Roach reminds us it’s time for ECB to market this gem of a county game

In a dystopian future we will look back with fondness on the appeal of the county championship and reflect on a halcyon golden era of the first-class game.

Such a thought occurred to me when watching Kemar Roach produce career-best bowling figures of eight for 20 to take Surrey to a thumping victory over Hampshire.

The pleasure of witnessing the self-confessed “unluckiest bowler in world cricket” getting his just returns for once and enjoying the moment “with a great group of guys” at Surrey.

On days like these, I like to reflect on past summers of Wayne Daniel, Courtney Walsh, Curtley Ambrose and Sylvester Clarke and other great West Indian opening bowlers gracing our county game.

Back to the Champo. Take a bow the Gaffer, Alec Stewart, for bringing the best international opening bowler over for this seven-match, first half of the Championship campaign.

A first month with the added pleasure of watching Olly Pope, back to his flowing best, well on his way to a thousand runs in May, that most historic of county cricket landmarks,

At Sussex it was great to see the success and wickets of the off spinner from Northern Ireland, Jack Carson, out-bowling a reviving Dom Bess in the head-to-head with Yorkshire.

Other highlights:

  • The return of Keaton Jennings with a match-winning, second innings 91 not out to take Lancashire home against Ian Salisbury and James Kirtley’s new-look Sussex side.
  • Roses fans already booking up their additional Roses matches at Scarborough and Old Trafford in Super September, the county champo part two!
  • The streaming live coverage with added production values.

But it has still been left largely unloved, regarded apparently with a combination of fear and loathing in some of the highest echelons of the ECB.

The county championship is a gem which needs urgent polishing. Without marketing support from the ECB, future generations will soon be reflecting on a time when they used to play in white, how we nodded through its demise on the altar of a new audience for cricket located with the aid of some Mumsnet focus groups and KP nuts.

Broadcast Schedule

India v England 2024 Test Series
IND v ENG 4th Test, Ranchi
23rd February to 27th February
Start time: 4:00 am GMT
IND v ENG 5th Test, Dharamsala
7th March to 11th March
Start time: 4:00 am GMT