September 22, 2013

Yorkshire Bank 40

A game lost, but not the love

Peter Miller
The 20-year-old offspinner Andrew Salter impressed at Lord's, Glamorgan v Nottinghamshire, YB40 final, Lord's, September 21, 2013
Andrew Salter, the 20-year-old offspinner, showed impressive composure on the big stage  © Getty Images
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So as sure as the sun will shine I'm gonna get my share now of what's mine. And then the harder they come the harder they'll fall, one and all

When soul singing legend Jimmy Cliff sung those immortal lyrics he was no doubt prophesying the 2013 YB40 final between underdogs Glamorgan and their would be oppressors Nottinghamshire. A Glamorgan side full of county pros against a star studded Nottinghamshire XI brim full of current England stars and an Australian that should be playing for his country in all formats.

Nottinghamshire had two of England's best bowlers, and some of its best one day batsmen. Glamorgan's close knit side of competent professionals all knowing their roles had a chance to strike a blow for the little guy. Everyone just needed to perform at their best. Well, that was the plan.

The reality was somewhat different, despite an excellent start that saw tight bowling and early wickets, Nottinghamshire just had too much batting. Chris Read led from the front and David Hussey was a settling influence as soon as he arrived at the crease. The wicket of Hussey was vital and the Glamorgan crowd knew this. The exasperated gasp that came as an aerial shot from the Australian proved elusive for Gareth Rees at mid-off was almost as loud as some of the chanting. For Glamorgan to stand a realistic chance of winning this game they need every ounce of skill and just about as much luck. On the day they came up short on both counts.

Lord's is special. It is pompous, grandiose and self important, but I forgive it for those things. There was a five-piece band playing in tuxedos at the Nursery End, but they didn't look out of place. The thought of wearing a suit to the cricket is horrifying, but the Lord's ban on fancy dress cannot be commended highly enough. Suits and ties are more understandable than a grown man in a banana suit. I have been there countless times, I have visited the museum, watched cricket from the pavilion and hung out in the media centre. Despite this familiarity it still thrills me to go there. I was sat in the stands with two Lord's newbies, they were in love with the place by the time the toss had taken place.

It is sometimes easy to forget what a day at the cricket is really about. Spending time with friends and family as the game happens around you. At times it is totally engrossing; at other times you dip in and out as you put the world to rights. These are lazy days full of beer, laughter and the talking of nonsense. The result helps, but isn't the only thing that matters. A Lord's final is a day out, an event to be remembered.

Singing when you are winning is easy, carrying on the merriment when your side is about to finish 3rd in a two horse race is harder work. Despite the growing inevitability that the result was not going to go our way we didn't stop cheering on the Glamorgan players. Some of the Nottinghamshire players also came in for some stick from the Welsh faithful. Perhaps the most obscure and creative was when Stuart Broad was told he "cheats to the left, he cheats to the right..." It made sense at the time.

Much has been made about winning in the right way over this Ashes summer. Professional sport is about winning, you can't do it the wrong way. More than how a side wins, how a side loses tells you what you need to know about them. Glamorgan fought in this game, came up short and congratulated their opponents. Their fans sang their hearts out from the beginning to the end and where still singing as they left the ground. I am devastated that Glamorgan aren't champions, but I had a great day in a fantastic place.

I lost my voice and my sobriety in the lower tier of the Compton Stand, I did not lose my love for Glamorgan.

Peter Miller writes for thearmchairselector.com. The two things he loves most are ugly runs and cricket stats. He tweets here

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Posted by   on (September 23, 2013, 9:58 GMT)

Great account of the day. Moving over to the Compton Upper for the second innings really did brighten the day, the atmosphere was fantastic. Just as it was 14 years ago (although I had a few more beers down me this time, unfortunately I'm not 14 anymore!). Hard luck to the Glamorgan boys, in touch and graceful enough to chat to fans behind the pavilion after the game. As is the moral of the article, the result wasn't that important.

Posted by   on (September 23, 2013, 7:58 GMT)

Thanks Dave, appreciated

Posted by DaveMorton on (September 22, 2013, 16:04 GMT)

Lovely piece of writing, Peter.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Peter Miller
Peter Miller is the UK editor of thearmchairselector.com. He has written on cricket for All Out Cricket and Sports Illustrated. A long-standing cricket nerd, he lives in Wales with his long-suffering wife and many dogs. @TheCricketGeek

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