Saturday, 12 July 2008

Intrigue in the corridors of power

So the old franchises are back on the agenda for the 20/20 eh?

Despite Giles Clarke reckoning that it is something "not up for discussion", there are counties out there trying to feather their own nests and get some options together.

If it happens you can bet your bottom dollar that the Derby Destroyers or Chesterfield Champions won't be featuring in the equation. Given that we have a Test ground down the road at the place we dare not name, it doesn't need any involvement of expensive research company to work out where this particular regional franchise might find a home.

I've now got the subject of my next poll on the site. Would you support a regional side, the East Midlands Explorers or somesuch? Frankly, and here I lay my cards on the table, that side could recruit Ponting, Tendulkar and Symonds and I wouldn't be interested. Given my known antipathy for 20/20, why should I support a team that featured the "best" of Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and ourselves? Having spent 40 years hoping we hammer those sides because of that crazy little thing called local rivalry, I'd hardly be cheering them on at this stage.

The same elsewhere. I'm sure that northern fans would be thrilled to support the Rose Rumblers, a crazy amalgam of Yorkshire and Lancashire. Maybe Durham could link with Scotland and just play as... well, Durham!

It would be interesting to think who might play in such a side, but that is all. Would James Pipe, Paul Nixon or Chris Read be the best bet for keeper? Who would partner Langeveldt with the new ball? But that's it, and in the words of Rhett Butler, frankly my dear I don't give a damn.

They may frustrate me more than they thrill me, they may make me question why I bother on the really bad days, but Derbyshire are still MY county. When people ask me where I'm from I say "I'm a Derbyshire man" and I'm proud of that. In forty years of support there's probably been five seasons where I've thought "yeah, job well done", but it doesn't change anything. I'll be a Derbyshire fan to the last breath, but an East Midlands fan? Nah, the 12th of never for that one, I'm afraid.

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