As any responsible doctor will advise, the best way to deal with a hangover is to get drunk again as soon as possible. In the case of a World Cup hangover, this means that you should try to expose your eyeballs to more high-quality cricket without delay.

Sadly, for English cricket lovers this will not be possible. It is true that England are playing in the West Indies, an engagement which at one time would have promised a stomach-churning thrill-ride featuring broken noses, shattered fingers, tearaway fast bowling, swashbuckling batting and a bit of a thrashing.

But these days a series in the West Indies is devalued cricket currency. This year's edition promises to plumb the already well-charted depths of motion-going-through: a shambolic home side, low on confidence, against a mediocre touring side haunted by the spectre of He Who Must Not Be Named, on slow, low, slow pitches in front of an unfortunate crowd who would be well advised to stock up on crosswords and paperbacks.

Even the IPL can't save us this year, since it won't be on British terrestrial television. ITV's coverage wasn't brilliant but it wasn't always awful, which is about the best you can hope for from a sports broadcast. So the English cricket lover is left with just one option. I refer, of course, to the sports equivalent of the last chocolate in the chocolate box, the strawberry crème of cricket competitions: the County Championship.

It begins not with a bang but a whimper, coming on slowly like a light rain shower or the cold virus. One day you happen to catch a glimpse of something to do with Somerset on the internet, but think nothing of it. A few days later, there are a rash of county scorecards at the bottom of the sports pages and you can't stop sneezing.

The absurdities of the County Championship are well known. It makes no sense to base a national tournament on Anglo-Saxon territorial divisions that only cover half the country, nor to force the national side to play all year round in order to raise enough money to subsidise counties, most of which are perpetually on the verge of bankruptcy and more likely to produce a golden fleece than an international-standard cricketer.

But sense does not come into it.

The continued existence of the County Championship is testament to the essentially conservative nature of Englishness and of our instinct to continue to cling to something long after it has ceased to be useful or necessary, a tendency that also explains the continued existence of the monarchy and the Conservative party.

At this time of year, cynics like me usually end up comparing the poor old County Championship with the IPL, but this is an unfair and misleading exercise: like comparing a bag of reduced-price supermarket apples close to their sell-by date with a gleaming, genetically modified watermelon-sized orange in purple and gold.

The absurdities of the county game are only a problem if you're one of those boring people who insist on efficiency, professionalism and success, of which there are far too many these days. If you take the view that cricket doesn't really matter (which it doesn't) then you can be free to appreciate the cosy charms of a Victorian sporting contest that doesn't care whether you like it or not. Snoozechester versus Sleepyshire may not deliver the same thrills or entertainment as an IPL game, but thrills and entertainment are overrated. Sometimes, after a six-week cricket party, what you really need is a nice, long afternoon nap.

Andrew Hughes is a writer currently based in England. @hughandrews73