Yet again I shake my skinny fists at the weather gods (the BBC – no doubt in some Government-inspired attempt at disinformation – have shown a large black cloud spewing forth rain over Leicester) and head off to Grace Road.
Now – bugger excitement, bugger glamour – this is county cricket in the raw. The fourth day of a County Championship match. It’s already rained for a day and a half, so a result is highly improbable. Essex have scored 420-ish and declared. Leicestershire are 60-odd for three when I arrive.
The rest of the day – in between brief showers – is typical of a lot of county cricket, almost like listening to ambient music – but with a brief period of play when everyone sits up and takes notice.
This occurred today when Leicestershire were near the end of their first innings – 170-ish for 9. James Taylor was “joined at the wicket” by no. 11 Harry Gurney. His (JT)’s intention must have been to try to avoid the follow on – a very distant ambition – and achieve another century. There followed a wonderful display of off and cover drives, mixed in with some fierce hooks off very short pitched bowling (though anything short-pitched tends to ping over JT’s head – he must be about 5 foot 3).
Eventually though he mistimed slightly and was caught on the boundary for 88. Potentially an England player though, I think. Hope he doesn’t go the same way as Stuart Broad – i.e. into the England squad, but away from Leicestershire.
Eventually Leicestershire had to follow on, lost a few wickets – but hands were shaken as there was no prospect of a result (apparently – I’d have thought Essex were still in with a chance.)
Noticeable incidents on the way back from the ground –
1. Opposite the bus stop, a discarded crutch lying in the middle of the busy main road. The cause – a terrible accident? a miracle?
2. Walking past the offices of a building society a 30-ish Indian woman, pregnant, dressed in a business suit – apparently, perhaps, the manager of the branch – asks me for “20 or 30p to buy a cup of tea”. Possibly a scam, possibly the “credit crunch” really taking hold.