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Eating away over the winter

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Re: Season 2020
Jonathan Winsky 20 July, 2020 19:05
On Saturday, BBC’s Worcestershire commentator Dave Bradley wrote on Twitter that the county fixtures are set to be released this coming Friday, which would be just eight days before the Bob Willis Trophy is due to start. However, I believe that players, coaches, umpires, groundstaff and other officials have already seen the draft fixturelist.

If the attempt to admit spectators to the Surrey v Middlesex friendly at The Oval operates successfully, then that would give a big boost to hopes of spectators being allowed into county matches before the 2020 season is out, despite the government having said that spectators cannot be admitted to professional sport until October.

Re: Season 2020
adelaide 20 July, 2020 20:53
Before I fell asleep watching the Brighton match earlier, the commentator described one of the players as having an infectious character.

Just what we need right now...


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 20/07/2020 23:13 by adelaide.

Re: Season 2020
Jonathan Winsky 21 July, 2020 20:56
An article on The Cricketer’s website confirms that the Bob Willis Trophy fixtures are due to be released this Friday, although a longer wait (presumably lasting a couple of weeks rather than the matter of hours that usually elapses on a traditional fixturelist release day between when the T20 Blast fixtures are announced and the announcement of the Championship fixtures) will be required for those after the T20 Blast fixtures.

Despite Surrey being able to accommodate spectators for their forthcoming friendly v Middlesex at The Oval, both that article and comments made today by Sussex chief executive Rob Andrew still sound pessimistic about the chances of anyone being allowed to attend county cricket this season. However, there is hope that Sky will show a Blast match each day during the group stages.

Re: Season 2020
Jonathan Winsky 24 July, 2020 20:33
The dates of Middlesex’s five Bob Willis Trophy (BWT) group stage matches have been announced. As anticipated, our opponents will be Surrey, Hampshire, Kent, Sussex and Essex, with our home matches against Hampshire and Sussex being played at Radlett.

The most newsworthy aspect of the announcement is that there appears to be little prospect of spectators being permitted to BWT matches at any grounds being used, although there is a lot of hope that the T20 Blast will see spectators allowed and/or Middlesex playing at Lord’s. As spectators (albeit a small number) will be permitted to forthcoming Surrey v Middlesex and Warwickshire v Worcestershire friendlies as well as the World Snooker Championship and Glorious Goodwood, it seems like a backwards step to then have a weeks-long or months-long period of professional cricket being played behind closed doors, especially as the forthcoming Surrey v Middlesex friendly at The Oval will be followed shortly after by a much more important Surrey v Middlesex BWT match at The Oval. There are plenty of activities now allowed which pose a greater threat of coronavirus being caught and/or spread compared to attending first-class cricket. Lower Mound (my dad) has written to the club to suggest that a topic which should be discussed at next week’s virtual forum be spectators not being permitted at BWT matches. I am not sure if the club will see there as being much to discuss on this issue, as the decision has been made by the government, and it would take a bit of effort for ECB and/or individual counties to override the government’s decision or to bring forward the October date for when the government hope to be in a position to permit grounds to admit spectators, although of course the latter would need to happen for spectators to attend Blast matches.

The fact that I and everyone else is set to be unable to attend BWT matches makes it difficult for me to feel much excitement about this competition. I don’t really have the concentration to spend a whole Saturday or Sunday watching cricket on a computer screen, regardless of how good Middlesex hope the coverage will be.

Nick Gubbins has spoken to ECB Reporters Network of his hopes for our BWT campaign. He speaks of his hopes that we could win this competition. If that happens, I would be happy to retract my above comment about being unexcited about the competition! You never know, if we get off to a good start and get some momentum going, then it is possible that we could win the competition. Or we could start badly and end our campaign with some dead matches. I've seen it all before in Twenty20 cricket!

If spectators are allowed to attend Blast matches in August and September, it would be interesting to see how the demand for tickets compares to when the matches are played earlier in the season in a non-pandemic world. The weather will probably be less attractive for potential attendees. Fewer people now attend their place of work, meaning there would be fewer groups of people attending for a post-work booze-up. Some potential attendees may now have less disposable income. One positive, though, is that the matches would be played at what I would argue is less of an important time of year for people in education, unless maybe these people have parents who insist they get many good nights’ sleep to settle into the new school year.

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