Friday, 28 July 2017

County T20 Climax this Sunday (not that you'd know it)

This Sunday will see the climax of the 2017 County T20 Competition, and the crowning of the T20 Champions, but you'd be hard-pressed to know it was happening unless you are playing in it, or an ardent fan.

County T20 cricket and the County Championship receives no coverage by the ECB on their website whatsoever. If you click the "County" link then, ironically, the only link to women's cricket there is to the Kia Super League!

Contrast this with Cricket Australia's coverage of their domestic women's competition - the WNCL (see here). On the CA website you will find links to past and present series, which include league tables, fixtures and results, news and video clips.

County cricket and county cricketers, who play for nothing, deserve better.

Anyway back to the matter in hand - the County T20 finale this Sunday.

All teams in Divisions One, Two and Three of the T20 competition will play their last games of 2017 this Sunday.

In Division One table toppers Lancashire finish their season against Surrey and Yorkshire at Banstead CC. They know that if they win both their games they will be crowned champions, but having lost two weeks ago to a rejuvenated Sussex, they have proved that they are not invincible. Both Surrey and Yorkshire are mid-table with three wins out of six games, so Lancashire can take nothing for granted.

Warwickshire and Sussex lie in joint second place just one win behind, with Sussex having beaten both Warwickshire and Lancashire in their last fixtures. Both are ready to pounce if Lancashire slip up, although Warwickshire are far better placed due to a superior net run rate. Warwickshire take on Kent and Middlesex at Beckenham, who are again mid-table with three wins out of six games. Sussex host bottom of the table Somerset and Berkshire, for whom anything less than two wins means relegation.

In Division Two Notts are two wins clear at the top of the table with an unblemished record to date. They will hope to keep it that way when they take on Scotland and Essex at home at Welbeck CC.

The only teams that could deny them the title are Hampshire and Worcestershire, who look to be fighting it out to get the second promotion place. Hampshire take on Wales and Staffs. Worcestershire have Derbyshire and Durham to overcome. With all four of their opponents potentially one of the three counties that will be relegated, both will have a fight on their hands. It will be interesting to see if Charlotte Edwards and Suzie Bates are back in Hampshire colours on Sunday!

At the bottom it is all hands to the pumps for Essex, Derbyshire, Staffs and Durham. With only one win so far this season Essex have it all to do, with table-toppers Notts, and Scotland as their final opponents. The clash between Derbyshire and Durham could be a vital one, with the victor possibly being able to save their spot in Div 2 for another year. It is so tight at the bottom that NRR may well end up being the crucial factor.

In Division Three Gloucestershire are looking to take out the Group A promotion spot and will do so if they beat their closest rivals Oxfordshire, or Devon.

In Group B it is a two-way struggle between Cheshire and Leicestershire for promotion to Div 2. It is perhaps fitting therefore that they take on each other, and third-placed Shropshire to decide which one of them will go up.

And finally Group C sees Northamptonshire almost certain to take the Division, and the promotion spot, as they need just one win against either Norfolk or Cambridgeshire to make the title theirs.

Let's hope the weather doesn't ruin the climax of the competition.



  1. County Cricketers do indeed deserve better - as do the youngsters. I have tried in vain to discover when Sussex age-group teams are playing with no luck. My web site devoted to Sussex women's cricket will disappear from the 'Net shortly as I simply cannot gain the information needed to keep it up to date. Mel Farrell's ESPN article has expressed it well. Support at the top and we know softball etc is said to be doing well. County and club and in the middle of this situation and find themselves largely ignored. It's not a great recipe for the future of England cricket.

  2. The county game demise is also reflected in the club cricket, when top players aren't allowed to play and competitive matches dwindle with lack of opposition. Bath who one the national club championship a fact not recognised or celebrated by the chairman, used to have three women's teams and lots of matches now barely one team and only two teams to play against.