After the last week, a domestic final is like a breath of fresh air. Finally, a chance to talk about real cricket! The C&G Trophy sparked a real duel between the two teams most likely to take home the County Championship this season. Whilst lacking such touching scenes as Kevin Pietersen poking a prone Ian Bell, felled by a cramp that helped Hampshire to defeat Warwickshire last year, this year certainly provided more exciting cricket. Impossibly close until the last, Sussex finally pipped Lancashire after James Kirtley collected his fifth wicket, Dominic Cork stranded at the other end.
The competitionâ€™s new format has come under much scrutiny. In the two months since the last C&G games, both sides have sustained injuries and suffered various dips in form. There seems to be little logic in playing a final so long after the event, where interest can dip and teams can be playing very different cricket to their early season form.
Next year will bring the introduction of semi finals. Even if they had been in place this year, Nottinghamshire, with three matches lost to rain, would have had no hope of making them. There are finite days in an English summer â€“ maybe a return to a direct knockout would help ease the pressure on the schedule?