England set for one-day overload
Friday 04 September 2009
To stage a series of seven one-day matches in England in September seems crazy. When the last of the septet against Australia is played in Durham spectators may need advice from Sir Ranulph Fiennes on how best to kit themselves out for the expedition to the cricket.
The sporting temperature will have shifted too. There appear not only to be too many games but they are also being played at the wrong time of the year: the intemperate seven.
Closer examination reveals that the fixtures schedulers might have pulled a masterstroke. The series will assume – should a ball be bowled in any of the matches starting at The Oval tomorrow – a round-Britain victory parade for the Ashes winners, with two visits to Lord's, scene of the triumph which started it all, for good measure.
It is also followed immediately by the Champions Trophy in South Africa. England and Australia will embark for it the day after they have played at the Riverside. So, in its way the series is ideal preparation for a major one-day tournament (the winning of which is an England and Wales Cricket Board objective).
By the time the Champions Trophy is under way, England and Australia should know their best teams and what style of cricket suits them. It raises the grim spectre, of course, that England could have played a long series of home matches and be eliminated from a global tournament at the other side of the world in the same month.
After the Champions Trophy there is still more one-day cricket. England will return home for a short break before setting out for South Africa on 1 November for their winter tour, which starts – wait for it – with seven limited-overs games. If it is all too much it gives England a real chance to bed down. There can never have been so concentrated a run at the short form of the game over three months.
There is a precedent for late-season ODIs in England. In 2004, the Champions Trophy was held here. The final on 25 September, which England lost in the dark, was gripping. Otherwise the entire affair was miserable.
Mario Balotelli scored as many goals for AC Milan on second debut as he did for Liverpool in the Premier League last season
Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea top the list of the Premier League's most expensive squads
Cyprus vs Wales match report: Gareth Bale's bullet header has Welsh on brink of Euro 2016
Jose Mourinho: Chelsea manager has four Guinness World records hanging in his office
Sir Alex Ferguson: 'I place discipline above all else and it might have cost us several titles...' but Manchester United boss wouldn't change it
- 1 President Obama leaves touching comment on Humans of New York photo from Iran
- 3 The Chinese city where men have 'three girlfriends because there are so many women'
- 4 'Heartbreaking' Syria orphan photo wasn't taken in Syria and not of orphan
- 5 German police forced to ask public to stop bringing donations for refugees arriving by train
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 250,000 back our campaign
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up