The County Championship 2019 begins.

You know that the cricket season has started when the gods of cricket mysteriously open the sky and instead of the glorious sunshine of the preceding week all that is predicted is rain with a few intervals so that cricket can be played.

Last year I took the conscious decision of following county cricket. The primary reason was that I could not name a single English player for the players I was criticising for not doing well. I had to depend on the views of others. Common names crept up but there was no way that I could know for sure. That situation made me feel uncomfortable. During this whole process, I was moving away from analysing things at a macro level to microanalysis. It was not enough to know which team won but it was important to know why they won. I wanted to dig into the numbers behind the scorecard.

I discovered people and blogs after I started blogging on Cricket who was passionate about the game. Having the mess of The Hundred and various people shifting their focus from red ball cricket to white ball made me want to follow the domestic game even more. This year will see a structural change to the County Championship. It could also be the last year we see top quality players in the domestic games as there is a high probability that The Hundred will cannibalise players. There are the Ashes coming up in the summer. England’s last Test against the West Indies revealed a side that was far from steady. I do believe that most of the places are still for grabs and the batting order is far from set. These reasons along with the controversies surrounding a few players make this season more dramatic than a Bollywood movie.

Finally, I do not feel alone this year. The Cricket Supporters Association was launched. I do believe that it will make a difference. If English cricket has to thrive then it will be largely dependent on the quality of players coming through the system and the fans that support the system. In business, the shareholders and the consumers are equally important even in niche products.

I will be applying my Cricket Portfolio Index to the County games. I am curious how it will turn out. My current plan is to update the index after all the games of that week are done though I may do an earlier review of the games that started today.

Looking forward to this journey and I hope you can join me in it. As always I look forward to your comments.

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