County Cricket Matters: 18 Counties One Voice.

 

Image courtesy of County Cricket Matters (painting by Jack Russell)

 

It was just going to be another day locked down inside the house because of Covid19 it was then that I heard the postman slip something under the door. Instinctively I turned the envelope over to check if I could see who sent it to me and to my surprise I saw “Thanks Prashanth, Annie” I carefully opened the envelope and held the two magazines from County Cricket Matters in my hand. It was Purple Day so I wanted to get my blog on Epilepsy up and running but once I started I could not put it down. This experience and the way the magazine is created epitomises what County Cricket is all about. It is the personal touch that makes the difference in County Cricket and once you get drawn in then there is no stopping. The calibre of the content and the pedigree of those writing in it is extremely high. This is not a magazine or blog that simply has put together a random bunch of articles just to fill their pages so that it can fit in a preset format.

Their message of “18 Counties One Voice” echoes beautifully like a pipe organ in a majestic cathedral through each and every page and this cohesive message comes across in perfect harmony by all the contributors to the magazine. Calling CCM a magazine will be a discredit as it is so much more than that. Wisden is and will always be the Bible of Cricket but CCM has the potential to become the Gospel of domestic cricket the world over. My beliefs have nothing to do with the usage of the word gospel rather it is because the books of Matthew. Mark, Luke and John bridges the Old Testament with the New while looking forward to what is to come. County Cricket Matters honours the glorious traditions of the past while living in the present but having an eye on the future. There is so much that can be learnt from Jeremy Lonsdale’s “Lessons from the past” and Anindya Dutta’s article on Hedley Verity. Andy Nash writes about the money spent on The Hundred caused me to rewatch the evidence given to the Digital, Media and Sports Committee and look through the finances of the ECB which if you have not done so makes for a more grisly sight than any horror movie. I will not critique the articles in the magazine but I will state that they make you think whether you enjoy the prose in it, interviews by Annie Chave or the poetry of Dr Dan Diaper.

The world we live in today is heavily bifurcated whether on the lines of nationalism to the impact of white-ball cricket. This is one more reason why County Cricket Matters is so important and refreshing as it provides a holistic view of County Cricket whether they be its strength or flaws. I believe that this will herald a renaissance movement which I hope will spread all over the world no matter whether it is the Ranji Trophy, Sheffield Shield or the Quad-e-Azam Trophy because domestic cricket is the blood of International Cricket and that is why County Cricket Matters.

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