It was a good night last night for Derbyshire.
A professional chase of a target, some good bowling, impressive fielding (Matt Critchley took a good catch, Andy Carter a sharp one, Jimmy Neesham almost a stunning one) and a good vibe around the team and the ground.
There was plenty to see and do in a format which has seen us, broadly speaking, show plenty of improvements this year, in both the overall level of performance and that of key individuals. Credit to all, including the coaching staff, for that.
Yet I have to say, for all that I enjoyed the performance, I drove away from the ground feeling there was something missing, for me. I know it's the future, we need to embrace it, need to be good at it. I watch it on the TV and enjoy it sometimes. That last word is key.
Whether it is the music, the sideshows, the distractions - maybe a combination of them all. I am a traditionalist, but on the ground it is just too 'in your face'. I don't need all the distractions, because the game itself is enough. I don't need batsmen standing like Babe Ruth when the bowler approaches, legs spread wide at the crease, as if awaiting a giant wave on a surf board. Nor do I need to sit behind someone who shouts, though no one listened 'You're bloody rubbish' every time a Derbyshire bowler got hit for four. It's obviously not allowed in his little world.
Truth be told, I don't see myself back. My last T20 was with my Dad, several years ago. It was us against Yorkshire and the hackles were going up on his back as 'gobby' (his words) Yorkshire supporters started mouthing off around us. As soon as the music started he was done, though he might have handled a bit of Tommy Dorsey coming from the speakers. There was none of the raucous stuff last night, but after a break of several seasons, I realised that the format was not for me.
Part of it is down to economics. Why would I drive five hours each way for three hours of cricket? It makes no sense on that level and even less so when the 'vibe' isn't my bag, baby. Sorry for the Austin Powers moment there...
I'll follow from afar, as one perforce has to do when 300 miles from the ground - but wish them well, as always.
Tomorrow sees a largely second team play Sri Lanka A, who must be fairly average if their national side is much to go by. The squad is:
For me, the main interest in the game is the performance of young batsmen Charlie MacDonnell and Tom Wood. Both have been scoring heavily in the second team and indeed all summer, for Durham MCCU and the Unicorns respectively.
I suspect that one, perhaps both of them may have a chance of a contract for next year, though much will depend on how we use our limited resources for squad strengthening. Both seem talented enough to make it at top level and have the crucial ability to play the long innings in four-day cricket, as well as the ability to hit it hard and often in the T20 format.
Which takes me neatly back to where I started.
Good luck to all of them. I hope they do well