The Brighton&Hovejobs.com cricket ground !
I missed Paddy's testimonial on Saturday due to a long standing commitment to what would normally have a cricket tour weekend in North Devon. However, no such tour this year and a reunion in Hove took place. As such, the opportunity was taken to watch Sussex & James Taylor take on the Aussies.
Good weather, beer and company ensured that it was a great weekend. Only 40 minutes of play lost on Saturday to rain. Sadly cricket isn't immune to the difficult financial times we find ourselves in and Sussex, like many other counties now call their Hove ground by a sponsor's name, the Brighton&Hovejobs.com county ground.........arghhh !
You'd never have predicted this nonsense a few years ago nor indeed that these days you can locate cricket grounds by looking out for the floodlights !
The Aussies remain less than convincing and I'd be surprised if Agar retains his spot in the side although who on earth would replace him is anyone's guess. For a youngster presumably brought up on endless fielding drills in an era of the big bash / T20 etc you'd have thought he'd be quite good but his fielding is shocking. He shelled a relatively easy chance yesterday aside from generally being less than convincing. There's no energy in his bowling action and one wonders how he got in the side in the first place. Can only have been punt on the part of the Aussies selectors with Pietersen's weakness against slow left arm playing a major part.
Lyon didn't impress and Hamlton-Brown took him to the cleaners on Saturday with relative ease. The spin cupboard is bare for Australia which, given an anticipated turner in Manchester, doesn't bode well for them.
I assume that Warner will return for the Aussies at Old Trafford, I can't see how he can't.
Sad to see our pre-season unbeaten run end on Saturday. From what I read the game served to highlight how critical our need for a couple of strikers is. I really hope that we can secure Fuller and Obika but that increasingly appears unlikely with nothing done at this late stage although Spurs signing of Soldado may give some cause for optimism but that's against a seemingly awful financial background.
There's some way to go before the window shuts at the end of August with Premiership clubs still to finalise their squads but it's hard to be positive about our chances of recruiting anyone decent unless a buyer comes in or miraculously some money is found somewhere.
Hopefully something will happen before next Saturday and that our boys will enjoy their weekend beside the seaside as much as I've just done.