After 20 months it was wonderful to watch cricket at Hove again.
Sadly, Sussex’s performance did not match the exhilaration as, after winning the toss, they were at one stage just after lunch 67-8.
Fortunately a 8th wicket stand of 99 by young bowlers Henry Crocombe and Jack Carson saved the day and we achieved a total of 175.
At stumps Northants were 91-4.
Jack Carson – a 20 year old off spinner – has already taken the wickets of Rory Burns, Zak Crawley and Joe Root but yet to impress with the bat with a top score of 21 in 17 innings.
He did make 56 yesterday and, though he gave a few chances, he did what the conventional batters could not, namely defend his wicket from the pace of Ben Sanderson.
Hove is such a lovely place in the sunshine.
That first pint of Harvey’s ale never tasted sweeter.
I was not in my normal enclosure as I did not rejoin the Players Club, but immediately next door.
I saw Jofra Archer with his elbow in a bandage in the Sponsor’s box and Players Club with his family – an injury sustained in the unlikely circumstances of cleaning his fish tank in the bath.
You can hardly imagine a footballers being so close to fans but Archer remains loyal to the county that gave him his break.
Jack Carson was recommended to Ed Joyce and crossed the Irish Channel from his native Armagh to take up a sport scholarship at Hurstpierpoint school.
He joined the Academy of Sussex and he, Henry Crocombe and Aaron Thomason were fast-tracked after the wage bill was culled by saying goodbye to Luke Wells, Laurie Evans and Danny Briggs.
It’s good to see youth given its chance but yesterday more experienced overseas pros of an older vintage Stian van Zyl and Aussie Travers Head failed to make a score.
Somehow Sussex’s sterile performance was secondary to being able to watch live cricket once more.
One was very aware of Covid: you could not walk round the ground, sanitisation stations were everywhere and you had to wear a mask in public areas.
However, as we were mainly in the open air, the Covid risk was minimal and county cricket should have been available much earlier.