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Re: Fixtures release date
Posted by: Supporting Middlesex since 1999
Date: 14/11/2018 20:15
In the last few seasons, the first few rounds of County Championship matches have tended to start on a Friday and thus offer lots of weekend day, albeit with caveats such as play not being guaranteed due to the weather and state of the match, and the football season still being on. However, once the football season has finished and I am able to devote my full attention to cricket, it seems that most of Middlesex’s remaining Championship matches offer little or no weekend play. I imagine that this issue will arise during the 2019 season too.

At the post-season forum, Richard Goatley said that we are likely to play five Championship matches at Lord’s next season and that we are likely to play one match at Merchant Taylors’ School. He also said how many Twenty20 and Royal London Cup matches we are likely to play at Lord’s, although I didn’t catch what he said, as I was reporting on the forum and was writing down the amount of Championship matches he said we will play there. In 2018, Lord’s staged all seven of our home Championship matches, five T20 matches and one RLC match. However, the ground’s availability will be reduced in 2019 due to it staging five matches at the World Cup and Test matches v Ireland and Australia. It will be interesting to see whether we will have any matches scheduled for there after the Ashes Test in mid-August, as demolition is scheduled to begin on the Compton and Edrich stands at this point, which may impede spectator access at the Nursery end.

If the seeding system is introduced for deciding the fixturelist in division two of the Championship, it will be interesting to see how it will work. I see it as being impossible that a fixturelist will be created which everyone will see as being fair, as some teams will perform to a higher or lower standard than expected, and each team will probably have different ideas of what a fair fixturelist would be. In theory, it would be unfair if any side has to play the maximum amount of matches against the top sides, but I would actually like that to happen to us, as that would give us maximum opportunity to take points off the top sides. However, sides struggling at the bottom will probably have different ideas. What all of the counties will surely agree with is that it would be preferable to have the maximum amount of matches against the bottom sides.

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