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Old 24th August 2017, 15:54   #141
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I have no ideas what the fixture list will be in 2018, let alone 2020 , Paul. Not sure how you know?

You claim that in 2020 there will be CC matches on Aug 24. Again, I'm not sure how you know that, but if it is true then it means the CC will resume earlier than it is doing this season (Aug 28).
This is from the Draft 2020 Outline Schedule sent by the ECB to county chiefs in (I think) January this year. If you want to look at it, I uploaded it to the "Big changes to county cricket in the pipeline" thread - just click on the little paperclip symbol to the right of the topic.

Obviously it is just that - an outline draft, so there may well be modifications when everyone sits down at Lord's around this time in 2019 to consider the 2020 fixture list proper. It's already been mooted that one of the Tests - SL3 in the draft - may disappear.
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Old 26th August 2017, 18:02   #142
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Watched a but of Southern Premier League cricket today.
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Old 28th August 2017, 12:21   #143
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I watched the 20/20 finals day at Settle cc yesterday.

I was camping at Horton in Ribblesdale and had done the three peaks the day before. A guy in the pub told me there was a game on the next day so I went through on the train and had a great day.

Beautiful ground, decent food and beer available and a cracking atmosphere. The final wasn't particularly close with Barnoldswick beating Settle quite comfortably.
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Old 28th August 2017, 12:27   #144
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At the mino counties final at banbury today. Lovely ground, cracking weather, close game. Bank Holiday bliss!
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Old 29th August 2017, 09:00   #145
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Off to day five of the Headingley test in a bit.

Ten quid for adults...it's rude not to.
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Old 29th August 2017, 09:23   #146
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Off to day five of the Headingley test in a bit.

Ten quid for adults...it's rude not to.
Have a great day. A Test that goes to a fifth day is so unusual in this era, I don't blame you in making the most of it!
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Old 31st August 2017, 19:26   #147
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Old 5th September 2017, 09:00   #148
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This morning, I'm en route to Leeds to meet up with my oldest friend and hopefully, finally, watch cricket at Headingley. My earliest memory of the ground is of the infamous abandoned Test of 1975; since then, I've witnessed countless memorable moments on TV but a visit has always eluded me. I've been to Leeds for gigs, festivals and general socialising but a few minutes admiring the Hutton Gates is the closest I've got to cricket. I'm here for five sessions. Today's forecast is filthy but tomorrow promises drier conditions. That would be typical of my cricketing explorations of the North but, so long as I see some play and can blag a look around the pavilion, I'll be happy.
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Old 5th September 2017, 11:17   #149
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I'm thinking of going to Headingley tomorrow too. Work commitments and lack of any weekend play means that tomorrow is my last chance to see any first class cricket this season.
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Old 6th September 2017, 23:46   #150
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As expected, my Tuesday at Headingley was obliterated by heavy rain. However, my friend and I were determined that the day would not pass without sports spectating, so in the evening we took ourselves off to see Farsley v Stalybridge in the Northern Premier League - a brilliant fast-paced Roses encounter which the home side won 5-4 after being three down in the opening 25 minutes.

Today, my patience and faith were rewarded as I finally got to see cricket at Headingley. The first two hours chimed perfectly with my historical image of the venue - deliciously attritional cricket with the ball seemingly doing a bit under gloomy skies and the home batters looking far from secure. For much of the first twenty overs, the scoring rate was below 2 per over. Yet, given that they'd been inserted, Yorks won the session - a point reluctantly accepted by the old boys sitting near me who spent a considerable amount of time moaning about Lyth's lack of timing. In the afternoon, Yorks recovered from a sudden spate of wickets to score more freely, Leaning's strokeplay showing some class while Hodd played a cute supporting hand. The Middx bowlers, who'd looked a handful before lunch, were now being played far more confidently. Ollie Rayner - such a force in last year's title campaign but so quiet this year - saw his first four overs milked with ease.

Alas, I had to leave just before tea but I'd enjoyed my brief time there. I spectated from a variety of positions and found the ground to be a splendid venue of contrasting structures; striking, without being imposing. As a fan of funky modern architecture, I like the weird pavilion but also enjoyed the dated feel of the football stand. The new Western Terrace, though, reminded me of Cardiff in its unattractive functional effectiveness. I didn't manage to blag into the pavilion but there was no need, as the museum (free, but donation encouraged) provided everything I sought in terms of info and memorabilia. I don't think I was the only middle-aged fellow oohing and ahhing over the painting of FST, the old team photos, and Wilfred Rhodes' balls.

I have now returned to the South with my body tired and creaky but my head in a rather good place.
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Old 7th September 2017, 09:23   #151
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Yep, I was at the same game.

