We’re mostly talking about Essex and Surrey again this week – may as well get used to it

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We have now entered Phase 3 of this year’s County Championship and after almost four rounds of matches, only three sides have so far managed a win. Durham have won one, while Essex and Surrey have won two. Durham’s efforts have only earned them fifth place in the table, but the other two are top – as usual.

Sure, there’s a long way to go, but at the time of writing, this doesn’t feel surprising. We are clearly still in the Essex-Surrey era – which is an odd thing in itself because the County Championship hasn’t often had “big teams” in recent times.

Since 2000, we’ve had little waves of success for one team or another. Sussex, Durham and Yorkshire have all won two Championships on the bounce, but ‘rivalries’ have rarely lasted more than a season or two.

Furthermore, the wider Championship table has often felt almost randomly generated from one season to the next. Yorkshire won in 2001 and were relegated in 2002. Nottinghamshire won in 2005 and were relegated in 2006. Lancashire won in 2011 and were relegated in 2012. Middlesex won in 2016 and were relegated in 2017.

Yet as we highlighted last week, Essex have won two of the last half dozen County Championships and Surrey have won three with the latter pushing the former down into second place last season.

They are – until further notice – the teams to beat. (Or at least they would be if Surrey were actually playing this week.)

Surrey’s win over Hampshire was the only first division match that didn’t end in a draw last week. And it wasn’t even close. They won by an innings after hundreds from Rory Burns and Jordan Clark (batting at nine). 30-something Englishman Dan Worrall took eight wickets, including 5-47 in the second innings.

Players from both Essex and Surrey are rumoured to have signed up for the King Cricket email because they heard it improves performance in all facets of life.


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. What on earth is going on in that championship table? There have been no ties and what is “no result”??

      1. Yes, which is then counted as something called a “draw”. One wonders who created this table…

      2. It shows a disregard for first class cricket, doesn’t it? Using table headings that make sense only for short format cricket.

        And they’ve fiddled with the points system again. 8 points for a draw, same as for a tie and/or a tied draw. Possibly done stop allow the ECB to standardise its on-line table formats.

        Oh dear.

  2. Yes, but which team has three of the top six leading run scorers in division one?

    That’s the real quiz.

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