Gloucestershire all rounder Alex Gidman tweeted recently that the YB40 competition was, in his words “a great league this year with tough cricket. I’m gutted it’s changing as I love the 40 over game.” As a veteran of nearly 200 List A matches for Gloucestershire, he would have grown up with what began as the John Player League, but time moves on.
The anomoly is that the YB40 is a stand alone competition. T20 has been expanded into the international arena, and one day matches between Test playing nations are 50 overs not 40.
The ECB plan that set various targets for the 2014-17 period was put together after combining the views of some 300 people inside the game and around 25,000 supporters who follow it, and you can see the sense in reverting to the longer duration. It creates a logical funnel upwards from the domestic game.
So, from next summer, we’ll be up to 50 over cricket, although there may be a quarter final stage in the knockout process, something Gidman tweeted he DID approve of.
As for finale to the 2013 competition, Gloucestershire’s chances of progressing into the last four rest on winning their final home match against arch rivals Somerset on Bank Holiday Monday, the day the club’s new pavilion will be officially opened. Gloucestershire’s maximum points total is 17, and if they do qualify it will be in no small measure down to captain Michael Klinger.
The Australian has proved to be one of the best “value for money” overseas signings of the summer, and that not me saying it, it is the PCA.
In their table that assesses the performance of every player in every form of the game, Klinger sits in fourth place.
His conversion rate from decent starts to big scores has been excellent with six centuries and nine 50’s, and he could achieve the unusual feat of making 1000 runs in both first class and one day cricket. His 87 in Sunday’s win over Glamorgan saw him safely past the limited overs target, and he has 5 Championship games left to record a remarkable double. The club will be delighted he is coming back in 2014.
As things stand, the team that will qualify for the YB40 semi finals as a group runner up could still come from any of the three pools. If Glamorgan beat Leicestershire on Sunday, they will join the mix too and make it even more likely a tiny margin on net run rate could be the decisive factor. After so much good weather over the last two months, it would be a pity if rain spoilt the fun now.