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Old 7th July 2017, 20:54   #81
Hector
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Err...not quite. I dragged myself away from the televised Test today for a couple of sessions down at Arundel. In such glorious weather, with a pitch more spicy than usual, it would have been grossly negligent not to. The appeal of this trip comes not simply from the exquisite Castle ground, but also the train journey through miles and miles of lovely Sussex countryside, peppered by ornate little railway stations. Improbable as it may seem, Southern Railways, mired in industrial action, managed to get me there and back bang on time.

A very good crowd, as ever, and numerous dogs. After early losses, Van Zyl and Wright repaired the home innings impressively; the scorecard might suggest that batting became much easier but there was a horrible patch at the top end from which the ball sometimes slid through at barely ankle height. That said, there was little margin for error whenever the Leics spinners pitched short, which was often. With the Foxes needing 388 tomorrow with all wickets intact, it might be a rewarding Saturday's spectating for those who make the effort.
Ah Arundel. Such beauty. Always enjoy a trip down there.
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Old 17th July 2017, 09:28   #82
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Off to Salisbury later to watch Wiltshire against devon in the minor counties champ.
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Old 19th July 2017, 17:35   #83
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More thoughts on another excellent day at the minor counties:

http://www.yahooovercowcorner.wordpr...ies-part-four/
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Old 20th July 2017, 09:22   #84
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More thoughts on another excellent day at the minor counties:

http://www.yahooovercowcorner.wordpr...ies-part-four/
Good stuff. How much do they tend to charge in admission to these matches?
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Old 20th July 2017, 17:03   #85
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Good stuff. How much do they tend to charge in admission to these matches?
Thanks. Generally its free. The only time i've had to pay was at the final last year. But it was at wormsley so 7.50 was worth it!
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Old 21st July 2017, 12:19   #86
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I had a real treat Wednesday night as I got to watch Sanga and KP against Amir and the leading wicket taker in the county championship. This is obviously as good as it gets in county cricket and it didn't disappoint.

When someone as talented as Jason Roy is the warm-up act and you're hoping him and Finch hurry up and get out to let the main act on you're in for a treat and true to form KP didn't disappoint putting the county championship's leading wicket taker into the stands 4 times in one over in a man of the match display.

That probably wasn't even the highlight, but rather the way he set up his innings: the early reverse-hit off Harmer to change the field; the way he rotated the strike and played himself in and constructed his innings in what was his first knock for how ever many months; the way he played his shots where the field wasn't; the way he forced Essex to completely abandon their bowling plans. As is often the case he appeared to be batting on a completely different pitch to everyone else. An absolute masterclass in the art of batting and once more with a sense of impeccable timing given the absolute shambles that is the England batting line-up. You have to pity those too entrenched in their views to appreciate it.

Obviously Sanga and KP were the star attractions, but this was as star studded a county match as I've seen for a long, long time. Amir was virtually unplayable; Roy played some outrageous shots (as usual his highlight reel being far more impressive than his actual innings); Tom Curran looked the part having added an extra yard of pace and bowled superbly at the death; Lawrence, Bopara and Westley all flashed signs of their talent in their Bell-esque (on speed) innings; Paul Walter continues to look an intriguing prospect.

All in front of a 25,000 crowd. This is the future of cricket, what's needed to keep the game more than a minority sport played by public school boys and south Asian/Australia/southern African immigrants.
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Old 21st July 2017, 12:33   #87
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All in front of a 25,000 crowd. This is the future of cricket, what's needed to keep the game more than a minority sport played by public school boys and south Asian/Australia/southern African immigrants.
Sold out well in advance, apparently. You can see why Surrey were resistant to losing T20 sovereignty in their half of the city.
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Old 21st July 2017, 12:43   #88
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I had a real treat Wednesday night as I got to watch Sanga and KP against Amir and the leading wicket taker in the county championship. This is obviously as good as it gets in county cricket and it didn't disappoint.

When someone as talented as Jason Roy is the warm-up act and you're hoping him and Finch hurry up and get out to let the main act on you're in for a treat and true to form KP didn't disappoint putting the county championship's leading wicket taker into the stands 4 times in one over in a man of the match display.

That probably wasn't even the highlight, but rather the way he set up his innings: the early reverse-hit off Harmer to change the field; the way he rotated the strike and played himself in and constructed his innings in what was his first knock for how ever many months; the way he played his shots where the field wasn't; the way he forced Essex to completely abandon their bowling plans. As is often the case he appeared to be batting on a completely different pitch to everyone else. An absolute masterclass in the art of batting and once more with a sense of impeccable timing given the absolute shambles that is the England batting line-up. You have to pity those too entrenched in their views to appreciate it.

