County Championship Cricket. What is it really like as a spectator? Sussex V Yorkshire. Arundel
As a cricket fan I enjoy live cricket and prefer the 4 day format. I have been a member at Sussex for very many years and might get to half a dozen days cricket in the summer. I have to report with some sadness that county championship cricket is in danger of death. Let me allow you to picture the scene. A sunny June day, cricket being played in the most beautiful grounds of Arundel Castle. A decent crowd mostly consisting of four types, the retired county members, the corporate folks on a corporate bash, a few schools bringing both boys and girls and the eclectic selection of people who regularly watch country cricket without seemingly having a job. The second day of Sussex v Yorkshire. If I am being totally honest I would love to eulogise about county cricket and how the four day game needs to survive if at least to produce players both for England and the tedious limited overs competitions. But I cannot. In fact this was one of the most miserable days cricket i can ever recall.
There was little interest from the players to turn this into a spectacle at all. Yorkshire batted almost all day at a run rate of 2 runs per over. There were no pieces of excellent fielding nor catches, in fact there was nothing memorable. The food is grossly overpriced, paying £2 for a small cup of tea or coffee and the £7 charge for Burger and chips was compounded by having a small portion of cool/cold chips. Very average indeed Hog Roast. My immediate cricketing neighbours conducted bizarre conversations. For example a middle-aged man started a conversation after lunch with his business colleague/friend by saying ” I am expecting a lot of family funerals you know”, the elderly party on the other side discussed at length how great it was to get a free copy of the Financial times at their hotel and ” that it must have been printed in USA as all the stories are from there”. Other gems of conversation included ” I know those banks, HSBC and Vodafone”. And if that was not enough to generate unbridled joy then back to the other side to hear ” did you know someone collapsed and had to be resuscitated at a Jethro Tull concert. His heart stopped for 20 minutes”. The reply was ” does your brain not turn to jelly after 20 minutes”.
Having ranted however I will be back, I know I will. On a more positive note I was able to see why neither Tim Bresnan nor Luke Wright are in the England squads. Both bowled in a meaningless manner and offered little to the game.