T20 Finals day is upon us!
Oddly nestled into the schedule three weeks after the fourth and final Quarter-Final was played, one of Lancashire, Somerset, Sussex or Worcestershire will be crowned 2018 Vitality Blast champions later today in Birmingham.
One Stump Short provides a ‘pocket size’ preview of the day:
The retirement of Alastair Cook combined with the struggles of Keaton Jennings have left England with one almighty headache at the top of the order heading into the 2018/19 Winter Tour.
While Rory Burns appears to be the obvious choice to fill the void left by Cook’s departure – weight of runs alone putting the Surrey man head and shoulders above anyone else in County cricket right now – other names linked with the vacant number one spot include Middlesex’ Nick Gubbins, Nick Browne of Essex and perhaps even ‘good players of spin’ such as James Vince moving up the order.
Absent from the discussion, perhaps unfairly, is Lancashire’s Alex Davies.
Whether you support the proposed new tournament or not, it is hard not to be flabbergasted by the way the ECB has handled the unveiling of ‘The Hundred’ during the past month.
English cricket’s governing body has lurched from one press conference to another, one ‘pivotal meeting’ to the next; leaving a trail of faces in palms and disbelieving shakes of the head in their wake.
Controversial from the get-go, domestic cricket has yet more threads to pull at when discussing this ‘bold’ new venture – with the dizzying way things unravel enough to send you mad if you let it.
Lets try and keep the madness at bay for a moment to address the key issues shall we:
Ever tried to sort 18 teams into an order? Relegating two of them whilst promoting two others?
It’s madness. Especially when the unlikeliest of heroes can suddenly emerge to lift a team’s season and a broken schedule can warp a team’s hopes in a spring downpour or a sudden burst of fortune on green-tinged surfaces can shift the pendulum of momentum.
Never the less, one must soldier on and embrace the fact he must write a list which will doubtless make him look silly in September:
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: