Saturday, 17 August 2013

Quick thoughts on T20 finals day

Warm congratulations tonight to Northamptonshire, winners of the T20 for this year. They're not, on paper, close to the strongest team in the competition, but the whole was pretty impressive and in Cameron White they have a very good overseas player. Richard Levi also impressed, more effective at this level with his predominantly leg-side heaves than at international level.

I was also pleased because they hammered Surrey in the final. I didn't like the attitude of Gareth Batty in the quarter-final that saw him banned for today and he has, after all, got 'previous' in this line. It is one thing to play aggressive cricket, another to be unnecessarily aggressive and Batty crossed the line and set a poor example against Somerset.

So the underdog rules and more power to their elbow. Congratulations also to Freddie the Falcon for second place in the Mascot challenge.

Mind you I'd sooner have seen him 18th and Derbyshire there today.

Maybe next year...

PS While I am in a congratulatory mode, belated ones to Matt Lineker for his century earlier in the week for the Unicorns. They still lost, but it will be something to remember for a long time to come.

Well done, Matt!

1 comment:

notoveryet said...

Before anyone commenting here starts gloating about Surrey's humiliation, let's think about how devastated we'd feel if we were Surrey supporters tonight. All that money, all that strutting, all that arrogance, all that oafish behaviour on and off the field, and nothing to show for it but being hammered out of sight by a little East Midlands county. Nothing to look forward to but scrapping with another little East Midlands county to avoid being relegated from the first division.

Sniggering aside, I really can't imagine what it must be like to care deeply about a cricket club with bottomless pockets that fail so consistently and ignominiously, whether you support them or play for them.

Great performances by Northants to see off two preening, arrogant and smug teams as Essex and Surrey, particularly since the defining and match-winning performances came from home-grown players. I'm not ignoring the part that Levi and White played in helping to set the scene, but it the performances by Crook, Wakeley and Willey that turned the games. For me, two questions hang in the air, though.

First, will Northants be able to hang on to them? If they get promoted to Division 1 as well as winning the T20 and probably getting to the semi-finals of the YB40 (at least), why would any self-respecting player want to go elsewhere? We know the answer, and I can't blame players for trying to make the most out of a short career, but how sad it will be if this team gets broken up as players are tempted by huge amounts of money from rich counties who will never give them the same sense of fulfilment and achievement they feel tonight.

Second, what has Northants done that is beyond Derbyshire? This is one success that we can't say is beyond us because of our comparative wealth, so what might we have to learn from them?