A cricket ground in mid winter can be a depressing place. The ground stands silent, as far as it is possible from the warm summer evenings under floodlights, with the roar of several thousand cricket devotees.
Today’s annual pilgrimage to Sussex’s County Ground was, as always, an experience of mixed emotions. I am reminded of yet another season passed, hopes dashed, aspirations unfulfilled. But it is also the start of what must be a better season, of fresh hopes and renewed ambition. My season ticket is renewed and seats reserved.
The 2017 season promises much. Sussex CCC have a group of talented youngsters and some seasoned oldies. In its new chief executive, Rob Andrew (who I happened to meet today – what a loverly man) the County is making a statement, that we can attract the best, off and on the field, with the signing of South Africa’s Vernon Philander.
With a South African coach in Mark Davis and, in Vernon, one of the best strike bowlers in the world, the sun will shine on Sussex this year, as it did today at the County Ground.