Obviously Sanga and KP were the star attractions, but this was as star studded a county match as I've seen for a long, long time. Amir was virtually unplayable; Roy played some outrageous shots (as usual his highlight reel being far more impressive than his actual innings); Tom Curran looked the part having added an extra yard of pace and bowled superbly at the death; Lawrence, Bopara and Westley all flashed signs of their talent in their Bell-esque (on speed) innings; Paul Walter continues to look an intriguing prospect.

All in front of a 25,000 crowd. This is the future of cricket, what's needed to keep the game more than a minority sport played by public school boys and south Asian/Australia/southern African immigrants.
Great post, GBG. Thoroughly enjoyed reading that. Welcome to the future!
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Old 21st July 2017, 13:22   #89
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Just spent the morning at Horsham watching Trescothick smack the ball about. Still a joy to watch and he clearly still loves batting.
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Old 21st July 2017, 14:02   #90
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Paul Walter continues to look an intriguing prospect.
Just how tall is Paul Walter? He was stood on the boundary right in front of me at Guildford while 12th man last month - when Neil Wagner came over for a water bottle and stood next to him there must have been almost a foot difference in height. Wagner isn't the tallest of pace bowlers, but surely he can't be much under 6', therefore Walter must be close to 7'.
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Old 21st July 2017, 14:59   #91
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A couple of local games this weekend for me if the weather holds - Drakes League, Huddersfield.

Then the U19 test match at Chesterfield on Monday, possibly Tuesday too.
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Old 21st July 2017, 15:02   #92
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Sold out well in advance, apparently. You can see why Surrey were resistant to losing T20 sovereignty in their half of the city.
I think it was largely irrelevant to most of the crowd who was playing.

It was more like a baseball than cricket crowd as they seem to be mainly utilising it as one of the biggest summer outdoor drinking spaces in London and only superficially watching. I know people will get sniffy at that but tests in England have long been like this - and yes Lord's is every bit as bad as Headingley's Western Terrace - but it raises much needed cash for the game, raises the profile of cricket when it's in danger of becoming irrelevant and every so often someone new will fall in love with the game. If you have a game that only attracts the die-hards it's not going to grow. T20 attracts people who wouldn't otherwise have contemplated watching cricket as part of after work drinks. This can only be a good thing.

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Just how tall is Paul Walter? He was stood on the boundary right in front of me at Guildford while 12th man last month - when Neil Wagner came over for a water bottle and stood next to him there must have been almost a foot difference in height. Wagner isn't the tallest of pace bowlers, but surely he can't be much under 6', therefore Walter must be close to 7'.
I think I've seen him described as 6'7" or 6'8" but I wonder if he's taller than Will Jefferson. He has that Irfan unusual height and angle going for him which batsmen just aren't use to, plus he can bat (although Essex seem reluctant to give him opportunities with the bat).
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Old 21st July 2017, 15:24   #93
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I think it was largely irrelevant to most of the crowd who was playing.

It was more like a baseball than cricket crowd as they seem to be mainly utilising it as one of the biggest summer outdoor drinking spaces in London and only superficially watching. I know people will get sniffy at that but tests in England have long been like this - and yes Lord's is every bit as bad as Headingley's Western Terrace - but it raises much needed cash for the game, raises the profile of cricket when it's in danger of becoming irrelevant and every so often someone new will fall in love with the game. If you have a game that only attracts the die-hards it's not going to grow. T20 attracts people who wouldn't otherwise have contemplated watching cricket as part of after work drinks. This can only be a good thing.
There was plenty of drinking and non-cricket watching at Richmond yesterday evening. Some families were camped around picnic blankets without even a view of the entertainment. I actually thought that was quite nice - the local community coming together for an evening out, even if some didn't have the foggiest what they were (weren't) watching.

I'm certainly of the opinion that T20 and the future big city event are vital for cricket's financial wellbeing but, as an old JPL kid, I've long abandoned any notions that such competitions grow the game in terms of wider spectator development. Maybe some of the young uns who were playing their makeshift games around the ground last night will find their nascent interest nourished and developed at school so that they become future participants at some level or other. I'm not overly hopeful.

