Published: 29th January, 2019
With this year’s Royal London One-Day Cup set to be completed before the start of the ICC World Cup, it’s an early chance for the country to be gripped by 50-over cricket.
This is the latest in a series of articles looking at different periods of the Surrey season that may stand out. Click here to see festival fever in June or here for the intense T20 block and you can read about our upcoming Kia Super League defence here.
After just one Specsavers County Championship match of the 2019 season, we will move immediately into white-ball action. We begin our competitive domestic season against the only side to emerge victorious against us in last year’s red-ball game when we face Essex on the 11th April.
It’s almost a month until our next four-day match starts after that however, with the Royal London One-Day Cup taking centre stage as everyone gears up for the ICC Cricket World Cup that will be hosted in England & Wales between 30th May and 14th July.
That the final of the domestic 50-over competition, on the 25th May, comes less than a week before the World Cup gets going with England against South Africa at The Oval would normally mean that a run of form could see you included. In reality, with the current England one-day side so well settled having built towards this tournament throughout Eoin Morgan’s captaincy, that is unlikely.
Despite that, there is still a lot of prestige to be gained from shining in the one-day format at county level. Having been to the final in three of the last four seasons, Surrey know the stage of a televised Lord’s final well and this tournament has proven an exciting first glimpse as to the talents of Ollie Pope and Will Jacks in recent years.
It didn’t quite go to plan in 2018 though as Surrey failed to make it through the group stages, despite memorable moments from Will Jacks at the top of the order. Improving upon that is a key aim for 2019 and it all begins against the side which Jacks brutally took to the sword last year with a swashbuckling century.
Having made his Lions debut this winter following a period in Australian grade cricket, Jacks will be raring to go when Surrey head to Bristol to face Gloucestershire on the 17th April. From there, Surrey will go straight to Hove to face a Sussex team they saw comparatively little of in 2018 due to the weather on both of the south coast side’s visits to the Kia Oval.
The following week sees two big rivals come to the Kia Oval in crunch clashes. An Essex side including Sir Alastair Cook will visit on the 23rd before our London rivals Middlesex journey south of the River Thames on the 25th May.
We’ll take our only 50-over visit to another World Cup venue that following Sunday when we venture to Sophia Gardens to face Glamorgan.
It’s another tight turnaround at home the next week with defending champions Hampshire arriving first before their runners-up Kent pop in on Thursday 2nd May. Surrey lost to both sides in last year’s South Group to really knock the stuffing out of our challenge to reach the knockout stages.
The group stage ends when we face Somerset at Taunton on the 7th May. How that goes could well change the weekend plans of many Members and fans given that the play-off, for the third-place sides in both regions, will happen that Friday 10th May and the semi-final will follow on the Sunday.
It all then comes down to the 25th May, after two Specsavers County Championship matches, to decide the first available trophy of 2019. How do you see Surrey performing in the Royal London One-Day Cup this year? Let us know on Twitter.