County Championship cricket is back and is already highlighting what a marvellous concept multi-day multi-innings cricket is. The twists and turns, the limitless possibilities and the it’s not over until it’s over circumstance, make first class cricket truly special. Let the match between Essex and Durham be a case in point.
Essex were bundled out for just 96 in their first innings and commenced their second innings effectively minus 163-0, yet look how it turned out…
In the same round of fixtures, Warwickshire chased down 333 against Nottinghamshire…
On paper, Nottinghamshire should be a strong side but in reality… !
The performances of some players have really caught the eye. For some, the chance to board the England ship may have sailed and for others, competition in certain spots make achieving international honours a big ask.
The likes of Derbyshire wicketkeeper Harvey Hosein, Essex pacer Sam Cook and Yorkshire’s criminally under appreciated opener Adam Lyth, have all performed well.
James Bracey, Ollie Robinson and Matthew Parkinson, all England bubblers, have also made strong early season cases too. There are many others, batsmen Hassan Azad, Sam Northeast and Kiran Carlson among them. The early season is often dominated by bowlers so it’s been good to see plenty of batsmen making healthy contributions. With injuries and IPL commitments, the Test series against New Zealand could yet see one or two England debutants.
As for the County Championship, in a world of ever increasing T20 franchise leagues, it still has a place and is well worth following.