Isabelle Westbury compares the English recreational game with its Australian counterpart, with the help of Daniel Bell-Drummond of Kent and The Grade Cricketer’s Sam Perry
During an ashes series, every aspect of English and Australian life becomes a fevered competition, from how imaginative the crowd chants are, to who serves the best coffee*. as predictably as Nathan Lyon taking Moeen Ali’s wicket, so every level of cricket in each country is scrutinised, often becoming the saviour of, or scapegoat for, a series win or loss. This time county cricket bore the brunt, its bloated 18-team set-up deemed inferior to the She eld Shield, which is played between just six states. inevitably club cricket, the next layer down, is also dissected – and compared. for many young english county players, grade cricket, the highest form of club cricket in each australian state, is a rite of passage. it is an opportunity to play bruising cricket in a warm climate at a standard often compared to some of the second division county teams.