Arrange for a friend to take a watering can and pour water against your window for the three-and-a-half days leading up to each match. This will allow you to pretend it's a rain-shortened contrived finish that's been agreed upon by the respective captains in a county game.

Pretend that it's the mad dash for County Championship bonus points that sometimes takes place as a first innings approaches 110 overs.

Try and identify young players who are likely to do well in the County Championship and ultimately Test cricket. Any bowler getting repeatedly carted for sixes is probably keeping a good line and length, with deliveries that would hit the top of off stump. Any batsman with a ludicrously poor strike rate has the mental strength to withstand hostile crowd response when unveiling his full repertoire of leaves and defensive strokes and is sure to do well in the Ashes.

Tell yourself it's a Test match and explain away the heady scoring rate and rapid fall of wickets by pretending that Pakistan are involved.

With 151 matches scheduled in the Friends Provident t20, there's no shortage of cricket - it just needs dividing up differently. While following your team in the competition, track their cumulative score. Once every 384 overs, you will get a "result" for what would have been a first-class match. The results will make little sense, but if you pretend that it's the County Championship, you won't notice the difference.

Only attend matches when the forecast is very, very bad indeed. All forms of cricket look the same when the players are in the clubhouse and the covers are on. The British skies are impervious to the march of progress.

Get a job as a cheerleader. You are contractually bound to maintain enthusiasm. Plus, you won't get bored of the action because you'll have your back to it most of the time.

Remember that England are actually good at this form of the game.

Get drunk.

Alex Bowden blogs at King Cricket