There’s nothing particularly trendy about county cricket. That’s what they say anyway. The one man and his dog cliché. The portly players. The ‘village green’ setting. It’s far from the high-octane, pumping glamour of the international scene.
In fairness, the county arena is darn competitive. And it’s pretty cut throat. Just because it looks prim and proper does not mean these guys are not serious competitors trying to knock the other over.
So when Worcestershire take on Surrey in the Royal London Cup knockout on Saturday, it will be fierce. And it should provide us with a fierce betting heat, too.
That’s because there is terrific bet to be had. Kumar Sangakkara to be top Surrey runscorer at +225 with Skybook.
Sangakkara is the epitome of cool. If you’ve ever derided the county trundlers you’ll forever swallow your words once you see this elegant strokemaster take to the stage. The guy oozes class and it’s a privilege to get the chance to bet on him.
These days, he’s not on the television so much having retired from Sri Lanka duty too early. So we shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth.
Take a look at his last eight scores for Surrey: 121-4-26-200-84-114-120-124. No bad, eh? The guy is in the form of his life and with summer sun baking English wickets there are no devils or demons in the pitch to unsettle him.
Sangakkara has eight centuries in county cricket this season. The last of those, the 121, came against Yorkshire in the previous round as he almost single-handedly won Surrey the match.
He might have not much to beat. Jason Roy returns to the Surrey XI after England’s calamitous Champions Trophy exit. He will open but his form has been awful.
Ordinarily he would be shorter than the +330 offered by William Hill but because he was dumped by England for such a lean trot, it is impossible to see him as a threat to the master.
Sangakkara is an obvious jolly. But the Worcestershire market is all over the shop. Returning England player Moeen Ali has been priced on reputation at the head of affairs, meaning the belts and braces players have been forgotten.
The real value here lies with Ben Cox, who is Worcestershire’s highest runscorer. He is rated at +600 with Paddy Power. Why? Because Spreadex haven’t heard of him.