Do Somerset Play Cricket Anymore?

18th July 2018

It’s been a while, but having been out of the country for a decent chunk of June and then been snowed under by work on my return it seems that in a 5 week period I’ve hardly missed any cricket. It makes me wonder what is going on?

To put it into context I flew out to San Francisco on the second day of the Notts game (what a stressful three days that was before the skipper and Steven Davies sealed the win).
By the time I got back the Championship side had lost at Guildford and drawn what by all accounts was a pretty tedious day/night game at Chelmsford. I’ve got to admit I wasn’t following either game as closely as I could have so they appeared to slip by – something that is easy to do when the day’s play is virtually over by the time you wake up on the west coast.
But since the beginning of July Somerset have played 3 T20 games, a scheduled total of 120 overs cricket, two of which were within 48 hours of each other.
So at the time of writing 17 days into the month, Somerset have seen competitive action three times. Compare that with 8 days of Championship cricket in the last two weeks of April and 14 days in May and something is clearly wrong.
Even more mind-boggling is that having only played 3 “blast” games so far this month Somerset now have back-to-back away games at Lords and Cardiff tomorrow and Friday. It is really insane! The glorious weather over the last two-and-a-bit months only adds to the feeling of loss that my beloved county isn’t in action.
While I am not advocating a return to the seventies and eighties scheduling where cricket was played virtually seven days a week it does seem we have gone too far the other way.
Those of us who are prone to a bit of conspiracy theory might argue that these gaps in the fixture list have been engineered to enhance the argument that there is room for “The Hundred” in the domestic schedule.
Surely the Championship would be a better competition if one of the games scheduled for April and one scheduled for September we played in July? Not only would this even out the fixtures but it would also allow a higher proportion of the season to be played in mid-summer when conditions are more conducive to a fairer competition with less chance of weather playing a part (unless you play at Chelmsford!!).
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again now. The loyal band of domestic cricket supporters need to make their voices heard to prevent the ECB railroading through and unwanted competition on false pretences.
First published on The InCider on July 17th

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