Sam Northeast’s match-winning century started and ended to mild, but universal, applause. The least you might expect on reaching three figures but, for the former Kent captain (105 not out from 95 balls), not necessarily a given; in last year’s final at Lord’s Northeast walked out to a sea of boos from the Kent travelling support.
Hampshire lost on Duckworth-Lewis, Glamorgan were washed out and Gareth Batty scrambled some lower order runs to see his team to victory. This is not a premonition of what awaits us on Wednesday, when the Royal London One-Day Cup gets underway, but the last time white-ball cricket featured so early in an English summer. A summer, as it happens, in which early-season domestic cricket was there to “fill the void” as the country awaited an Ashes bout which ended in perhaps the most glorious denouement to befall English cricket. The precedent bodes well.
Lancashire (267-4) lead Middlesex (265) by 2 runs
If Keaton Jennings was the question at the start of play, Haseeb Hameed, by its close, was the answer. Once a vulnerable target for the shorter ball, now it was his forte, as the Lancashire opener reached his century with a neatly pulled six off the back foot.
Women are at the heart of driving innovation in cricket – they are not being deterred from it because it is too difficult to understand
I was seven years old when I learnt the cub scout motto: be prepared. It seemed simple enough – a concept which any kid, or mum, might easily embrace. It is worrying therefore that the England and Wales Cricket Board’s most recent proposals, to make “cricket as simple as possible” so that even “mums and kids” might understand it, appears to be lacking in this most basic of areas – preparation.
The Cricketer: Inside Cricket Podcast – The English Season
The Cricketer magazine
9 April 2018
Simon Hughes and Simon Mann are joined by Jack Brooks and Isabelle Westbury to preview the domestic season and ask if there is ball tampering in county cricket.
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, 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.
The extent to which county cricket is clearly ignored by pundits and decision-makers is damning, says Isabelle Westbury.
2017 has been a vintage year for vintage talents. From Trott’s trio of Championship tons to Sanga’s sumptuous sign-off, old stagers have graced county cricket this term. But what keeps them coming back for more, long after the international lights have gone out?
“The business of sport is dominated by men.” Clare Connor, director of England women’s cricket at the ECB and the only female member of the ICC’s Cricket Committee, wasn’t spouting feminist opinion when she made this statement, merely a simple truth. The Women’s World Cup is just around the corner and with reports of record ticket sales, the state of the women’s game on the pitch is arguably in a healthier state than ever before. But what of those off it?
The Nightwatchman – The Wisden Cricket Quarterly
The Nightwatchman is a quarterly collection of essays and long-form articles and is available in print and e-book formats.
“A stepping stone or a graveyard?” I was asked of women’s county cricket not so long ago. In the past I would instantly retort that it was just one rung below the international fold, the gap not so big as many imagined. Increasingly scepticism has seeped in. The introduction of the Super League this summer might – perhaps – just bridge the growing divide.