The 2019 Royal London One Day Cup begins on Wednesday, and will be done and dusted in a little over five weeks.
Scheduled as something of a lead-in to the World Cup – which starts five-days after the RLODC Final – this quick turn around should be seen as a boon for the competition, and yet it still suffers at the hands of the ECB.
The sword of Damocles is, of course, The Hundred – the new city-based competition which will come into being from 2020 and relegate the RLODC to second-tier status. But even as a sort of ‘last hurrah’ for the tournament, the 2019 RLODC has been questionably laid out.
In an absolutely peak county cricket set of circumstances, round 2 of the 2019 County Championship featured some teams playing their first ‘Champo’ game of the season(?!), while others looked to build on/recover from the previous week.
Far from exhaustive, here’s the One Stump Short wrap-up:
Set against a background of declining attendances, backed by market research, aimed at young people and families, with a free-to-air TV presence, the ECB pioneered a bold ‘new’ format in
Convincing 11 of the 18 Counties it was a good idea, the Twenty20 Cup was born.
Not everyone was convinced at the time, and though it would ultimately be the spark that would cause a T20 explosion around the world, you can perhaps understand the initial hesitation.
The County Championship is back! Yay!
The first round of matches pitted Joe Root against Stuart Broad, saw Kent return to the first Division for the first time since 2010, and proved just how nails Jason Holder is as he opted for a sleeveless sweater at a bitterly cold Wantage Road.
Here are our highlights from the weekend:
Predictions are like arseholes – you all know how this analogy finishes.
Yes, I am waving mine around in public again; I won’t let the fact I thought Lancashire would be title challengers last year, and Somerset relegation candidates (when it turned out to be the complete opposite), stop me.
Division 1 remains highly competitive, though there is one county that clearly stands out when we talk potential champions.
Division 2 on the other hands remains something of an enigma, at least outside of the four teams competing for the three(!) promotion places this season – it’s quite conceivable positions 5 to 10 could be completely flipped by the end of the season.
You can listen to the One Stump Short Podcast previews of Division 1 and Division 2, featuring me and Peter Miller, trying to make sense of it all – or simply read on to see how I think it’ll all shake out: