Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Wednesday, September 26, 2018 05:42:19 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

Sports »

Law leaving West Indies to coach Middlesex


Stuart Law is leaving his role as West Indies head coach to take over at Middlesex from next season, the English county announced on Monday.The former Australia batsman has signed a four-year deal and will begin duties in January following West Indies' tours of India and Bangladesh."It is a great ...

Editorial »

The audacity of Myanmar is only can be answered by an united int`l community


MYANMAR'S powerful army chief says the United Nations has no right to interfere in his country's sovereignty, a week after UN investigators called for him and other top generals to be prosecuted for "genocide" against the Rohingya. Min Aung Hlaing's comments to an army newspaper were his first public reaction ...

City »

BNP Standing Committee Member Barrister Moudud Ahmed, among others, at a youth rally organised by Jatiyatabadi Projanmo '71 at the Jatiya Press Club on Tuesday demanding release of BNP Chief Begum Khaleda Zia and election under impartial caretaker government.


Business & Economy »

DORP Founder Nouman attends 3rd World Congress in USA


Business Desk :AHM Nouman the Gusi Peace Prize International Laureate and Founder of Development Organization of the Rural Poor (DORP) will attend the 3rd world congress on Mother and Neonatal Nursing Care in Chicago, USA. The two-day long congress will be held on September 26-27, 2018, says a media release. ...

International »

After N Korea, Trump targets Iran with `maximum pressure`


AFP, United Nations :One year after mobilizing the international community against North Korea, Donald Trump is trying to force another arch enemy to the negotiating table by targeting Iran with a similar campaign of "maximum pressure."But if North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un has seen his standing with the US ...

International »

US Judge may dismiss Stormy Daniels lawsuit against Trump


Reuters, Los Angeles: President Donald Trump likely had a free-speech right to make a Twitter comment disputing allegations by adult film actress Stormy Daniels, a federal judge said on Monday, indicating he was inclined to dismiss her defamation lawsuit against Trump.Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford and who has ...

Entertainment »

Ekta Kapoor`s mantra in selecting platforms for content!


Touted as content czarina, Ekta Kapoor is undoubtedly the only female producer who has carved her niche in the industry with utmost excellence. Ekta Kapoor is currently riding high as she is juggling between multiple projects across various mediums. Ekta has set a benchmark when it comes to daily soaps. ...

Editorial »

Maldives' people reject authoritarian rule and voted for democracy


MALDIVES strongman President Yameen Abdul Gayoom conceded that he lost Sunday's election to his challenger Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, in a speech broadcast live on television Monday, according to the international media. Mr Yameen congratulated Solih and said, "I know I have to step down now."  The Election Commission said voter ...

Cricket »

'Rashid is best but not unplayable' says Mahmudullah


Mahmudullah Riyad sorted out a vigorous 74 against Afghanistan rescuing Bangladesh from a plausible downfall.Mahmudullah Riyad and Imrul Kayes stood tall in the middle when the team was languishing losing all five in the top order in a score of 87 on the board. The duo added 128 runs in ...

International »

Thousands attend funeral for Iran attack dead


AFP :Tens of thousands of mourners attended a funeral on Monday in the southwestern Iranian city of Ahvaz for soldiers and civilians killed in an attack on a military parade.Four militants attacked the Saturday parade marking the start of the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, spraying the crowd with gunfire and killing ...

City »

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina addressing a reception accorded to her by the expatriate Bangladeshis at a hotel in New York on Sunday.


Entertainment »

Mehazabien, Apurba in Puja special play


Sheikh Arif Bulbon :Popular pair of the small screen of present time Mehazabien Chowdhury and Ziaul Faruk Apurba worked together in a special play of Durga Puja for the first time. Title of the play is Priyo Tumi. Directed by Mahmudur Rahman Himi story of the play is written by ...

Editorial »

Attack on Iran`s elite guards


IRANIAN Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accused US-backed Gulf Arab states of carrying out a shooting attack on a military parade that killed 25 people, almost half of them members of the country's elite Revolutionary Guards. Khamenei ordered security forces to bring to justice those responsible for one of the ...

Sports »

Bertens defeats Tomljanovic to secure Korea Open win


AFP, Seoul :Kiki Bertens defeated Australia's Ajla Tomljanovic in the Korea Open final on Sunday, securing her third WTA Tour singles title of the season to continue her career-best year.The second-seeded Bertens came back from break down in the deciding set to defeat the Australian in two hours and 22 ...

International »

World leaders gather at UN under threat from unilateralism


AP, United Nations :With rising unilateralism challenging its very existence, the United Nations convenes its annual meeting of world leaders Monday and will try once more to tackle problems together as a community of nations, addressing threats ranging from Mideast conflicts to the effects of global warming - and also ...

 
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