Gloucestershire were cruelly denied in their opening T20 Blast match against Sussex as rain brought to a halt a potentially thrilling run chase with Glos 1 run behind the Duckworth-Lewis target.
In fairness, after Sussex racked up 242 in their 20 overs, with Kiwi Ross Taylor butchering 93 from 48 deliveries, they were firm favourites to take the spoils. Chris Liddle marked his Glos debut with 2 uninspired overs that went for 35. David Payne also struggled going for 15 runs an over. Tom Smith and Jack Taylor kept some measure of control, but the tiny boundary on one side made boundary hitting only a mistimed, toe of the bat prod away.
The good news for Glos was that Michael Klinger looks to still be batting like it's 2015. His 42 runs came off only 24 balls and you suspect that with him still at the crease Sussex would have been delighted by the rain.
And so Glos get off to a losing start, albeit in entertaining and dynamic fashion.It is now back to 4 day cricket for the next few weeks. The less said about this the better.
Actually, no. What is the point of having a cricket blog if you can't moan about absurdities. The T20 Blast should be English cricket's premier way of attracting new fans to the domestic game, and in turn creating a strong grassroots infrastructure to feed into the national team. England have just enjoyed a fantastic last 12 months of one day cricket, culminating in a hugely exciting and newsworthy loss in the final of the World T20 just a few weeks ago.
So therefore why do we have the T20 Blast being launched during an England test match? In May. With only 1 England player from the World T20 final on display over the opening weekend. With the IPL still blazing away in India. And with many teams playing their opening match of the competition and then going immediately back to 4 day cricket for 2 weeks. How is any of this conducive to putting together an exciting competition that captures a little bit of the excitement of other far more successful competitions around the world?
The T20 Blast will likely never become as big an event as say the Big Blast until the bullet is finally bitten and city franchises are created. But couldn't we at least try? Why couldn't we ring fence a period in the summer for the competition? Why couldn't we do this in July and August when the weather is better and kids are on holiday, along with the IPL having finished.
Would it be too hard to make sure that the England boys are also partially available, particularly at the start of the competition in order to attract attention? The test team contains only 4 of the lads who played in the World T20 final. It always feels like such a wasted opportunity. Every year. Oh well.