This fixture was meant to involve Yorkshire, but in true ECB style it was called off with five minutes to go over a row involving the Tykes fielding Aseem Raffiq in the crucial group victory over Notts, who it turned out was ineligible.
I have no problem with Yorkshire being chucked out of the Competition as this farce sums up the Mickey mouse organisation abroad in the County scene, and if it makes things more professional in the long run, then fair enough.
What does irk me, and it shouldn’t as what do you expect, is the woefully buffoonish way by which matters progressed.
To know about the issue for a number of days and allow the fixture to get to within a whisker of starting is unforgivable, and if had been at the Riverside I would have been incandescent that the ECB showed such contempt for the fans. It is far from cheap to travel to away fixtures these days.
Then Notts were re instated, then they weren’t, then Durham were given a bye, but finally some sense was restored when Glamorgan as best third place side were invited to contest this Quarter Final.
It was just a fiver to get in, and free for kids with the gate money going to local charity, so well done to Durham for restoring some faith amongst the fans that the Clubs are not simply motivated by money and can do the right thing un prompted.
The ground was full and developed a good atmosphere, although the Geordies are absolutely silent when the bowler runs up, then exploding when a run is scored, or a dot ball is bowled depending on what Durham are doing.
Unlike us at Yorkshire, no credit at all is given to the opposition but there is no imaginative sledging either, and when I greeted Harmison’s introduction with a cry of “Wide!” there was no reaction at all. Not even when I cheered on the Glam with abandon did anyone raise a riposte. Most disappointing. They seem to take it all a bit seriously in the North East.
Glamorgan, for a variety of pointless reasons are my second County team and I have seen a good deal of them over the years. One thing I have always admired is that the core of the team is Welsh and the spirit in the dressing room is brilliant.
But they are in the doldrums big time at the moment, and with Hershelle Gibbs no longer at the Club they have no big time player to look to for a match winning performance.
There is no doubting the heart of the team, but when push came to shove the Glam just couldn’t deal with pressure situations, as despite pegging the hosts back fro the first 17 overs to just 117, three terrible overs from Wharf and the talented but raw Harris saw Durham smash 46 runs, Breese, Pollock and Liam Plunkett doing the damage.
There is no doubt that if Glamorgan sacked their whole staff en masse that only Harris, Powell and at a push Wallace would get contracts at any other Club. Too many mediocre players plus lack of cash for overseas stars at the top of their game mean that the Welsh County will be perennial strugglers.
The Glamorgan innings began with Grant being bowled of the very first ball, and once the promising partnership of Dalrymple and Wallace was broken, there was only one winner.
As for England…. Harmison looks quick and hungry, plus Plunkett is maturing into a fine young all rounder.
How disheartened these two must have been by the selection of Pattinson, a view shared if the papers are to be believed by Michael Vaughan.