Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Thursday, November 15, 2018 01:21:30 PM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

After 125 years, County Championship still endures

By AFP, London
10th-Apr-2016       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »



As millions prepare to tune in to the glamorous Indian Premier League, another major domestic cricket tournament will also start this weekend.
But, unlike the IPL the only fireworks to be seen at an English ground when the venerable County Championship starts on Sunday will come if hardy fans are denied a reviving cup of tea.
Meanwhile the sight of IPL dancing cheerleaders would likely spark a medical emergency among elderly spectators were it to be repeated in the rather more prosaic surroundings of Chester-le-Street or Northampton.
The County Championship, which last year celebrated its 125th anniversary, is about as traditional as cricket gets.
Both sides still play in white, the matches are scheduled for four days and the public address announcer is far more likely to announce a change of bowling from the Pavilion End than to urge spectators to "make some noise".
There are those who regard the County Championship as merely a means to prepare players for five-day international Test matches, which still draws good crowds in cricket's birthplace if not elsewhere. The fundamental problem for the competition, as with all domestic first-class cricket, is that much of the game takes place during the working week. As a result crowds tend to be modest at best and veer towards the elderly and the retired.
Officials at the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have tried to overcome that problem this season by starting most Championship matches on a Sunday in the hope of drawing a weekend crowd that could include amateur players who've taken part in Saturday club matches.
The fact this season's event is sponsored by 'Specsavers', a high-street chain of opticians who've followed several insurance companies, is also indicative of the Championship's target audience.
For all their commercial efforts and the increasing popularity of the domestic 'Blast' Twenty20 competition, many of England's 18 first-class counties rely on a block grant from the ECB to stay afloat.
But woe betide you if you tell a loyal county member that represents a 'handout'.
As far as they are concerned it's their team's 'dividend' for contributing to the health of English cricket.  
Despite repeatedly dire predictions, no county has yet gone bust and in the words of Stephen Chalke, author of Summer's Crown, a history of the competition published last year, the County Championship "rather like the British constitution emerged in its own haphazard way, and it survived and adapted to the consequences".
Crowds in the immediate years after the end of the Second World War, for what were then three-day matches, remained healthy but started to decline sharply as leisure options increased.
As a result, the 1960s saw the counties pioneer domestic one-day cricket, thereby setting in train a sequence of events that would lead to the creation of Twenty20.
The 1970s and 1980s were boom years as the world's best players flocked to the county game.
They literally had nowhere else to go as there was no major professional cricket anywhere else in the world from April-September-unless their country was touring England.
A match between Hampshire (Gordon Greenidge and Malcolm Marshall) and Somerset (Vivian Richards and Joel Garner) could feature four West Indies greats as well as England players in the likes of Ian Botham and Robin Smith.
But the advent of the lucrative IPL and an increased international programme mean the game's leading players are far less able to commit to a full county season than in years past, with England central contracts, largely beneficial to the Test side, restricting homegrown stars appearances.
Yet the Championship still matters, with a large online following attesting to its enduring appeal.
This season will see Yorkshire, the most traditionalist and successful of all English counties, bidding for a third straight Championship title under Australian coach Jason Gillespie. The last time they achieved that, Yorkshire and England great Geoffrey Boycott was approaching his prime as an opening batsman.
"County Championship cricket is our breeding ground," Boycott said. "It breeds character and, it breeds courage, all the things which you cannot get out of one-day cricket. One-day cricket is fun cricket."
And as far as Boycott, and many others, are concerned there's a lot more to cricket than mere "fun".

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Entertainment »

Jaya Ahsan coming with Beauty Circus


Entertainment Report :Jaya Ahsan has already proved herself as an actress not only in Bangladesh but also in Kolkata. Now she is one of the busiest actors in Indian Bangla cinema whose commitment to her craft has taken her places including a circus. Jaya’s latest Bangladeshi film Debi, which also ...

