Football's petty, cliché-ridden drama always arrives at just the wrong time
There is nothing quite so crushing for a cricket nut as the start of the football season.
The few, sun-baked weeks when cricket is free of footballing shackles provide a time of calm reflection, of intelligent debate and sporting prowess largely unencumbered by claims of cheating - although the DRS has tried to put paid to that.
Football may be a cliché-ridden game of two halves, and one half may sometimes be more interesting than the other, but set against the glorious intricacies of cricket, both are only as fascinating as Wayne Rooney's next hair transplant.
A two-man spin attack at the Oval will be the perfect way to end the Ashes
Thank goodness, therefore, that there is still the conclusion of the Ashes and a potentially thrilling County Championship to keep us going.
Huzzah too for the selection - as predicted by the Light Roller in June - of Simon Kerrigan for the Oval. Now he must play, either to give Swann a rest or as a second spinner. With warm sun forecast all week and the series won, it makes sense to double up.
It could be a good season finale for Kerrigan since Lancashire are odds on to win the Championship's second tier. Over the Pennines, Yorkshire should have the strength in depth to see off rivals for their first Championship since 2001. Let a thousand roses bloom.
Willey is head boy in Northants' trophy triumph
After his stellar performance in Saturday's FLt20 final, David Willey must have felt modestly disappointed not to have made the squad for England's upcoming short-form games against Australia.
Having had a rather ordinary semi-final versus Essex, against Surrey in the final he took on the role of the kid at school who knows he's the best player in the team and so decides to do everything himself. Open the batting? Sure thing. Top score? Of course. Open the bowling and grab a hat-trick? Natch. Wonder if he had a pushy, cricket-loving dad...
Who's the daddy?
English cricketers of the 1980s may have had a fairly topsy-turvey record overall, but those who plied their trade during that decade weren't half good at passing on sporty genes.
Getting out a full twenty-two for a first class fathers and sons match is just about do-able even allowing for the tragic early deaths of two potential participants. But assuming their presence in spirit (and the return from retirement of all the dads and some of the older lads), there would surely be a good turn-out to see Messrs Broad, Butcher, Cowdrey, Maynard, Wells, Willey, Botham, Bairstow (RIP), Topley, Tremlett and Sidebottom play Messrs Wells, Butcher, Cowdrey, Maynard (RIP), Bairstow, Botham, Broad, Willey, Sidebottom, Tremlett and Topley.
The D'Oliveiras could be twelfth men, while Joe Gatting and Uncle Mike could make the tea.