It is right about this time of year that sporting landmarks are coming thick and fast. From the racing at Ascot to the start of Wimbledon, this year also benefits from the absence of England’s presence in a global football tournament. There is no other silence comparable to this lack of noise that happens every two years. No tabloid-driven jingoism and nothing in the way of fervent discussions in the pub about which eleven should be playing.
One of the pinnacles of the cricket calendar is the final of the one day competition, sponsored by Royal London. For a while, this competition has been usurped in popularity by the advent of T20 cricket. However, the 50 over game has been reinvented by the current England team. After a dismal showing in the 2015 World Cup in Australia, England captain Eoin Morgan and his players took to playing a different style of cricket. This was characterised by a much more aggressive style of play with players empowered to go out and express themselves on the field. Players such as Jason Roy, Alex Hales, Joe Root and Jos Buttler mix orthodox cricket strokes with innovations such as the scoop and reverse sweep. On the bowling side, bowlers such as Mark Wood, David Willey and Liam Plunkett have improved their skills to keep up with the evolutions in batting styles, deploying slower ball bouncers and precision yorkers to negate opposition batsmen.
This year’s final will see the Nottingham Outlaws take on Surrey. England openers Alex Hales and Jason Roy will be on opposing sides for this game and there will be many others from the national team taking part. New cap Tom Curran will be taking the new ball for Surrey whilst England veteran Stuart Broad will be doing the same for Nottinghamshire.
Given that the weather for Saturday looks to be fair, the game promises to be a thrilling one, with both sides scoring heavily in their run to the final. Surrey will be looking to make it third time lucky after close defeats on their previous two visits to the home of cricket. Tickets are available from the Lord’s website.
The Royal London One Day Cup Final
Lords Cricket Ground
St. John’s Wood Road