In honour of the end of the season and the final edition of Friday Five, this week’s has moved on a day and just before I dig out my passport and print out my e-ticket for a long flight to Sydney, I’ll give some concise notes on what went down. Pay attention, there will be a test.
#LVCC1 Division One. Sweet and predictable Division One where Yorkshire win thanks to an Aussie, the minnows hover at the bottom then get relegated, Worcestershire this year while Hampshire got very lucky, and Notts are pretty good but never quite good enough.
Chris Read made some milestones and Samit Patel was good enough to get noticed by the ECB, but the best they could hope for was second because Yorkshire were miles ahead. The gang from Headingley who seemed unable to do anything wrong in this competition topped off their season by mauling Sussex and causing them to be relegated. Welcome to the second division, we have t-shirts and wooden spoons.
#LVCC2 Remember when things were turned on their head in Division Two? Remember when Derbyshire were contenders, Leicestershire couldn’t buy a win and Surrey were overrated? It seems such a long time ago, doesn’t it? Things are back to normal, I’m afraid. Surrey are winning, Lancashire are bouncing between divisions like a yo-yo, Northants are hovering somewhere in middle of the table, Derbyshire are losing and after a significant gap Leicestershire actually took a win. And then a second win. The first time, we heard Richard Rae – the BBC Radio Leicester commentator – cry; the second time the tears were all mine.
Leicestershire’s season was about more than just ending a drought, though. They were also responsible for allowing Kevin Pietersen to get a triple century and making the KP-for-England calls even louder and more annoying than they had been previously. Thank goodness the Ashes victory put an end to that. Aren’t we Australians nice?
#NatwestBlast In what is turning into a fairly exciting tournament, albeit with a few faults, Derbyshire beat Yorkshire and pretty well prevented them from progressing beyond the group stage. That’s all you really need to know. Also, Lancashire finally won, after several Finals Day visits, but did so in front of a smaller crowd than ever before. Birmingham, who were supposed to win, didn’t get past the first semi-final and that Viking thing won the mascot derby.
David Willey was in excellent form for Northants and so, naturally, has been poached by a bigger side. In a darker incident, Surrey players Moises Henriques and Rory Burns collided while fielding in a match against Sussex and had to be taken to hospital. The match was abandoned and it was later announced that Henriques had broken his jaw in three places. Blood, carnage, victorious Falcons and a rampant Viking: that’s why love T20 cricket.
#RLODC Yes, yes the One-Day Cup happened and there were winners and losers. The best thing about it, really, was that the underdog took to trophy. And that said underdog beat Yorkshire to get to the final. And Michael Klinger who, you might know, is Australian.
Along the way, Paul Collingwood got a century for Durham, Chris Read and Samit Patel were awesome for Notts, the pitch at Cardiff came under the spotlight again and Surrey couldn’t win the final. Yes, fifty over cricket is incredibly boring but we can all get on board with Surrey losing, right?
#MovingOn This season’s retirement list so far consists of Gary Keedy, Geraint Jones, Matt Boyce, Stephen Peters, Craig Kieswetter, Chris Tremlett, Ashwell Prince and Matt Prior. Ryan Sidebottom’s hairstyle remains, sadly. As is usual, players are moving between counties and some have just been released.
David Willey is moving to Yorkshire, Reece Topley has moved from Essex to Hampshire, Hampshire have been talking to Australian Shane Watson about joining the club for 2016, Lancashire’s Paul Horton will move to Leicestershire and Derbyshire’s Mark Footitt has declined to extend his current contract and Nottinghamshire quick, Andy Carter, has heard about Derby’s excellent Himalayan Gurkha restaurant and has made the move to the nice side of the East Midlands.
#FutureGreats As is normal in county cricket, as the season has gone on a few new faces have graced the grounds and caused excitement amongst cricket lovers. There’s a couple of kids playing for Surrey with perfect hair and baby faces who also happen to play pretty well, but they aren’t the only ones.
There’s also Matt Carter who took seven wickets on debut for Nottinghamshire, 18 year old Haseeb Hameed who debuted for Lancashire in August and made 63 against Essex this week, and Harvey Hosein who deserves because he keeps wicket for Derbyshire and I’m writing this thing. We didn’t win anything else, so we’re taking a notable mention here.