Ball definitely dominated bat early doors with the damp and overcast conditions. Lyth played well then got out as did Lees. After the break Yorkshire were four down but Leaning and Hodd put on a hundred when it seemed a low score was likely.

Middlesex took a few wickets with the new ball, Leaning didn't get his hundred but Bresnan and Plunkett steadied things and started knocking boundaries to take Yorkshire to 300 odd for 7. Play ended due to bad light a few overs early.

All in all a decent day out...bloody cold towards the end.
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Old 13th September 2017, 07:31   #152
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I went along to Uxbridge yesterday. Well, the town, at least. I'd gotten to within about 800m of the ground when I encountered two chaps walking towards me saying "If you've come for the cricket, it doesn't look like there'll be play until tea". As it was, play was abandoned for the day just after 11am. Here again is the dilemma of outgrounds - we cricket watchers love them for the variety they provide, and the rustic charm that connects us back to the game's roots. But, a semi decent soaking and they're knackered, often for days. Given the overnight rain, I wouldn't be surprised if they struggle to get an innings apiece played in this contest.

However, one of the myriad advantages of being based in London is the amount of county cricket within reasonable travelling distance. So, having accepted the advice of the two gentlemen, I turned on my heels and headed for The Oval, where I was amply rewarded with an assertive stroke-laden stand between Stoneman and Burns, and some typically delightful touches from Sanga and Foakes later on. Rory once again got himself out with a ton beckoning, but Stoneman made the grade, exuding that extra little touch of authority that said "I'm a Test player now". Yorkshire's bowling, sans Coad, looked rather tired except for Brooks who bowled with a renewed vigour. I was very happy to encounter our own Prince of Denmark during the afternoon - always a pleasure to sit and natter with you, sir.

Back for some more red hot sexy Sanga action today.
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Old 13th September 2017, 22:38   #153
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For the fourth time this season, I witnessed Sangakkara pass 100. The only problem with watching his exquisite batting is that everything thereafter seems a bit muted. Foakes completed his own very accomplished century, Brooks and Patterson strove manfully to hasten the end of Surrey's innings, and then Marsh and KC were industrious in building the visitors' response. But the sun shone a little less brightly once the Sri Lankan had left the stage - metaphorically and literally, as grey clouds began shrouding Kennington before tea. This time last year, I was watching cricket at Chelmsford in temperatures tickling 30C. Today, I occasionally sported three layers, while a steward was wearing gloves.
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Old 15th September 2017, 13:31   #154
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For the fourth time this season, I witnessed Sangakkara pass 100. The only problem with watching his exquisite batting is that everything thereafter seems a bit muted. Foakes completed his own very accomplished century, Brooks and Patterson strove manfully to hasten the end of Surrey's innings, and then Marsh and KC were industrious in building the visitors' response. But the sun shone a little less brightly once the Sri Lankan had left the stage - metaphorically and literally, as grey clouds began shrouding Kennington before tea. This time last year, I was watching cricket at Chelmsford in temperatures tickling 30C. Today, I occasionally sported three layers, while a steward was wearing gloves.
Was good to catch up with you on Tuesday, Rob - first time this season. Great first day from a Surrey perspective, with Stoneman emphasising why he caught the eye of the selectors in the first place. Burns again scored a convincing and fluent 75 without converting it into a hundred - I'm convinced he would be good enough at Test level given the chance, but 1x100 + 8x50s @ 54 doesn't quite carry the same weight as maybe four of each at the same average. A career average of 42 over six seasons is significantly better than several of those who've recently been given a chance: Stoneman (35), Jennings (35), Westley (37), Malan (38).

Sadly I couldn't get back to see the Sanga ton the next day. I had an eye on the score and could see it escalating rapidly until his partnership with Foakes ended at 258 - nearly 200 short of Bobby Abel & Tom Hayward's record fourth wicket partnership for Surrey against Yorks on the same ground in 1899.

Surrey did well to force the follow on yesterday, but after a wicketless first session today it looks like the game is destined to end in a draw.

I should be back for the first day at home to Somerset next week, maybe the first part of day 2, but that's likely to be the end of my cricket season. Old Trafford in the week after the autumnal equinox for what looks likely to be a dead rubber doesn't seem worth the effort of committing to be there.

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Old 15th September 2017, 18:39   #155
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I went along again today, Richard, hoping Surrey could make some early inroads and set up an interesting day. Baby Curran had a couple of lbw shouts in his opening burst but not a lot else was happening with the pitch becoming ever more placid and both Lees and Marsh batting rather well.

