The End of Summer

Here we are then, at the end of what passes for summer in these parts. Not that I had much of a holiday at any point, but now the traditional signposts of summer’s end have passed, including the Last Night of the Proms last weekend and yesterday’s end of the cricket County Championship.  It’s strange how one’s life is measured by such rituals. There’s still a fortnight until teaching resumes, but it’s definitely back to the grind next week for me because I’ll be locked in a dark dungeon in Swindon on panel business for the most of the week.

The cricket season finished in exciting style as Lancashire chased down a score of 211 to win by 8 wickets down in Taunton, while Warwickshire, who had started the day as favourites to win, could only draw against Hampshire whose batsman saved them from what looked like a losing position. So congratulations to Lancashire, outright winners of the County Championship for the first time  in 77 years!

I have to  say that because I have a devout Lancastrian staying with me for a couple of days; he drove up to Cardiff from Taunton after the close of play and Lancashire’s victory provided a good excuse for some bubbly and a nice nosh-up at a local restaurant. I’m a bit hung over this morning, in fact, but I have got the day off.

It’s not quite the end of the cricket season, however, as today Cardiff hosts a One-day International between England and India, the last in a series of 5. England won two of the previous games, with one tied and one abandoned with no result because of rain. It’s therefore what you might call a dead rubber, but it’s the last cricket in Cardiff until next year and the last excuse for a day off before next week’s ordeals in Swindon, so I’ll be there. The weather isn’t marvellous and it may well rain at some point, but I’m pretty sure we’ll get at least some cricket. It’s a sell-out at the Swalec Stadium so there should at least be a good atmosphere.

I’ll update the blog with an account of the match in due course, but that’s all for now…

11 Responses to “The End of Summer”

  1. thinking back to some of the sides Lancashire have put together over the years, it’s staggering that it took 77 years to win it outright.

    i’ll never forget being taken out of primary school for a day to witness clive lloyd grab a quick 50, smacking a six into the pavilion along the way. next day, i was summoned to see the headmaster, who melted instantly when told where i’d been.

    • Anton Garrett Says:

      Some might say it is no coincidence that victory came in a season when Lancs haven’t played a single game at Old Trafford, which is being rebuilt. The rainfall is substantially higher there, in Manchester, than on the Lancashire coast where all Lancs’ home games were played in 2011. Often by the end of May Lancs had suffered 5 rain-wrecked draws while the best of the southern counties had notched up 4 victories.

      I was at the famous Gillette Cup semifinal at Old Trafford in 1971 when David Hughes hit 4-6-2-2-4-6 off one over bowled by Gloucestershire’s John Mortimer in the twilight, to win a match that had been slipping away. That led to the second of our 1970-1-2 hat trick of Gillette Cup victories. We won the John Player (Sunday 40/40) League in its first two seasons at that time as well (and would have won it the next season had Clive Lloyd not been out for a low score the day after he got married, beginning a terminal collapse while chasing a meagre Glamorgan total). In that era we were the acknowledged one-day kings. But nothing is more important than the county championship.

      • “Nothing is more important than the county championship”? Not even the Ashes?

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        Different categories Peter, but I am more glad to see this victory than that in the 2010/11 Ashes series.

      • It’s a disadvantage of the place and time of my birth that I didn’t have a team to support in the County Championship when I was young. Durham was one of the Minor Counties in those days and although they did play at Jesmond, very close to my school, I never went to see them play. I never took a close interest in County Cricket so my introduction to the game was Test Matches, which I’ve always found more important than anything else.

    • Anton Garrett Says:

      Whether I’m simply whinging about the weather at Old Trafford could be tested. Delete from the record any county match in which time was lost to weather and then see which county got the most points each year, under the allocation system of that era. How would Lancs’ championship record look then?

      The calculation could be refined, to exclude ganes in which progressively more minutex were lost to weather.

  2. I agree. So many Midlands counties have won it in recent years it’s very surprising Lancashire hasn’t been among them.

  3. Anton Garrett Says:

    Peter have you had a look at the embedded link recently? It’s changed so that you are currently doing Rupert Murdoch’s advertising for him…

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