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County cricket talking points: Pepsi fizzes but the sport needs Harry Potter’s magic

Is there a better way to organise the calendar? Should we expect an England call-up for Michael Lumb? And when will Yorkshire come good in the one-day game?

By Gary Naylor for the 99.94 Cricket Blog, part of the Guardian Sport Network

Advertisers know the power of building narratives to maximise the power of marketing. Oxo and Gold Blend created stories that ran for years in highly anticipated TV slots that became news stories in their own rights. Then there are franchises such as Harry Potter and Mad Max that can take breaks for years but be confident that fans will simply pick things up where they left off. What we do not see are the same characters stepping out of one story and into another, before coming back, then going away again and so on – even James Bond was James Bond in the Olympics Opening Ceremony. But county cricket, struggling to hold its tenuous place in the skittish national consciousness and having endured a lacklustre start to the County Championship, has now binned its most prestigious competition for a few weeks in favour of its most lucrative (the NatWest T20 Blast) and its most unnecessary (the Royal London Cup). I presume it all looked fine on the spreadsheets in the powerpoint presentation.

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