Poignancy presides over the time of year when fans and players brace themselves for a long goodbye
The last day of the domestic cricket season fell on Thursday when Essex, the defending county champions, played out the final day of the final match against this year’s champions Surrey, at the Oval. The sky was gentlest blue, the leaves of the south London trees thinking about falling. Entry was free and though the hordes failed to storm the bastion, the plastic tip-up seats filled up well enough, comfortable pair of trousers by comfortable pair of trousers, for a last deep breath of late summer. The day was a thriller, one of the very best, but no one knew that for sure when they wandered into the ground at half past 10. What they really came for was to say goodbye.
Related: County cricket talking points: Surrey and Essex see out the season in style
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