Good to see most of Derbyshire's batsmen making the most of yesterday's opportunity in making runs from perhaps the not overly demanding Leicestershire Second XI. Since their first team attack is hardly formidable, one suspects it may have been less demanding than what they will face when the action proper resumes next week.
Still, runs is runs, as someone (quite possibly G. Boycott) once said. They're better in the scorebook than in your head...
On to county matters and was anyone else, like me, appalled to see Gloucestershire awarding a cap to Australian opener Ed Cowan on his debut yesterday? Over many years a county cap has been something to be earned and coveted, an aspirational goal if you will. Many very good (and subsequently great) players have taken some time to earn the thing that says, for all to see, that you have made it.
A cap should not be given to someone simply because they have flown from the other side of the world to play for you. I could perhaps understand it if Gloucestershire had signed someone like Ricky Ponting or Jacques Kallis, players who have made a reputation in the game and whose award is made in the light of this and in recognition of their stature within it.
With respect to Ed Cowan, despite his century today he has got nowhere near the requisite credentials to be given his cap with immediate effect. He is a decent player who will always battle hard (I have seen him and played against him up here in Scotland) but such an award is a smack in the mouth for others at the club who also do that yet have not yet been recognised for it.
It is mad and if Derbyshire did something similar I would have no hesitation in decrying it as such. It debases the system and is a pretty shoddy thought process from the people concerned.
Tomorrow Derbyshire take on Northamptonshire in the CB40 in a game of little importance to either side. For me there is a strong argument to reintroduce some form of knock out competition to cricket, as the leagues as they stand offer far too many dull and pointless games. Of course. I would love to see Derbyshire rack up 350-2 tomorrow and win handsomely, just as I want them to beat the Unicorns (my daughter's favourite cricket team - she loves the name) on Sunday.
Yet in the great scheme of things it doesn't matter all that much.
Now Yorkshire, next week - there is a match...