No one likes to see their fellow human beings stricken with starvation – you only need to see what happened after Michael Buerk’s famous BBC News report from Ethiopia in 1984 was aired to see evidence of that. Lancashire’s County Championship famine had lasted 77 long and painful years. That is positively biblical, so unless you come from Yorkshire (or perhaps Warwickshire), one cannot fail to be glad for Glen Chapple and his band of merry men.
The rehabilitation of Peter Moores
As Sussex supporters, we will be eternally grateful for Moores's role in leading Sussex to their first County Championship in 2003 after 113 years of trying. His methods may not have worked with England, but Moores is undoubtedly a fine coach. Now that he has led Lancashire to the promised land too, his CV looks even more remarkable.
Liverpool 1 Manchester 0
We’ve always wondered why Lancashire plays most of its cricket matches in Manchester – perhaps the most dreary and rainy place in the country and home to pitches that are even less likely to produce results than your average sub-continental wicket. What else other than the weather could Morrissey have been lamenting about in Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now? A move along the M62 to Aigburth to the Mersey Paradise of Aigburth has worked absolute wonders and demonstrated the value of outgrounds to other counties.
Glen Chapple – the new Black Knight
Just like the infamous Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Glen Chapple simply refused to die. He may have only had one leg, but Chapple shrugged it off doubtless declaring “Tis but a scratch” and continued to bowl taking three Somerset wickets in the second innings. This do or die approach epitomised Lancashire’s season, so it was entirely fitting that the limbless Chapple became the first Lancashire captain in 77 years to lead his side to the County Championship. OBEs have been handed out for less.
The War of the Roses
It won’t have gone unnoticed in Lancashire that as their team were crowned Champions, acrimony and infighting were firmly on the agenda at Yorkshire County Cricket Club, with the Chairman being particularly non-complimentary about his players after ignominious relegation to Division 2. The last time Lancashire won the title in 1934, it coincided with Hitler’s brutal purge of the SA in the Night of the Long Knives. Expect something similar at Headingley this winter – neutrals and Lancastrians everywhere will watch with interest and in the case of the latter, no doubt a little glee.
With the exception of Stephen Moore and a few cameos from Farveez Maharoof, the bulk of Lancashire’s side were homegrown stars born within the borders of the county – Chapple may hail from Skipton, but surely he is an honorary Lancastrian by now? In the days of Kolpaks, non-box office overseas stars and transfers between counties, this was both a timely and refreshing reminder that counties should perhaps look closer to home in developing their own talent and thus create the indomitable spirit that carried Lancashire to glory.
Saved from the stocks
We’ll write a post in the next few days reflecting on what were a disastrous set of predictions by the Reverse Sweep at the outset of the season. But suffice to say, we were relieved that Warwickshire – one of our tips for relegation – didn’t prevail in the final reckoning. That surely would have meant a spell in the stocks and lots of rotten vegetables coming our way. There again we did predict that Lancashire would finish seventh...
Hope for Somerset
Perennial bridesmaids Somerset need look no further than Lancashire for inspiration in their quest to win a trophy next season. Somerset may have finished second in the last three T20 finals and two 40 over finals, as well as in last year’s Championship. But that is nothing on Lancashire, who since last winning the Championship had finished runners-up eight times. So fear not Marcus Trescothick, your time to hold up one of the game’s big prizes may yet come.
The perfect casserole
The suspense and last minute nature of Lancashire’s triumph meant that our County Championship casserole turned out perfectly. Delia Smith eat your heart out.
It’ll have annoyed Geoffrey Boycott
No further explanation necessary.
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