CHRIS SILVERWOOD: Real excitement over first finals day in years
It is great for Middlesex as a club to be involved in a finals day – the first for 11 years – and there is a quiet confidence among the players. There is also a big buzz about the place and it will be good to be back in the spotlight. One win will see us
It is great for Middlesex as a club to be involved in a finals day - the first for 11 years - and there is a quiet confidence among the players. There is also a big buzz about the place and it will be good to be back in the spotlight.
One win will see us in the big time - both English Twenty20 finalists go through to the lucrative Champions League Twenty20 Cup finals in the autumn.
We will have a big support at the Rose Bowl - many members and all the staff from the office are travelling down.
We have beaten several good team along the way and it is an opportunity for the players, particularly the younger ones, to express themselves.
Dawid Malan overcame mountains of pressure when he stepped up to the plate with his match- winning century against Lancashire at the Brit Oval. He really came of age and produced a sensational knock.
However, if we are looking for a match-winner I would pick young Dubliner Eoin Morgan. He can play shots the rest of us can only dream off.
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Eoin scored a fantastic century against the South African tourists at Uxbridge a couple of weeks ago and towards the end of it he was taking the attack to their international bowlers.
We should also have Dirk Nannes back fit and if you look at our team down on paper it is as good as any in the competition.
We did not find out until Tuesday night who we were playing in the semi-final - it is Durham - following the controversary that surrounded Yorkshire's explusion from the competition for fielding an unregistered player.
I've spoken to several people at Yorkshire and they are still so disappointed. But it was a schoolboy error and rules are rules.
The Twenty20 final, alas, has come too soon for me following my long injury play-off. And even If I was fit I would want the players who got us there to play. I feel it is only right for them to have first bite at the cherry.
However, I am very close to full fitness. I played in another game for the seconds against the Combined Universaries last week.
l bowled a good 18 overs and felt no reaction afterwards. I'm playing against Gloucestershire seconds this week and will be booking to bowl 20-25 overs.
Come Friday evening I'm looking forward to declaring myself available for selection after so many months on the sidelines.
I'm really looking forward to getting back in tandem with fellow long-term injury partner Alan Richardson - he returned to first team action last week - for the County Championship run-in. It has been so frustrating watching from the sidelines, especially knowing I can make a difference.
As I said, these are exciting times to be involved with Middlesex. I can't wait to declare myself fit and play my part in lifting the club back to the top flight.
Chris Silverwood was
talking to Patrick Mooney