There many people touting that the IPL is cricket’s very own evil force, while others say that County Cricket is totally pointless or, you know, dead.
I should be a champion of only County Cricket. I love test cricket, and for me it is the only “pure” form of cricket and offers the most genuine of challenges to all who are lucky enough to play it.
That said, I’ve always enjoyed domestic limited overs cricket and the T20 competition when it was first conceived, over here, in England.
I’ve lapped up the IPL this year. I’ve chosen a new team, partly because they have a sillier name, partly because of Sangakarra, and partly because an interview with Dale Steyn changed my opinion of him. Also, I like to root for the underdogs, as this team will no doubt be. And they won. And again, and again. then lost. And again. So a mixed bag, but a great tournament so far and, I am sure, it has been helped by a few pitches that were harder to score on … this meant that bowlers were not merely cannon fodder. And also, that more games were close. Wins all around for everyone!
The County Championship started last week and I loved it. Fantastically every match is being covered by local BBC radio stations and each feed is available on the BBC website. This is wonderful for those who, with the help of internet scorecards, wish to follow the games without using 100 days of holiday that we obviously don’t have.
There was the customary early season clatter of wickets and the first century was made by a foreign star (happily not an Aussie – Hamish Marshall got that honour). Curiously, all eight matches started on time, but before the end of the four days a few were ruined by the weather, that said enough cricket was played to give me a smile for four days. Wonderful stuff.
Now … which is best? The IPL or the County Championship?
If I had to choose one event only, I would choose the County Championship.
If I was going to introduce a rookie to cricket, I’d choose the IPL.
Both formats have their flaws, both have wonderful qualities.
Get over yourself and enjoy all the cricket you can!