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England call-up Batty keeps his eye on the ball

Gareth Batty has been summoned by England for the Test tour of Bangladesh but at 38, and after a decade out of the side, he is not about to lose focus as he leads Surrey in the final of the Royal London Cup against Warwickshire at Lord's

Andrew McGlashan
Andrew McGlashan
At the end of a week where the future shape of the English domestic game was again at the forefront, it was another reminder that the Lord's one-day final does not have the lustre it once did. However, the cumulation of the Royal London Cup on Saturday should not lack for quality and a lot rests on 100 overs for Surrey and Warwickshire.
This is the last match of Surrey's season, their Championship campaign having finished with a narrow defeat against Durham at Chester-le-Street but their Division One status is secure. The same cannot be said of Warwickshire. If Hampshire win against Durham, who are now safe, in the final round of matches then Warwickshire will be in a relegation dogfight against Lancashire.
Dougie Brown, the Warwickshire coach, has termed it two finals in a week. "We know what we are playing for," Brown said. "We have two finals in effect. We are the ones who have got ourselves into this position in the Championship but we are taking some pretty good form into the final and we are hopeful we can take that into the game and then into the match next week."
While the news of Gareth Batty's England recall dominated the agenda, the player himself was determined not to lose focus on a game that will also define Surrey's season.
Surrey failed to get out of the group stages of the NatWest T20 Blast - a particular disappointment for a club that puts such a huge stack on the format on and off the field - while a mid-table finish in the County Championship, although very respectable in their first year after promotion, means tangible success rests on this match.
"It is a huge day for us," Batty said. "It will be the difference between us feeling we have had an okay season - maybe just about average - or that we have just flattered to deceive a little bit. We didn't start particularly well. We had a good bit in the middle and we have just dropped off in the Championship.
"I feel like in this competition we have played some good cricket and we are a good team but Warwickshire are too so we need to be at our best. It would be a wonderful end to a progressive season."
Last year there was heartbreak for Surrey when Gloucestershire pipped them to the title in a thrilling final-over finish. They were on track as Kumar Sangakkara and Rory Burns added 101 for the third wicket, but when Sangakkara chipped to mid-on the innings started to unravel with Gloucestershire's spinners to the fore.
It came down to needing seven off the last over with Batty alongside Sam Curran, who had played a fantastically mature hand, but he fell to the first ball of the over and then Batty swung to deep midwicket. It is something he still takes to heart because of his decision to bowl first.
"I made a decision at the toss and we lost a game of cricket on the back of that, I take full responsibility and never shirked away from that but it is up to us tomorrow to play our best cricket."
It has the makings of a superb final, involving a mouthwatering blend of players. There are the current internationals such as Jason Roy and Chris Woakes, the new call-ups of Batty and Zafar Ansari, the great Sangakkara, two outstanding batsmen of recent England vintage in Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott alongside those - Sam Hain, the Curran brothers and Ben Foakes - pushing for higher honours.
Hain, the 21-year-old batsman, who is a doppleganger for Trott at the crease, is the leading scorer in the tournament with 528 at 66. Trott has also made 433 runs including three centuries. Surrey's leading run-maker is Steven Davies with 373 at 41.44 this will mark his final match for the county, having signed with Somerset.
On a late-season pitch, and despite the heavy rain which swept through London on Friday, spin is likely to play a key role. Surrey have their two England men, Batty and Ansari, who was a crucial absentee for them last year after breaking his thumb, while Warwickshire can call on the leading slow bowler of the competition in Jeetan Patel as well as the promising legspin of Josh Poysden if they require a second option.

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo