Marcus Hook’s Surrey CCC column – Guildford record means no-one thinks title is in the bag

As Surrey enter a crucial phase in the County Championship, with table-toppers Somerset at Guildford followed closely by a trip to Scarborough to play Yorkshire, they will be without both Currans, Ben Foakes and Jason Roy due to international call-ups.

While it’s far from ideal – Somerset, for example, will only be without Craig Overton – the purpose of county cricket is to ready players for the big stage.

And it’s not as if Surrey will have any problem filling the gaps. The form Will Jacks showed in the One-Day Cup cannot be ignored, plus fast bowler Matt Dunn is fit again after fracturing a rib in the first game of the season when he wore a delivery from Fidel Edwards.

The road to the championship title could well go through Guildford. But given the hosts’ record there, no-one of a Surrey persuasion is getting excited about winning the crown just yet.

But, as we have seen this week, it’s a funny old world. On the same day Donald Trump met with Kim Jong-un came the news that James Anderson could well be playing for Surrey. Before you get excited, it’ll only be when they take on West Indies A at the Oval on July 16-18.

Anderson, who has a chronic shoulder injury, risks going into the India Test series short of bowling. His county, Lancashire’s nearest championship match to the next Test is at the end of July, a week before the series against gets underway at Edgbaston.

The England management would like there to be more red-ball fixtures between now and the beginning of August (wouldn’t we all?!). I guess that’s what happens when the powers that runs our summer sport schedule a 58-day gap between home Test matches, right, slap, bang in the middle of that thing known as summer.

BY MARCUS HOOK


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