Twenty20 Finals Day doesn’t always scream ‘elite sporting event’

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Last year, we took Birmingham’s appearance in place of Warwickshire in the T20 Blast as being a watertight scientific experiment into whether a future of city teams would lead to better cricket. Birmingham won the tournament, seemingly proving that it would, although the findings were somewhat compromised by their sickening cheating in the final against Lancashire. There’s also the fact that their performance could conceivably have been the result of improved alliteration rather than their city name. Bloody variables.

This year, the city v county angle seems even more relevant with discussions ongoing about either supplementing or replacing the current Twenty20 competition with some sort of trendy franchise thing where all the matches would be played in a block with more (literal) fireworks.

Our position on this is at odds with most people who have a history of following county cricket. We’ve always found each of the county competitions and the domestic season as a whole to be as bloated as Mr Creosote. We’d welcome a cull. A city-based franchise league would achieve this, but then so too would splitting the competition into several divisions. Either’s fine with us.

One thing we would miss, however, is the amateurism. There’s something quintessentially English (nod, wink) about slapdash professional sport. A lot of the time, this phenomenon is annoying or embarrassing, but on Twenty20 Finals Day, it is a thing of wonder.

It’s hard to put your finger on exactly what it is, but it’s something about everyone being half-cut on a summer’s day and no-one taking things too seriously. The mascot’s race is symbolic of this. The crowd tend to take it just as – if not more – seriously than the cricket itself. You could take that as a sad indictment of the nation’s premier short format domestic tournament or as a comment on the fundamental pointlessness of all sport. Or you could just laugh.

Twenty20 Finals Day doesn’t always scream ‘elite sporting event’ but then it’s also far more enjoyable than most elite sporting events. There are times when you want grim-faced determination, but there’s also room in this world for getting another pint so that you can be back in your seat in time to see a giraffe deck it while trying to plough through a ball pool.


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  1. I’ve just realised I’m wearing the very same Tshirt today as I was wearing on the day Lancs won the County Championship back in 2011…

    …so it’s my fault, either way.

    1. Sounds like a Sri Lankan player to me. Zantedeschia Aethiopica Dionaea Muscipula de Silva.

    2. You can imagine the Lancashire supporters at Old Trafford, as Lilley toddles up to bowl, chanting:

      Hey, Zante Zante,
      Zante Zante Zante Zante,

  2. Rumour has it that Lancs achieved this stunning result by secretly copying the Birmingham approach. While to the outside world they remain Lancashire, in the dressing room Ashley Giles has been referring to them as the Stretford Steelers, or the Firswood Flyers, or possibly the Whalley Range Wonder Rabbits.

    1. …Trafford Toads, Wigan Weasels, Fallowfield Ferrets…

      …or my personal favourite, The Chorlton-cum-Hardy Charismatic-Megafauna.

      Well done Lancs btw, by all accounts a well-deserved win yesterday.

    2. maybe South Africa should try this. Rename themselves as Pretoria Pretzels or the Durban Devils?

  3. Congrats Lancashire. No sour grapes here.

    Except Levi should have been given out in the first over of our semi-final. And you were lucky the pitch suited your spinners. And it’s a stupid game anyway so shut up.

    1. It’s totally unfair that the pitch made all of Hampshire’s batsmen apart from Vince throw their wickets away. Unfair, I tell you. A grave injustice.

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