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County cricket talking points: in praise of the One-Day Cup

We say goodbye to an old friend on Saturday when Hampshire meet Somerset in the last one-day cup final at Lord’s

By Gary Naylor for the 99.94 Cricket Blog

Just 26 days after the first match of the Royal London Cup, there’s only the final to come. Each team in the north group played each other and the same was true for the south. Three counties from each group of nine qualified for the knockout stage, which kept plenty of counties in the hunt and there was a real benefit from topping the group with a guaranteed home semi-final, with the Home of Cricket to make an occasion of the final. It must have been tough for the players, playing and travelling day-in, day-out, but they are athletes on year-long contracts and they should be able to cope – to be fair, most do. For fans, the narrative was easy to follow with neither breaks nor other formats butting in to distract attention. All the Royal London Cup needs is a bit of marketing and a bit of trust – and a future.

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