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From the Nursery End: Middlesex show cricket is as predictable as the weather

England's Eoin Morgan. Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire England's Eoin Morgan. Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Laurence Klein
Friday, May 30, 2014
5:02 PM

Middlesex blogger Laurence Klein blogs on the start of the season...

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Well if we hadn’t figured it out before, Middlesex’s season has demonstrated that cricket is unpredictable. A couple of crushing defeats in the Championship and several equally crushing wins, no obvious pattern, reason, or much to do with the strength of the opposition. Though more to expectations, there have been plenty of runs for Chris Rogers and Sam Robson and not much of a start in T20.

But the shorter the game, the more it tends to be a random event, so you’ve got to feel sorry for the captains and coaches put in front of a microphone and asked to explain what went wrong. To his great credit, Eoin Morgan, captaining England in the second ODI against Sri Lanka, did not to try to make up a reason why England lost heavily. We all know that he’s no more idea of what when wrong than we have.

But in similar situation after a defeat you often hear someone saying something about working harder. This implies there’s a link between hard work and winning, which we know there isn’t, or that the reason they lost is that they were slacking. That way lies the bad old days of naughty-boy nets, or management who thought that poor performances stemmed from players not wearing jackets and ties, or not shaving, or seeing their WAGs. All nonsense of course.

It must be torture for the control freaks, but the point of sport is that the better team doesn’t always win, things don’t go as you might expect, and stars don’t always perform. Humans are involved are they are irredeemably human. Which is why we bother watching.

If we were beginning to take for granted the modern and spectacular drainage at Lord’s, the Sussex match at Merchant Taylors’ School reminded us what it used to be like in the old days, or away from the big grounds. Even without any serious rain in the second half of the match, because of the wet outfield not a ball was bowled, a surprisingly unusual event. I hope it doesn’t put off the management from trying again there, even with Radlett back in play next year. At least the financial hit will be ameliorated by the T20 which got the dry and sunny weather before the rain came.

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