

    I also popped along to Lord’s on my tod after finishing work early last Friday.

    This picture from the Upper Allen stand, just under the new giant scoreboard/ big screen.

    Before the fireworks, the live music was someone named Charles, who turned out not to be Charley “The Gent Malloy” Bartlett, unsurprisingly. The music didn’t send me, to be honest. Perhaps I need to hear some in the comfort of my own home.

    I did slightly better identifying walk on music choices on Friday, as I have heard of David Guetta, so voted for him and his tune. I was pleased to see that I was “down with the kids” by choosing Guetta, but unfortunately the piece was never played, as it was supposed to be Jordan Thompson’s walk on music, but Jordan didn’t walk on.

    In disgust (and wanting to get home for dinner), I then started to leave Lord’s, silently muttering to myself about “bloody youngsters” and “have they forgotten that this is a membership club?” I was planning to write a vitriolic note to the Chief Executive about the Jordan/Guetta incident, when I ran into Guy Lavender himself, with whom I waxed lyrical about how great it was to see such a large crowd with so many youngsters and so I clean forgot to complain in the strongest possible terms about my walk-on music disappointment.

    Daisy and I are very excited about finals day. The live music is set to be Rudimental, an act I have not only heard of, but I even possess a download of one of their songs, Feel The Love. We are looking forward to seeing how the Lord’s pavilion crowd copes with 180 bpm drum and bass music. The St John’s Ambulance team might be kept busy. Given the lower age demographic for The Hundred, Daisy and I will probably take up position on death row for finals day, as we did last year.

    An extended version of this comment including finals day will appear on Ogblog, once I can be arsed, after Sunday.

  2. When I went to a double-header Hundred game with my son (who was I think 7 at the time), we watched the women’s game and he enjoyed all the sideshow nonsense stuff very much. Then the men’s game got rained off and we got all of our ticket money refunded. Ideal!

    1. Dream scenario.

      Does seem a bit of a commitment to try and take a young kid to two games on the same day, but presumably they’ve concluded the pros outweigh the cons.

      1. There’s a theorem in mathematics that states that if you drink enough you don’t even notice there’s a kid with you. The proof is highly technical and I wouldn’t want to go into it at this stage.

      2. We believe this is the inspiration for the ‘mega pints’ sold at some rugby grounds.

  3. Where are we with #opposethehundred these days? Has everyone just given up and accepted it? Are there still some wags on social media insisting on calling it the 16.4?

    1. Pretty confident there’s plenty of people who are still utterly enraged about it, but also suspect they’re fewer in number than they think.

    2. I’m still around. Wouldn’t say I’m ‘utterly enraged’ about it though. On the ‘angry or amazed’ scale, I come in at a solid ‘lying on the floor staring at the ceiling in despair for hours’.

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