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Let the 2019 season begin

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Re: Fixtures release date
Posted by: Supporting Middlesex since 1999
Date: 28/11/2018 19:30
I think the main reason why Middlesex’s (and probably a few other teams’) fixturelist shows a run of four County Championship matches in May and June in which each match begins on a Monday is because the weekends have been set aside for the knockout stages of the Royal London Cup, not that we are likely to be involved. The thing is, if a round of Championship matches begin on a certain day of the week and another round takes place the following week, then the latter round often has to start on the same day of the week as the former round to ensure that teams get three days off between matches. For example, if a round of matches runs between Monday and Thursday, then the next round of matches couldn’t begin on a Friday or Saturday, otherwise the players (and no doubt fitness staff and coaches) would complain that they would have insufficient rest. However, a round of matches beginning on a Monday could in theory be followed by a round beginning on a Sunday, as there are a couple of instances in the fixturelist of there being only two days between matches, although of course it would depend on the RLC fixturelist.

As for why our final three Championship matches all begin on a Monday or Tuesday, I have no idea why. For as long as I can remember, the final few rounds of each season’s Championship matches have tended not to include weekend play. Actually, after thinking about it, a factor for 2019 is that the quarter-finals and finals day of the Twenty20 competition will take place at weekends in September, although that doesn’t explain why the climax of many previous seasons’ Championships have seldom included weekend play.

When Middlesex reached T20 finals day in 2008, it was a warm mid-summer’s day. However, that will surely not be something said of finals day in 2019 when it takes place on 21st September.

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