Royal London Cup: Reports of its demise were greatly exaggerated

By putting The Hundred on at the same time as the Royal London Cup, the ECB has – whether it will admit it or not – shown what it thinks of English cricket’s 50-over competition.

Thursday, 19th August 2021, 2:15 pm
Updated Thursday, 19th August 2021, 4:08 pm
Tom Haines has led Sussex well in the One Day Cup - and batted well too / Picture: Getty

But if anyone championing the shiny new 100-ball format that does seem to have caught the public’s imagination quite well thought the One Day Cup could quietly be put out to grass, then the teams and players involved have had news for them: It’s not going anywhere.

For the past four weeks or so Sussex and the rest of the 18 counties have ignored the noise being made from the big grounds and the franchises and set about the business of the 50-over cup group campaigns, leading up to the knockout stages and today's Glamorgan-Durham final.

By and large it has been a fantastic tournament, even if the final is today - that's Thursday. Yes, Thursday. Let’s just stick the showpiece on the first day we can think of, shall we?

Royal London matches have been well attended and there have been some epic battles – none more so than Sussex’s three-run win over Middlesex at Hove when there were 663 runs scored in a day.

Sussex’s young squad may not have qualified for the semi-finals but they have shown huge potential.

Ali Orr, new 50-over captain Tom Haines, bowlers Archie Lenham and James Coles and all-rounder Dan Ibrahim have all grasped chances they may well not have got if The Hundred hadn’t claimed Sussex’s bigger stars. They’ve grabbed them with both hands and shown the One Day Cup is alive and well, as anyone who’s been to one of the games will confirm.

And there's even talk of a Saturday final for it next year. Whatever next?!