Our man has his say on when – and where – Surrey can clinch Championship title

BY MARCUS HOOK

As Neville Scott wrote in The Times the other day: “Like Brexit and global warming, Surrey now seem unstoppable”.

For me, the clincher was winning at Guildford for the first time in the County Championship since 2002 – coincidentally, the year Surrey last won the title.

The added significance of that victory is it was against Somerset, who are the only team capable of spoiling Surrey’s party – or so it would seem.

One breach of discipline during that game and two in the subsequent success over Yorkshire at Scarborough now means that, under the far more stringent rules governing behaviour, Surrey could, should they err again, be slapped with 16-point deduction.

Thankfully, their lead going into the current four-dayer, against Notts, was a healthy 32 points.
So, for the Surrey faithful, it’s now championship cricket all the way through to September 27.

But guess on how many Saturdays and Sundays fans will have the chance to see them in action between now and the end of the season? Just one – tomorrow.

It was a similar story last year when, I’m assured, the club complained to the ECB about it on behalf of its members.

But as soon as the 2018 schedule was revealed at the end of November it was clear that “go early” was still the watchword for those who work Monday to Friday.

Three years ago, the ECB promised that the majority of Championship games would start on a Sunday. It didn’t take long before that idea went out of the window.

Of the last 24 days in Surrey’s County Championship schedule, there’s one Sunday (day one of the floodlit game against Lancashire a fortnight ago) and, as I say, one Saturday – this Saturday.
Of the other 22, there are six Wednesdays, five Tuesdays and five Thursdays.

So, got much leave left to take?

If you have, and you want to be there when Surrey take the title, my tip would be a spell in the west country – at Taunton – in three weeks’ time.


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