The domestic season in England is well under way and in the Friends Provident one day series, where the players play in pyjamas and have silly American Football style names like “Sussex Sharks” and “Yorkshire Phoenix”. Well the one day game has taken a turn for the bizarre by the introduction of the “referral” system, whereby each team can refer decisions made by the on-field umpire to the off-field third umpire, who has the benefit of the television replay.
Essex were yesterday crowned Pro-40 champions for the second year in a row. (Sort of, as last year it was the Totesport national league, but it’s essentially the same competition, which Essex won last year.) The result was slightly ironic – as they got stuffed by bottom of division Durham, who will now be relegated. But nevertheless, Essex had a great one-day season, reaching finals day in the Twenty20 and doing well in the C&G. Congrats to them.
Pakistan lead the one day series 1-0. A lot has been made of England’s outright rubbishness when it comes to one day cricket – I’m struggling to remember a game in the last 2 years where we looked like we could play. Heck, we were even congratulated ourselves when we “didn’t lose” (in the traditional sense of the word) the first match of the series, which was lost to bad weather. What’s with the all the mutual back scratching and political correctness, though?
Darren Gough’s big comeback to the International fold has been cut short due to a shin injury. It’s bad luck for Darren, but good news for the England side. He’s been ineffective since his return and this ought to give Sajid Mahmood a second bite at the cherry allowing him to bowl alongside the impressive Jon Lewis.
Unlucky Darren, but I’m sure you’ll be dancing again in no time.
The next phase of the English domestic cricket season gets under way tomorrow, with the start of the Pro 40 league. But it seems finding good information on what it’s all about is a task in itself. Even on the ECB website, the masterminds behind the league, it’s difficult to find a good definition of the format, except that NatWest will be the official sponsors.
So the vital information that I can gleam is this: