SEPTEMBER 2012

1)  It could be another exciting finish to the championship for Surrey, though maybe not in circumstances we would wish. The final game against Lancashire could be a 48-pointer (I guess that is the equivalent to a football six-pointer, though never heard it used). I thought they were doomed for some time, but the win against Middlesex has raised the optimism level. With the washout summer, any victory is very important, especially as the draw now has less value.

2)  I'm not sure, in view of the upsetting nature of his messages, that it was England's loss, but it is certainly Surrey's gain to have KP available for the end of season matches. Given the weakness of our batting order it's almost like having two batsmen.

3)  Andrew Strauss said it would take a long time for KP to regain trust, but now that Strauss has gone it may take no time at all. Strauss was beginning to struggle with the bat at Test level, low scores saved by the occasional hundred. Perhaps, after 100 Tests, ending with South Africa at Lord's, it was the time to go. The fact that he has retired completely means that he has something else lined up. I guess all ex-England captains do, though hopefully not golf interviews after rounds at the Masters! Who was the last England Test captain to retire from test cricket but still play county cricket I wonder. It will be interesting to see how Alaistair Cook does. He seems a quieter character and a less natural captain than some of his immediate predecessors.

4)  It was a pity Ramps retired halfway through the season. It has been difficult batting conditions for everyone, but his experience would have only been a bonus for the batting line-up. After the terrible football injury he was, perhaps, never going to regain those great heights of the century's first decade. It is very unlikely that anyone will beat his championship record of the first decade in the next nine decades.

5)  Have Surrey ever signed so many mid-30's from other clubs, than has occurred over the last few years? I wonder whether supporters really want short term survival. I'm not sure 30-plusses are going to bring you championship success, or help develop young players. I know this may not actually tie into some of the previous comments, but maybe we should stop signing players, who, though they are totally committed, are on their last contract. It does seem to be the case with a lot of counties, that relatively good rates of pay and year-round contracts are encouraging average county players to stay in the game for longer.

6)  I was thinking on one of my unfortunately many drives to Wales recently (it's a lovely place, just a long drive) How did we ever get back from there on away coach trips with a stop?! Llanelli is right at the end of the M4. We were very lucky Ali Brown made a hundred in the second innings of a Sunday game, as we could still be travelling back even now. I'm trying to remember where we went on the Saturday [It was Neath - Ed]. We also ran two full coaches to Cardiff in 1996 when winning the Sunday league open the floodgates. Funny how so much has changed in 15 years.

7)  It must be rare for any county squad to have to cope with the death of a player. I can't actually recall any other county suffering this fate during the last 50 years, but perhaps it has happened. Surrey have lost three. The extremely popular Graham Kersey, the brilliant young talent and personality of Ben Hollioake and now another cricketing family has been struck, by the loss of Tom Maynard. All not past their mid twenties. All tragic accidents. Maynard's death in the middle of a season, must have made it almost impossible for the players to concentrate in the immediate games following the tragedy.

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