Does that mean summer is over now, then?
Being realistic, there is no way they are going to get any county cricket in next week which means *checks notes very carefully* that Somerset have bottled the title once again and Essex will do the double for the last time ever.
The last time ever? Didn’t you hear – country cricket will be as important as Britain’s Got Talent from next summer as the ECB start to work towards winning back the Ashes by depriotising it further, this time below the T20 lite (officially called The Hundred).
Some people are calling for the country game to be revamped to give the Test side greater strength and depth. Here’s a cunning revamp for you – make it important again. Cut back, albeit a little, on all this white-ball stuff and start to develop cricketers that aren’t told off for leaving six balls in a row that aren’t hitting the stumps.
Don’t add more white-ball tournaments into the mix that are not going to really benefit anyone other than a few marketing agencies given massive contracts to go and flog an already dead horse.
Trim the fat off the T20 Blast to allow, at the very least, for each country to be able to play each other the same amount of times in a summer.
And let’s not all jump on the bandwagon of applauding people who can purely ‘bat time’. Yes, this is the current buzzword but it’s all very well being able to occupy time at the crease – but let’s not get back to the world of Boycott. Find the balance between being able to not get out for a long time whilst gently moving the game forwards.
Dom Sibley will almost certainly get to spend the winter under the microscope in New Zealand and South Africa, given his ton in each innings in the penultimate round of county fixtures. Joe Denly may not be so certain as he was only awarded a white-ball contract for the next year.
Moeen Ali preempted his loss of contract by making himself unavailable for the two winter Test series but the big surprise was Liam Plunkett not having his white-ball deal renewed.
It’s not as if the big man did anything for England over the summer, was it?
Ashley Giles and Ed Smith wrote this one off as Plunkett unlikely to be young enough or good enough come the next World Cup, but the sudden binning of one of England’s key players in their first-ever World Cup-winning campaign seems a little, well, hasty. Surely, these guys get a chance to retire heads held high, rather than getting that call? Or at the very least, a call that warns them so they can at least “retire from international cricket” and not look like they’ve just been turfed out? It was a little bit classless to say the least.
By the time you read this, the squads for the New Zealand leg should have been announced. Who knows, they might even have a new coach by then too…