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  • Andrew Cork

Cricket


And they say cricket is boring!

After one of the most extraordinary and exciting games of cricket the world has ever witnessed, England came home by the narrowest of margins. The match proper could not split the teams and nor could the super over so it was left to the match to be decided on the number of boundaries hit by each team; England had hit 24 and New Zealand 16. Cue unheralded joy amongst England supporters and dignified desolation from those from New Zealand.

The pitch plays a huge part in cricket of any standard and the Lord’s one for the final was no exception. After a decent period of good weather in the London region, it was something of a surprise to see a very green wicket for such a prestigious match. Who was ultimately responsible is something we may never know but don’t blame the groundstaff who only do what they are told.

It can be argued that it was not a great wicket for batting as have been many of the pitches in the whole tournament but it did produce an amazing match. A flat true pitch may have tilted the scales too heavily in favour of the home team but this green slow wicket very much evened up the teams.

If one had written a script for England even tying the match proper, it would have stretched credibility. The four overthrows incident happens incredibly rarely in any class of cricket and, of course, if a fielder had managed to stop the ball hitting the boundary no overthrows at all would have been scored because it is accepted that you never run for such fortuitous events. Add in a catch taken but with the catcher trading on the boundary rope and well you couldn’t make it up could you?

So England are world champions for for years and, despite the distraction of Lewis Hamilton and one of the greatest Wimbledon men’s finals, everyone is talking about cricket. The ECB must capitalise on this and get out to schools and grass roots cricket to ensure this momentum is not lost. The England players must play their part in getting out there. Ben Stokes (why didn’t I go for top runscorer in the final?!) et al are heroes to many kids and this golden opportunity must not be wasted.

On to this week and the action is undertstandably muted with nothing until the first skirmishes of the Vitality T20 Blast on Thursday. I will be back with my thoughts then.


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