Marcus Hook’s Surrey CCC column: No lack of T20 support but little to cheer about as poor record of reaching knockout stage continues

BY MARCUS HOOK

If  Surrey’s Twenty20 averages made for sorry reading, the final South Group table, in which the Oval outfit finished one from bottom in eighth, looked even more uncomfortable. A win percentage of 42 per cent was Surrey’s worst in T20 since 2012.

Surrey had no lack of support, with over 165,000 spectators flooding through the gates at the Oval for their seven home games – bringing in £7million in revenue.

At the start of the competition, I felt the absence of Jason Roy would hurt Surrey’s chances, but I fully expected them to secure a place in the quarter-finals.

A week ago, it looked like they might still have a chance of doing so, if Middlesex beat Somerset and Kent imploded. All their wishes came true on those fronts, but, ultimately, even if Surrey had turned over Essex last Thursday their net run rate would still have been inferior to Kent’s.

And so, since winning the very first Twenty20 Cup in 2003 and reacing finals day in each of the next three years, Surrey have progressed to the knockout phase just three times in the last 13 seasons.

Attention now turns to the County Championship. Three four-dayers remain and while there appears to be little to play for one shouldn’t forget how the manner in which one season ends can carry over to the start of the next.

In case Surrey need any reminding, in 2003 their challenge for a fourth championship title in five years hit the buffers when they lost each their last three matches. In 2004, under new head coach Steve Rixon, they hovered above the relegation zone and in 2005 they did go down.

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