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I have tried, I really have

Readers will note from my biography below that I am no fan of the T20 game. Yet it is here to stay and yesterday I resolved to make my peace with it. It was a lovely warm evening, 27,000 packed Lords, the highest attendance for a T20 match, to see Middlesex play Surrey. My problem with this format is that I dislike it for the very reason others clearly enjoy it, namely you get a result in 3 hours. I am reminded of a film in which Miles Mallesson tries to explain test cricket to a incredulous American mentioning that it lasts 5 days with often no result. The American observed it don’t sound very exciting. “Exciting” replies Malleson “we don’t want that”. In the  Hithccock thriller The Lady Vanishes the hilarious buffoons Charters and Childecott (Naunton Wayne and Basil Redford) are less concerned by the disappearance of the woman on the train and more to get back for the test, which is rained off. Cricket is yet another quirky British institution.

For me T20 is like someone who enjoys the nuances, cadences and subtlety of classical music being forced to sit through a heavy metal concert. It so so noisy with music accompanying every boundary and wicket. In front of me were 4 male friends drinking copiously and not following the match with an equally disinterested 2 young daughters. Behind me two younger couples spoke to the latest Pokemen games, looked at photos, took selfies. I hardly saw anyone actually following the game. This was well contested with Middlesex scoring 200-5 after Surrey batted first and Roy and Finch built what looked like a winning platform. George Bailey took a wonderful catch. Last season Bailey was at Sussex for a stint. Ivan Conway was complaining that time was when guys like Imran Khan, Murray Goodwin and Garth Le Roux empathised with their chosen county. At Middlesex we had Desmond Haynes and Wayne Daniel for many years. Nowadays it’s a like a horse racing circuit where you go off for a month to whatever league pays best.

I spoke to an old friend who has held office with Middlesex cricket for many years. He believes the future will be drop-in pitches in football grounds in a metro league of T20. It will make money but I won’t be there.

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About Douglas Heath

Douglas Heath began his lifelong love affair with cricket as an 8 year-old schoolboy playing OWZAT? Whilst listening to a 160s Ashes series on the radio. He later became half-decent at doing John Arlott impressions and is a member of Middlesex County Cricket Club. He holds no truck at all with the T20 version on the game. More Posts