Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Like in Football, We Want to Give Our Fans Bragging Rights

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Like in Football, We Want to Give Our Fans Bragging Rights

Article excerpt

Byline: Gareth Batty Surrey captain

AS soon as I started my first spell at Surrey in 1998, I had a sense of the importance of the rivalry with Middlesex.

There is just no getting away from it. You are made aware of the history 19 County Championship titles for us, 11 for them. They play their home matches at Lord's, we play ours at The Kia Oval two of the most famous grounds in the sport. You speak to supporters and people who work at the club and you realise how much this fixture means. When you take part in it, you don't want to let them down.

Rivalries like these make the domestic game so special. You also have Yorkshire-Lancashire, Warwickshire-Worcestershire, Gloucestershire-Somerset. The players on either side will know each other and many may be good friends, but that simply adds spice, because you always want to beat your mates.

It is the same as local derbies in football: if you win, it means bragging rights for your supporters, you want to give them something to smile about. …

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