SWANNY’S WORLD OF SPORT: County cricket is irrelevant, a repution enhanced and a reputation ruined, no windfall for netball

England's gold medal winning netball team.
England's gold medal winning netball team.
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I find it hard to understand why any sane cricket lover would get excited about the start of the County Championship season.

Our main first-class competition couldn’t be any more irrelevant as far as Test cricket is concerned.

Top-class referee Michael Oliver shows a red card to the obnxious Gianluigi Buffoon.

Top-class referee Michael Oliver shows a red card to the obnxious Gianluigi Buffoon.

Everyone plays on wickets designed to keep journeymen seam bowlers in a job.

If you’re a spin-bowler like Mason Crane or a genuine pace bowler you may as well put your feet up for another month. Sadly spinning a ball and bowling it quickly are the two most important skills in Test matches so unless things change England face a long spell in the doldrums, away from home at least.

Add the non-stop arrival of foreign mercenaries at our first-class counties and it’s a recipe for disaster for Joe Root.

HOW TO RUIN A REPUTATION

How stupid of goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon to trash his own illustrious career in one crazy moment at the end of the Real Madrid/Juventus Champions League tie.

I’m no fan of referees - I suspect few Posh fans will be given the performances we’ve witnessed recently - but Michael Oliver was spot on that night.

His reputation has been enhanced. Buffon’s has been ruined.

NO WINDFALL FOR NETBALL

It’s always great to see Australia beaten at sport so well done England’s netball team at the Commonwealth Games.

But spare us the inevitable bleating about not enough funding. There are only four nations who take the sport seriously.