The relegation issue of the County Championship between Hampshire and Sussex goes to the last day of the last match. Hampshire at Nottingham look set for victory, they need 110 runs with 10 wickets remaining. Sussex need 9 points to be safe. We already have 4 bowling and batting points so a draw at Headingley (5 points) against Yorkshire would suffice. Yorkshire have a lead of 301 and are at 298-9. The weather seems settled both in Nottingham amd Leeds so only bad light can stop play. It’s all very exciting but will make a footnote in the sports pages though down here anxious texts are being exchanged. Of course relegation does not have the financial consequences of that of Premier to Championship in football but might affect shirt sponsorship. Surrey have successfully regrouped this season in the second division whilst we went down in 2009 only to return immediately. A general concern would be that if Hampshire do stay up and we do not then only Somerset remain in the top flight with no test ground.
Finally I must mention the happy vibe in Brighton after the World Cup weekend. The Japanese came back to a heroes welcome from the schoolchildren at Brighton College where they trained. At Brighton station the South African fans formed a guard of honour for the Japanese supporters. You can hardly imagine such a scene in football. Brighton might become the Japanese Mecca as apparently 20m watched the game at home.