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In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.

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Monday May 10 2010

Matthew Peter Dunn was born on May 5th 1992, in Egham.  Ah, the thrill of a local boy making good.  Egham is just down the hill from Englefield Green, infancy place of me, and was our local railway station.  Still is, whenever I visit the parental home, currently still the property of us siblings.  Dunn took 3-48 for Surrey - well, the Surrey reserves - against the Bangladesh touring side.  Too bad the other Surrey bowlers only managed another three wickets between them.  I remember when Surrey playing the big touring side was a huge deal.  I remember Surrey defeating Australia in 1956, thanks to a guy called Laker, with help from a guy called Lock.  England also beat Australia in 1956, thanks to a guy called Laker, with help from a guy called Lock, but Surrey beating them was like another test match being won.  Arguably, Surrey then were a better team than England.

English county cricket now is in what the newspapers call turmoil, and for once I think they may not be exaggerating.  Currently there are two ways to do well as a county.  You can win all your games, in front of a scattering of old age pensioners and weirdos.  Or, you can build a ground capable of coining money for you, if only you could find some version of cricket capable of putting enough bums on all your seats.  And the biggest fact concerning English cricket now seems to be that there are now more county grounds capable of accommodating a big crowd than there are big test matches to go around.  All the test friendly grounds want something else as well, to ensure their annual income.

Surrey are currently losing all their matches and are at the bottom of every English county league for every sort of cricket.  They are quite possibly the absolute worst, at playing cricket, that they’ve ever been.  But, they have a huge ground, with huge stands, including a huge new stand that they had built only a few years ago.  So Surrey are now extremely responsive to the opinion of the people running the Indian Premier League that the English counties are sitting on a gold mine, in the form of a cricket tournament that, they say, could and should happen in the English summer that the television viewers of India would enjoy watching.  The time zone thing being, in England, spot on.  At the moment, the International TwentyTwenty slogfest happening in the West Indies involves some games starting at about 9 am, and none of them happening in the evening, because India wants that.  Ergo, no local excitement, exacerbated by there being no West Indians in most of the teams, what with only one of the teams being “the West Indies”.  In the IPL, all the teams have Indians, and the games happen at India-friendly times, so the local (i.e. Indian) excitement is very strong, and looks great on the telly, in such places as England.  In the West Indies right now, the cricket is claimed to be of a higher quality than that played in the IPL, but the seats are mostly empty.