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Sussex Sharks lose again and the state of the T20

Sussex Sharks lost their third successive victory on Sunday afternoon after an encouraging victory at the Oval 10 days ago.

Though this dismal run is of great concern to Sussex and their supporters, I thought the general cricketing readership of The Rust might be more interested in my assessment of the T20 game in England and Wales – which is not that positive.

Although it was the hottest day of the year so far the ground was not that full. So much for the claims that T20 has introduced a whole new younger audience to cricket.

There were young people there but they looked bored and could not be dragged away from their mobiles.

The second claim for T20 is that you get a result, not a drab draw played out over several  days.

Well, you do but often – as in Glamorgan’s 32 run defeat of the Sharks on Sunday or the Hampshire Hawks win on Saturday – the result is predictable.

With 5 overs left I realised that the Sharks had little hope of reaching Glamorgan’s total of 219.

No,  it looks to me that more entertainment is to be found in Ben Stokes and Brendan McCallum’s Baz-ball.

The T20 needs support from the ECB, not the Hundred. Sussex has an elderly membership who – like me – may not take to the constant fare of pop music on the tannoy, nor to the basic T20 shot of a wild slash across the line which can result in a six and/or spectators scattering to avoid the ball.

One event I did enjoy was Chairman Jon Filby’s pre-match pitch tribute on behalf of Sussex to Luke Wright who – in 19 years at Sussex – played over 400 games and scored 30 centuries.

In the era of Ian Bell and Kevin Pietersen he was not quite good enough for the Test team, but he did play in England’s T20 World Cup win in the Caribbean.

He was not just a fine servant but an all round ‘good bloke’ – now appointed a national selector.


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About Ivan Conway

Ivan Conway will be reporting on Sussex sport. He is a member of the 1901 club at Brighton HAFC, Sussex County Cricket Club and an enthusiastic horse race goer. After selling his freight forwarding and conference business he settled in Hove. His other interests are bird watching, brass rubbing and bridge. More Posts