Royals throw Surrey to the lions


Out of all the venues that are on the current International match circuit, I had seen matches at all bar one – The Rose Bowl in Southampton. Except in the modern world it is not called that anymore. I am sure in years to come we will reminisce about our visits to the Ageas Bowl just like we do about the Kia Oval, the Emirates in Durham and the Swalec in Cardiff. Sponsors will be around forever, right? Short term gain for long term what?

The ground last year became the 105th (and newest) venue to be used for test cricket when it hosted the game between England and Sri Lanka. The ground can hold an impressive 25,000 when the temporary seating is put in, but today with only a couple of those stands in place the crowd looked no more than 5 or 6,000. Yet the experience of those stuck trying to get into the car park before the game, and the 90 minutes to try to get out of it after the game calls into question their ability to handle crowds effectively. But more of that later… Continue reading

No alcohol allowed


Spot the missing part in this statement..

A hot summer’s night spent watching the most traditional English game with a sumptuous picnic”

ALCOHOL…Wine, Pimms, Magners, Gin & Tonic….BEER! Here we were in the Garden of England, the home of the Shepherd Neame brewery amongst other beer makers, just down the road from Barkham Manor where some of the finest English wine is produced and we couldn’t get a drink for love or money.

This is one of the problems with cricket these days.  Or more specifically the Twenty20 version of the game.  And if the counties are not careful the huge bubble of interest in the game will go pop.

Let’s start with the facts.  £70 for a family of four is pricey to start with.  Counties want to bring more youngsters into the games but the pricing structure is still not right.  Look at the facts:-

Twenty20 game – 40 overs in total – £22 for adults, £8 for children
Clydesdale 40 – 80 overs in total – £20 for adults, £8 for children
LV Championship – 90+ overs – £15 for adults, £8 for children

There are discounts for buying in advance but the maths here is that the longer games are the cheapest ones?  Is there some economic logic in there? Possibly. And kids tickets are the same price irrespective of the game?

So we arrived, paid our £10 for parking and then had to take out the couple of bottles of beer we had packed in the picnic bag.  I asked why you could not take alcohol in to a steward. “Because there is beer on sale inside” came the answer.   Of course. Continue reading

Sussex by the sea


Sussex Sharks 155-7 beat Somerset Sabres 103 all out by 52 runs – County Ground Hove – Tuesday 1st June 2010 – Friend Provident Twenty20 Cup
Arise Sir Twenty20.  However thought of the concept deserves a ruddy medal.  It is not everyone’s cup of tea.  The sight of Bumble last night watching a rather buxom cheerleader jog behind the bowlers arm in tight hotpants and little else will testify to that, but for sheer bloody entertainment you cannot beat it.

Let the Razzmatazz begin

Last night saw the 2010 season kick off, with a repeat of the final from August last year when the Sussex Sharks beat the Somerset Sabres.  Sharks I just get, being close to the sea and all that, but the Sabres?  What has a curved single bladed back sword have to do with the home of Cider and Cheddar cheese I will never know – but then again apart from having the same letter to start their names, Are Durham electric generators (Dynamos),  Yorkshire Carnegie – isn’t that just cheating and selling out as sponsorship and where are the ghosts in Derbyshire?

Anyway, the TBIR team headed down to enjoy some typical Summer evening weather – cold and wet.  Miraculously the game started on time with Sussex being asked to have a slog first.  The teams walked out to a fireworks style opening and indulged in the football tradition of the hand shake line up – how very inclusive. Continue reading