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Laurence Klein, London24’s Middlesex blogger
Saturday, June 9, 2012
There’s been a lot of blather about rotation, which pretty much means resting important bowlers for unimportant matches. On 13th June Middlesex play the West Indians in a 50-over match at Lord’s.
Be warned before you pay your £20 to go in, if the last couple of years are anything to go by Middlesex will be doing their bit of rotation. You’ll be lucky to see anything like the Middlesex first team, with the main seamers likely to be rested and maybe a batsman or two.
Last year against the Sri Lankans the four bowlers were Smith, Ireland, Sandhu and Parsons, with Rossington keeping wicket. The previous year against the Bangladeshis Middlesex fielded two players, Thompson and Scollay who weren’t actually in the squad of two-dozen-odd players, and with what the Middlesex Annual Review called ‘…the second eleven bowling attack’.
I don’t blame Middlesex for this. Wednesday’s match comes at the half-way point in the Championship and just before Twenty20 starts, so why would they do anything except rest key players, especially bowlers? Where’s the incentive to take it seriously? (It’s hard to believe that there’s just one more four-day match for Middlesex at Lord’s this season – in September.)
Tourists are not renowned for taking county games seriously either. The West Indies might want a bit of one-day match practice so we might see the front-line players, but how hard will they be trying?
And as we move to the Twenty20 mini-season, the heart sinks a little. It’s not just the flummery and nonsense – the mascots, the dancing girls, the DJ with the music and the shouting – they’re horrible but not the worst of it. I find the most painful thing are all those lovely June and July fine summer’s days that go by empty of cricket, all day until the evening. What a waste.
My lady refused to accompany me to Lord’s on Ladies’ Day, continuing her consistent approach of refusing to watch any cricket.
I’m not so disappointed. When I have taken women to cricket matches - in the past, dear, in the past – it’s never been successful.
On many a Sunday I’ve heard other men do the explanations as to what’s going on, and I’m embarrassed easily enough not to want to do it myself so I probably hurry through the lessons.
I do remember one occasion, some way into a game, explaining why the off-spinner was bowling to a seven-two field.
She then asked me what the three little sticks were for. Where are the women who like and understand cricket?
Follow Laurence on Twitter @Laurence_Klein