What is the point in the County Championship?

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Was it a batting point or a bowling point? Was it one arising from a win, or did it come about through a draw?

The dream scenario would be for it to have come about thanks to a penalty for a slow over rate, but neither Middlesex nor Yorkshire has dawdled, so the yawning one-point chasm between them derives from cricket alone.

Nottinghamshire were relegated

We were a bit disappointed by this. It’s a ridiculous thing to say, but they seem too good to have to spend a year playing in the second division. Their match against Middlesex perhaps summed up their year. Samit Patel made a hundred, Jake Ball took a hat-trick and they really rattled the top side. Afterwards, they emerged with four points from a defeat. Ollie Rayner again took wickets for Middlesex for whom most players contributed in some way or other.

Yorkshire beat Durham very much

They beat them by three points more than Middlesex beat Nottinghamshire, which is why the gap has narrowed. Alphabet-straddling AZ Lees made 132 and 88. His opening partner Adam Lyth made 114 not out and their battery of bowlers did their unrelenting thing between times.

Somerset are coming up on the rails

They played a death match against Warwickshire. No chance of a draw. It was just a matter of who could inflict most damage most quickly. Despite being bowled out for 95 in the first innings, Somerset just about walked away. Dominic Bess took six for spit on his Championship debut in the first innings. He says he bowls spin because he was a ‘porker’ as a kid and couldn’t hack a long run-up.

Hampshire and Surrey also played

Just loads of runs really. Mark Footitt took six for plenty.

What’s next?

A lot of reports are focusing on Middlesex v Yorkshire at Lord’s for obvious reasons, but there is actually a round of matches before then. Yorkshire host Somerset from tomorrow (Monday), while Middlesex play Lancashire at Old Trafford.

While we think Yorkshire are in general the better side, our money’s on Middlesex winning the Championship because they always seem to do well when they play the Tykes. We hate that nickname, but it would have sounded too repetitious had we used the word Yorkshire again. Maybe we could have gone with ‘the White Rose’ – people use that as an alternate name for the club, right?


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. Gods Own County, of course. For a moment there you had me stumped. I didn’t think there was a Greek Orthodox Church at Headingley.

  1. Other possible names for Yorkshire include ‘the Danelaw’, ‘the drier side of the Penines’ and of course ‘the county championship’s most successful team’

    1. Really? An enduring memory of Yorkshire for me was pitching my tent in a field next to a pub sometime in July and watching the fly sheet gracefully sail by in torrential rain as I sat in the bar drinking Old Peculiar.

  2. If only there were some sort of showpiece one-day knockout final coming up to distract us from all this points-based nonsense.

    Not that you would hear about it in the Mainstream Media.

    ‘King Cricket’ is just a shill for the establishment.

    Wake up sheeple!

  3. “White Rose” sounds like the name of a low-cost, high-alcohol wine-style drink. But yes, it is also the nickname I would associate with Yorkshire.

  4. What about the “The Place Where You Were Born Only Defines You If Your Life Is Otherwise Empty And Meaningless-ers”.

    1. That phrase doesn’t seem to describe a place but rather a state of being. I think you need to double up on the “where”, thus: “the place where where you were born, etc”. Pleasingly assonant.

    1. SKITTLED for 145… can you hear me Geoff Boycott, Sean Bean, Emily Bronte, Brian Clough, Flat caps, Alan Hinkes, David Hockney, Ted Hughes, Guy Fawkes (is this right?!), Prime Ministers Rockingham, Asquith and Wilson, Nora Batty, Heathcliff, Peter Sutcliffe, Tetley, etc… bet you all can’t spake now!

      *awaits comeuppance when Somerset are rolled for 73*

  5. As ever, when September comes, all sorts of people in the media start talking about the Championship as if a. they’ve been covering it all Summer (which they haven’t) or b. they assume everyone listening knows what they are talking about (some us lost interest about half way through the season which seems like a long, long time ago). Now, as the Christmas countdown gradually seeps into conversations, the Championship STILL hasn’t finished. KC, your excellent posts have identified how draws seem to have dominated this season’s competition and as I fight my own motivation to support domestic cricket with even more complex and arcane situations developing as we speak as far as new proposals for more changes in the formats / schedule, I am finally giving in to the inevitable answer to the question from Americans as to how we explain the way the competition works with so many ‘ties’; namely, that I can’t. Signing off – Depressed from Oldham.

    1. Premier League after 14 games last season:


      A team which had a record of W5 D9 L0 would have been on 24 points, which would be enough to put them in the reckoning for the minor European places, while the top 3 were on 29, 29 and 28 points.

      Not sure what we learn from this, but I’d expected it to be rather lower down the table what with 3 points for a win and all. Turns out even the top few teams had lost a few matches and so the points gained in that many draws make up surprisingly well for the deficit in wins. Perhaps what I have learned is that Premier League teams who would like a chance at UEFA cup glory might consider a more ultra-defensive strategy than is currently employed. Perhaps I should be more forgiving of the CC drawathon. But I would like the County That Beats All Other Counties (in its division) At Cricketing to have done so with a winning record at the cricketing, rather than a drawing record.

      1. I’m pretty sure both will get their chance before too long. If they’re good enough, never mind their age, get them in the team. Even if Hameed fails, he has so much time on his side to go back to the ‘toc h lamp glare’ and get another opportunity a few years down the line. It’s pretty exciting that we can have this discussion about which talented young players should/shouldn’t be in the side/squad – contrast that with the 90s!

      1. What with Yorkshire getting banjoed today, I’m getting a bit overexcited. I’ll try and calm it, my apologies.

  6. Do not completely write off a late championship challenge from Somerset.

    While we Middlesex folk were, understandably, cheering every Yorkshire wicket while our boys were playing a steady game against the red rose lot, it soon dawned on us that Somerset wins in both of their final two matches could, sort-of take matters out of Middlesex’s hands, if the Old Trafford pitch and the Lord’s weather/pitch take the prospect of Middlesex wins out of the equation.

    Meanwhile the red rose folk still seem to be feeling rather squeaky bum about relegation, which is understandable but by gosh a lot has to go wrong over two rounds for the Lanckeys to end up in the drop zone, especially if the current match’s Old Trafford track really does have high scoring draw written all over it.

    This is Ged Ladd, reporting in from Media City, Salford Quays.

    1. Especially with Somerset playing Nottinghamshire, them with their impressive collection of losses, in the final round. Fair to say that the Yorkies will be a sterner test than Samit’s contingent.

      1. Stop it, all of you, building up my hopes and dreams with all this optimism (see above). If we win anything it will be another silver runners-up gong.

      2. Don’t worry Mike. Have a dose of reality:

        Sidebottom to Hildreth, OUT
        JC Hildreth b Sidebottom 2 (4m 4b 0x4 0x6) SR: 50.00
        Sidebottom to Hildreth, no run
        Sidebottom to Hildreth, 2 runs
        Sidebottom to Hildreth, no run
        Sidebottom to Rogers, OUT
        CJL Rogers c Lyth b Sidebottom 63 (123m 91b 9×4 0x6) SR: 69.23
        Sidebottom to Rogers, no run

    1. Have no idea what anyone ever saw in him etc. Lancashire doing their bit to influence the destination of the title, for a change… the ghost of G Chapple continues to haunt the cidermen…

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