The game was as good as dead by tea, with dark clouds gathering. The players evidently had lost the will to be arsed and arrived back in the middle about 5 minutes late, and then some discussion with the umpires ensued. Out came the light meters and off came the players. At least it saved me the angst of deciding when to leave.

I should be there on Tuesday as well. I'll keep a look out for you.
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Old 18th September 2017, 13:43   #156
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I'm unexpectedly free tomorrow and the forecast looks decent so I think I'll go over to Headingley and watch Yorks vs Warwickshire.
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Old 25th September 2017, 19:53   #157
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The Final Week

The last week of the county programme is always a melancholy time for the avid spectator, as cricket prepares for its long hibernation during the vile winter. So, I'm aiming to wring as much as I can out of these final few days.

Essex v Yorks (Chelmsford) The New Kings vs The Most Prolific Champions, in the company of various diehard county friends, including paulsre. For days, the forecasters promised dry weather, so it was frustrating that they found a load of rain down the back of the sofa yesterday evening. Play was held up until 11am and it never brightened up as predicted, with occasional spits and spots throughout. Such familiar conditions suited the visiting bowlers who, after Chopra's early assault, reduced the hosts to 80-5. Coad and Patto caused problems and Brooks again impressed me with his renewed vigour. It looked like the kind of day in which attack probably was the best way forward for batsmen, and there was ample shot-making in the repair effort by Foster & RTD, followed by a knock of assertive authority by Harmer in making his first Championship fifty. I'd say 227 is a competitive scoring, bearing in mind the effectiveness of Essex's attack this season.

During lunch, we went searching in the club shop for Championship souvenirs. Disappointingly, there was only a boring tailored polo shirt at 25. I want a big brash logo t-shirt for fifteen quid, guys! As expected, the crowd was pretty decent for a miserable day in Autumn, but folks began filtering away as bad light prevented the start of Yorkshire's reply. I was happy to accept 75% of a day, given the rotten weather I'd awoken to earlier.

Tomorrow - from Champions to No-Hopers, as I travel down to my birth county for a day of Kent v Glamorgan.
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Old 27th September 2017, 09:53   #158
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Monday, attended Essex v Yorkshire - wot Summer of '77 said.

Tuesday - Kent v Glamorgan at Canterbury, again with Summer of '77. A very enjoyable day. However, be prepared for a rant about the food later.
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Old 4th October 2017, 11:26   #159
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It's been a week since the end of another season's spectating - my 42nd - and so time to glance through the scorecards and other accumulated paraphernalia in the usual part-glowing, part-melancholy mood. Last Wednesday, I was hankering after the chance for a rest...seven days on and I'm beginning to miss it all already.

Whilst I enjoyed probably my best ever season of spectating, it was also my most difficult. Walking issues mean that the lad who, until quite recently, would stride from Canterbury West Station to the St Lawrence in 23 minutes, now relies on lifts or cabs to achieve such distances. Those staircases at the Compton and Edrich Stands became more challenging with every trip to Lord's. The weather too, after mid-July, presented its own challenge; rain was either nearby, or deemed possible, almost every day and it required several acts of faith to pack the cricket bag and head off to a ground that was by no means guaranteed to yield even half a day's play.

I also felt tested by the revised structure of the county season, now carved into format specific blocks. Despite my perennial criticisms of the white ball game, I derived sufficient pleasure from it to get my fix. But, listening in to conversations through the summer, there's a discontent amongst Championship supporters which suggests membership renewals might encounter a dip this year.

But, for all the obstacles, I managed to get 52 days' cricket, on thirteen different grounds across seven counties. Maiden visits were made to the Middlesex outgrounds of Radlett and Richmond, and I finally obtained the missing jewel in my cricket watching crown, Headingley, where even a rained off first day couldn't mar an experience that was very much as I'd envisaged. Around half of my spectating was solo - days when I find myself zoned into every ball, analysing each bowling and field change. The other half was in the company of a pleasing range of family and friends, including our very own Paulsre and Prince of Denmark. On these occasions, spectating tends to be rather less detailed, as the conversation flows and news is caught up on. Of all spectator sports, cricket is perhaps the one which is best at allowing pleasures outside of what is happening in the game itself.

Although, this year, what was happening in the middle was frequently so compelling as to stifle peripheral conversation. Watching a good deal of Essex's incredible Championship campaign inevitably made it a season to cherish but there was much more. I attended my twelfth successive 'losing' Lord's final and then became a winner in my thirteenth as England Women lifted the World Cup. An enchanting day for numerous reasons. I witnessed one world record and a handful of county records, a triple century, a 9-fer and a hat-trick. I suppose if you attend prolifically, you're bound to see special feats but I've not known a season with so many. Back in April, I thought Footitt's spell of 6 for 6 against Warks was as good as it would get. I turned out for all three of Surrey Stars Womens T20 games and found them more enjoyable than the blokes'.