I've been up in the Compton and Edrich at Lord's Tests and witnessed swathes of seats emptying after the first half hour, rarely being retaken. Beneath the stands, a mass of drinkers gather, some watching replays on the Nursery End screen, many oblivious to what's going on out in the middle. Perhaps these 'eventers' are the difference between the half full Lord's of my youth and the packed contemporary Test Matches? I don't particularly mind, so long as patrons refrain from spilling beer down the terracing onto my gear.
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Old 21st July 2017, 16:08   #94
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but, as an old JPL kid, I've long abandoned any notions that such competitions grow the game in terms of wider spectator development.
From 1913 - note the title - 'A Society Function':

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAJmsbhm4Xg
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Old 21st July 2017, 16:20   #95
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Maybe some of the young uns who were playing their makeshift games around the ground last night will find their nascent interest nourished and developed at school so that they become future participants at some level or other. I'm not overly hopeful.
Probably not at school but via the brilliant All-Stars Cricket initiative for 5-8 year olds.

The ECB have put millions into the project and it's an on-going programme. I enrolled my grandson. It's initially an eight week course and the last coaching session is next week. As part of the initiative we've also been given free tkts for a T20 at Chelmsford and for the women's world cup final at Lords this weekend.

During the Lords Test v South Africa, they had three All-Stars Cricket groups displaying their drills in the oufield during the lunch interval. I'm hoping they do the same for the Windies Test at Lords and my grandson's group gets selected (not least so that grandad gets a free ticket!)

The ECB deserves massive credit - it's by far the most ambitious and far-reaching youth engagement programme I've come across in more than 50 years knocking around this daft old game of ours...

My five year old grandson loves it and next year my grandaughter will be old enough to enroll, too.
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Old 21st July 2017, 17:29   #96
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As part of the initiative we've also been given free tkts for a T20 at Chelmsford and for the women's world cup final at Lords this weekend.
I'll be in The Mound Stand for the Women's Final, hoping the predictions for showers have been overstated and I don't have to come back on Monday.

Will you be using the free Chelmsford T20 ticket for the Essex v Kent game? Oddly, it looks to be nowhere nearly sold out - and yet the one against Hants is?!. Mr Moany "T20 is too bat friendly" here has bought himself a ticket up in the Pearce Stand. It could very easily be a dead game in terms of the Blast but there's still the coveted Battle of the Bridge honour to play for, ha ha. If you're going along, I shall use my influence to shield you from the Essex toughs.

I dunno...womens cricket and T20...I'll be joining Ivor down at Wanstead next.
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Old 27th July 2017, 14:01   #97
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A couple of local games this weekend for me if the weather holds - Drakes League, Huddersfield.

Then the U19 test match at Chesterfield on Monday, possibly Tuesday too.
Two cracking free days cricket at Chesterfield. England outplayed in all departments. India didn't enforce the follow on and nearly paid the price as there was lots of rain on the last day.

Still, some great cricket, and a decent ish crowd.
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Old 27th July 2017, 17:07   #98
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Two cracking free days cricket at Chesterfield. England outplayed in all departments. India didn't enforce the follow on and nearly paid the price as there was lots of rain on the last day.

Still, some great cricket, and a decent ish crowd.
Nice. Is Chesterfield as pleasant a ground as i have read it is?
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Old 27th July 2017, 18:49   #99
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Yes, it's really nice. Certainly worth a visit if you've never been. It's surprisingly close to the town centre but feels like a country park.

The ground is ringed by trees and the pavilion is quite nice. Food and drink easily available if a tad expensive, no real ale unfortunately but you can walk into the town in about five minutes and there are loads of pubs there.

Sachin Tendulkar's favourite ground apparently.

I still can't believe the U19 game was free, I was expecting to pay a couple of quid or something...I wonder if the second U19 test is free too? Starts on Monday at Worcester, another lovely ground.
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Old 28th July 2017, 11:43   #100
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I still can't believe the U19 game was free, I was expecting to pay a couple of quid or something...I wonder if the second U19 test is free too? Starts on Monday at Worcester, another lovely ground.
I've been very surprised by how much cricket is free of charge to watch. Hector mentioned that most Minor Counties stuff is free as well, which also surprised me - I was certain there would be an admission charge for that. All county v MCCU games I've been to have been free, except at Cambridge, which was 5.

Compare this with football, where even reserves matches at non-league level incur a charge, as well as almost any pre-season friendly, even at the lowest levels.

I can only guess that in cricket it's seen as easier to throw the gates open for free than to make the effort to set up things for charging. I don't know whether or not for these games such as U19s if the ECB gives the venue some money for hosting the game.
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