Entertainment »

Bijori takes break on her birthday


Sheikh Arif Bulbon :Bijori Barkatullah was one of the popular TV actresses of her generation. She is not only an actress but also a dance artiste, model and host. Today is her birthday. She takes break on her birthday. Before birthday she also worked. Bijori informed that yesterday she took ...

Sports »

Rooney excited to see what `fearless` England are capable of


AFP, Burton-On-Trent :Wayne Rooney will make his final farewell as England's greatest ever goalscorer in a friendly against the United States on Thursday, but is excited at what a young squad can achieve under "fearless" coach Gareth Southgate in the years to come.Rooney, 33, made the last of his 119 ...

Sports »

Shoulder injury rules Jason Holder out of Bangladesh tour


Agency :Windies suffered a big blow as captain Jason Holder was ruled out of the Bangladesh tour with a shoulder injury. Holder is said to have suffered the injury during the recent tour of India, and will need at least four weeks to recover from the setback."Jason has a partial ...

Editorial »

Time for fixing banking irregularities


THE Bangladesh Bank's role as the custodian of the production and distribution of money and credit in the economy has been eroded by the finance ministry in the past decade. It's not a common people's remark. Rather, it came from a Director of the central bank while addressing a meeting ...

Sports »

Los Angeles Clippers guard Sindarius Thornwell (left) and Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green scramble for a loose ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles on Monday.


Football »

Rooney excited for 'great moment' in England farewell


Wayne Rooney says he is honoured to make a final appearance for England and happy for manager Gareth Southgate to decide his playing time Thursday against the United States.Former Manchester United star Rooney, in video comments released Monday by his Major League Soccer club DC United, detailed his excitement at ...

City »

Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda, among others, at a press briefing for returning officers on the occasion of eleventh parliamentary election in the auditorium of Election Commission Secretariat in the city on Tuesday.


International »

Nobody can stand in its way in Pacific island cooperation: China


Reuters, Beijing :No country can block China's cooperation with island nations in the Pacific and the area is no country's sphere of influence, a senior diplomat said on Tuesday, ahead of a summit between President Xi Jinping and Pacific island leaders.Australia, in particular, has been vying for influence with China ...

International »

Israel-Gaza border facing most serious fighting since 2014 war


Reuters, Gaza :Israel launched more air strikes on Gaza on Tuesday as Palestinians kept up rocket fire on Israeli territory, in the worst surge of violence since a 2014 war.The fighting - that has killed six Palestinians, five of them militants, and a civilian in Israel since Monday -threatened to ...

Entertainment »

Oishee in China to win `Miss World` crown


Jannatul Ferdous Oishee crowned 'Miss Bangladesh 2018' on November 30. Now, she is in China for participating in the 'Miss World' beauty contest. There she will represent Bangladesh. On Saturday night at 1:00 am, Oishi left Dhaka for Sanya in China. And she reached there on Sunday morning.Swapan Chowdhury, chairman ...

Football »

New York City forward David Villa (7) movers the ball as Atlanta United defender Miles Robinson (12) defends during the first half of their MLS playoff soccer match in Atlanta on Sunday.


Football »

Ronaldo ends San Siro hoodoo as Juventus beat Milan 2-0


AP, Milan :Cristiano Ronaldo ended his San Siro hoodoo to help Juventus to a 2-0 win after AC Milan forward Gonzalo Higuain missed a penalty against his former team on Sunday.Higuain left Juventus in the offseason following the signing of Ronaldo and he had a nightmare game as he was ...

Editorial »

No development yet in city's road traffic management


THE directives to ensure discipline in traffic system issued by higher authorities have failed to bring any result. The traffic rule violation is still rampant. Almost all directives addressing owners and workers of city service buses and human haulers, pedestrians and drivers went unheeded. If the traffic management system returns ...

International »

California wildfires: Death toll reaches grim milestone


The death toll in wildfires sweeping California has risen to 31, with more than 200 people still unaccounted for, officials have said.Six more people were confirmed killed in the Camp Fire in the north of the state, taking the toll there to 29.That fire now equals the deadliest on record ...

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news