I was privileged to see so much of Sangakkara in his swansong season, once or twice rejigging my plans towards The Oval if he was not out or next in overnight. Similarly delightful to be around when two even older men, Trescothick and Stevens, recorded a stroke-laden fifty and a wibbly wobbly 5-fer respectively. At the other end of the scale, it's always a joy to see young tyros succeeding on the county stage and I particularly relished watching Ben Coad, Dan Lawrence and Sam Cook.

During one of this year's Tests, a commentator remarked that Alastair Cook and James Anderson were now the veterans of the England side. I recall watching both as youngsters in their early county games and thinking they had something about them (though, without ever anticipating what they eventually became). I was on the cusp of mdidle-age back then and now, suddenly, those kids are approaching the latter part of their Test careers. The cycle of cricket and spectating goes on. I hope the winter leaves me sufficiently fit and well to nab a bit more.
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Old 4th October 2017, 11:41   #160
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It's been a week since the end of another season's spectating - my 42nd - and so time to glance through the scorecards and other accumulated paraphernalia in the usual part-glowing, part-melancholy mood. Last Wednesday, I was hankering after the chance for a rest...seven days on and I'm beginning to miss it all already.

Whilst I enjoyed probably my best ever season of spectating, it was also my most difficult. Walking issues mean that the lad who, until quite recently, would stride from Canterbury West Station to the St Lawrence in 23 minutes, now relies on lifts or cabs to achieve such distances. Those staircases at the Compton and Edrich Stands became more challenging with every trip to Lord's. The weather too, after mid-July, presented its own challenge; rain was either nearby, or deemed possible, almost every day and it required several acts of faith to pack the cricket bag and head off to a ground that was by no means guaranteed to yield even half a day's play.

I also felt tested by the revised structure of the county season, now carved into format specific blocks. Despite my perennial criticisms of the white ball game, I derived sufficient pleasure from it to get my fix. But, listening in to conversations through the summer, there's a discontent amongst Championship supporters which suggests membership renewals might encounter a dip this year.

But, for all the obstacles, I managed to get 52 days' cricket, on thirteen different grounds across seven counties. Maiden visits were made to the Middlesex outgrounds of Radlett and Richmond, and I finally obtained the missing jewel in my cricket watching crown, Headingley, where even a rained off first day couldn't mar an experience that was very much as I'd envisaged. Around half of my spectating was solo - days when I find myself zoned into every ball, analysing each bowling and field change. The other half was in the company of a pleasing range of family and friends, including our very own Paulsre and Prince of Denmark. On these occasions, spectating tends to be rather less detailed, as the conversation flows and news is caught up on. Of all spectator sports, cricket is perhaps the one which is best at allowing pleasures outside of what is happening in the game itself.

Although, this year, what was happening in the middle was frequently so compelling as to stifle peripheral conversation. Watching a good deal of Essex's incredible Championship campaign inevitably made it a season to cherish but there was much more. I attended my twelfth successive 'losing' Lord's final and then became a winner in my thirteenth as England Women lifted the World Cup. An enchanting day for numerous reasons. I witnessed one world record and a handful of county records, a triple century, a 9-fer and a hat-trick. I suppose if you attend prolifically, you're bound to see special feats but I've not known a season with so many. Back in April, I thought Footitt's spell of 6 for 6 against Warks was as good as it would get. I turned out for all three of Surrey Stars Womens T20 games and found them more enjoyable than the blokes'.

I was privileged to see so much of Sangakkara in his swansong season, once or twice rejigging my plans towards The Oval if he was not out or next in overnight. Similarly delightful to be around when two even older men, Trescothick and Stevens, recorded a stroke-laden fifty and a wibbly wobbly 5-fer respectively. At the other end of the scale, it's always a joy to see young tyros succeeding on the county stage and I particularly relished watching Ben Coad, Dan Lawrence and Sam Cook.

During one of this year's Tests, a commentator remarked that Alastair Cook and James Anderson were now the veterans of the England side. I recall watching both as youngsters in their early county games and thinking they had something about them (though, without ever anticipating what they eventually became). I was on the cusp of mdidle-age back then and now, suddenly, those kids are approaching the latter part of their Test careers. The cycle of cricket and spectating goes on. I hope the winter leaves me sufficiently fit and well to nab a bit more.


Sorry to hear about the walking issues. Hope a winter of rest sees improvement on that front!

I remember Cook and Anderson breaking through and I don't think that ages me nearly as much as remembering the likes of Rikki Wessels' and Luke Wells' fathers!
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