Ok, I could just about now spout loads of drivel aimed in frustration at Middlesex 'cos they friggin beat us. You know, stuff like most of them are foreign, I'm sure two of the catches were grassed, the replays shown on the big screen made me 90% convinced that Tom Smith does not bowl with a legal action. They wear pink FFS. However as much as they annoy me, the biggest hurt was that it gave Surrey a sniff of qf action. Surrey. Why?! I didn't know whether to laugh or cry when I read that Chris Adams is penning an autobiography. But again, I shall restrain myself from mindlessly abusing Surrey. Overpaid showponies. Ok, sorry. Right, what of Hampshire? Disappointment is the overriding feeling. I could easily say half-arsed, crap blah blah blah, but in my view that would be pretty harsh. The Kent CC victory shows that the club isn't in meltdown. It just was one of those head in hand nights where nothing goes your way and a few of the players need a slap. Pressure was allowed to build by the sin of 20/20 - blocking. Obviously it is impossible to get a perfect idea of how the pitch was playing, but I despair at seeing players advancing down the pitch then blocking the ball back to the bowler. Look for the gaps!! And no reverse sweeps, please!! The bowling looks indecisive, we aren't picking up enough pressure wickets. It's all good and well picking them off when the opposition are in the final death throws of an impossible chase, but what about when the game is in the very balance? Nobody, perhaps Briggs aside, can consistently put their hand up and bowl that magic ball. I feel Carberry showed that a second decent spinner, i.e Dawson, is needed for the format, though to be honest it is too late. Macca was in slow gear again, Razzaq too which really didn't help the middle order at all. Pothas played positively but he should have nudged an over or two more before going for the slogs. You hit a six and a four, fantastic, now look for the ones and twos instead of trying to be Albie Morkel.
My main gripe though, is with the ECB and the FP T20. The match was billed as 'massive', with 'the best crowd all season'. I'd say the ground was a third full. The atmosphere in the west stand, almost full was brilliant, but the rest of the ground rivalled a Championship match. The crowd is weary, the players are listing. Even the Mexican Wave was half baked. This was a crunch match that followed 14 other matches that have been played in the last month and a half. Nobody gives a damn anymore and it's exactly the same across the country. Who is going to pay £20 a week for 8 weeks? I certainly wouldn't. I think the ECB employ 10 year olds in their planning department. If an average of 8000 people attend each of 5 home matches, paying £15 each, then it of course follows that 8000 people will attend each of 8 home matches paying £20 a head. Lots more money for the ECB, aren't they brilliant?! *thumps head against wall*. Unless my AS level statistics has let me down again, by the end of tomorrow or today or whenever, we will have had 144 group matches. Plus knockouts gives 151 matches that make up the 2010 Friend's Provident 20/20. That's like twice as many games as the IPL, and that quickly felt like watching a Kevin Costner movie boxset. I remember the days when a fine piece of cricket was greeted with roars from the near capacity crowd, enjoying an evening out. Last night the biggest noise made in unison by the crowd was that of shock and despair. Not whilst Hampshire were collapsing, but when Harry the Hawk's head fell off when he finished the mascot derby time trial (again). For some it was pure disbelief that the mascot they knew and loved was not actually an over sized intelligent hawk. For others it was the sacrilegious moment where the true identity of the mascot could be revealed. Such things, like gouging, are forbidden in all sports. Thankfully Harry's modesty and secrecy was saved by snappy camera work to get him off screen, plus Harry's quick thinking in covering his face. Half the members don't like 20/20 and you're not going to convince everyone to come to 8 otherwise. The ECB have truncated the CC and Pro40 into the very early and very late season, putting all the focus and as it turns out for the South, all the great weather, on the 20/20. It's amazing that overseas players have stayed as long as they have. Money I guess though. Here's an option: reduce the 20/20 season to 10 games each, like last year, 5 home 5 away. Start the tournament at the start of June and finish it at the end of July. That means 1 20/20 game a week, with 2 weeks having 2 games. The rest of the time can be filled with CC and one day matches. If home 20/20 matches are once every two weeks then that will make each one an affordable occasion, with tickets priced at an absolute maximum of £15. Then, depending upon how the dates work out, have the Q-F on the Saturday and Sunday of the first or second weekend of August, Finals day the following Saturday. It just makes me so flippin mad, why are these people ruining our game?
It will be okay
3 months ago