What can we read into the outcome of the World T20?
Given the inherent unpredictability of T20 cricket, I said, only a fool would make predictions about the outcome of the recent shindig in Bangladesh. Being a fool, I went on to suggest that Sri Lanka and India were the best teams in the tournament.
So it turns out I was wrong. And right. With the exception of England's random victory over Malinga and his mates, the tournament went absolutely as might have been imagined.
Nevertheless, what exactly can be read into the outcome? Were India and Sri Lanka simply used to the type of pitches on offer? Or is their success indicative of the importance placed on T20 cricket on the sub-continent? If the gap continues to widen between those who place tests at the pinnacle and those who are primarily concerned with the short stuff, we might see more and more one-sided matches in both formats.
Forget Dhaka, head to Cambridge
The disconnect between the T20 scene and test format insofar as England are concerned was amply demonstrated by Alastair Cook's dogged 39 at Fenner's for Essex on Monday.
There is clearly no reason why players should excel in every form of the game - and in England's case the workload would be too heavy anyway. Even so, to see England's captain battling to overcome the student seamers of Cambridge the day after Sangakkara and Jayawardene had ended their international T20 careers in style in Bangladesh was both sobering and oddly comforting.
For all that fans would like England to win another limited overs world cup, the health of the domestic first-class game is vital to the entire cricketing structure in the UK. The involvement of our leading players when possible gives the system its credibility.
Anderson’s philosophy should be welcomed by all county fans
It was also heart-warming to hear Jimmy Anderson comment on the importance of taking wickets for Lancashire in order to push his case for test selection.
There is no debate about the fact that he had a fairly dismal tour of Australia, but he was hardly alone on that front (and most of them didn’t have a broken rib). Yet the England set-up has occasionally seemed so inward-looking it is reassuring to know that someone who would widely be regarded as a shoo-in does not take being picked for granted.
Supporters of county cricket clubs occasionally have mixed feelings about losing their top performers to England. But for the most part, fans' passion for their counties is validated by the possibility that outstanding domestic performances can be rewarded with an international call-up.
Schooldays are the best of your life
At the end of last summer, Dominic Sibley was given permission to take time off from his A-level studies to play for Surrey in the County Championship. He promptly took off his tie, picked up a bat and tonked a double century.
Cricket in April brings its own challenges. Sibley was out for a duck in the first innings of Surrey's current game at the Oval. He went ten better this morning but his team were bundled out for just 81. And presumably it's back to school after Easter. Happiest days of your life eh?
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