It was all going so well.
England were the team to beat.
The impending World Cup taking place in their own backyard.
The happy campers of Hi-de-Hi! had nothing on their dressing room spirit.
Then Jason Roy had back spasms, and fringe-squad member Sam Billings dislocated his shoulder. ‘Oh it’s England just before a World Cup’ we laughed.
And then it really was England just before a World Cup…
After an ‘extended tea break’, One Stump Short returns ahead of the new County cricket season, with Essex out to retain their title, Warwickshire and Middlesex looking to bounce back and the standard hand wringing over what to do with the limited overs game in England.
To mark our return to the crease, we’ve worked with cricket’s favourite number to produce a lovely little recap of six of the biggest stories we missed while we were eating Ginster’s pasties and complaining how cold it was:
Ask 100 people who they think England’s best ever opener has been in one day cricket and there’s a good chance you’ll hear the names Marcus Trescothick, Graham Gooch, Andrew Strauss and Nick Knight.
Another Warwickshire man, Ian Bell, will likely get some support too – and all are worthy of mention, absolutely, but England’s finest opener in limited overs cricket might well be starring us in the face: Alexander Daniel Hales
Timing is everything. Ask any batsmen. With one or two exceptions (Chris Gayle), the ball is going nowhere if you don’t time it properly, big bat or not.
But picking ones moments to shine, or fail, can be just as important as stroking the ball through the covers with a crisp drive on the first morning of a game.
Timing is everything.
Which is why Alex Hales fine for breaching the ICC Code of Conduct during the current Test against Pakistan is more noteworthy than had it been, say, Joe Root.
After a difficult World Cup campaign and disappointing draw in the West Indies, England’s summer went better than many expected.
Regaining the Ashes in such emphatic style at Trent Bridge, England also showed much greater promise in one day cricket and have much to be positive about moving forward – though this is a side still with work to do and questions to answer.