Nottinghamshire to end two decades of woe
It is English Cricket’s equivalent of the FA Cup final. Nottinghamshire and Glamorgan take part in the last major contest of the season, the YB40 final at the home of cricket itself, Lord’s.
If you’ve heard that a year is a long time in politics, then imagine how over a decade feels in sport. When Nottinghamshire and Glamorgan take to the hallowed turf of Lord’s Cricket Ground on Saturday, they will be breaking a run of failure that, for each of them, goes beyond a mere twelvemonth. In fact, neither side has appeared in a final this century, so for almost all of these players this will be new ground.
Nottinghamshire will start as the betting odds favorites for this game, and with some justification. In Michael Lumb and Alex Hales they boast England’s preferred opening partnership for the twenty over version of the game, whilst England stalwarts Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann have been made available for the final, too. That in itself poses an interesting dilemma for the Nottinghamshire management. Should they disrupt a side that has played so well in this competition to bring in two men who, whilst undoubtedly world class, have hardly played for the county this year?
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Glamorgan, meanwhile, will have no such problems. Their only real issue is whether anyone can find it in themselves to support Jim Allenby. He at least has some experience of some big cup occasions from his time at Leicestershire, but his skilful batting and miserly bowling carried them almost single-handedly through the semi-final with Hampshire and you fear that he may have to do the same again for the Welshmen to get close on Saturday.