It seems like only yesterday I was looking forward to the start of the county season. It wasn't too long ago that I was so optimistic about Middlesex's season - especially due to the form of Steven Finn. It seems like only moments ago that Middlesex started to lose some games, and I stopped writing about them.
After 7 county champo games in the blink of an eye (with a small smattering of 40 overs in there too), attention was turned to the T20, which was undoutably the focal point of the cricketing summer (mainly due to it's invasive nature and 170 odd matches).
But now the T20 has come and gone; the group stages of the CB40 are over, and Middlesex are playing their last game of the season.
Where has the time gone?
To say it has been an up and down season for Middlesex would be an understatement. There have been some electrifying performances; such as the CC wins over Surrey, Sussex and Glamorgan, but there too have been some timid defeats. Far too many timid defeats. In the T20, we had a 50% win/loss ratio, with some epic wins over Essex, Kent and Hampshire, following and preceding terrible defeates to Surrey, Gloucestershire and Sussex. And the less said about the CB40 the better!
So where now for Middlesex? Iain O'Brien's visa issues are well documented, and of course we all hope he's able to extend his stay at Lord's. Pedro Collins has to leave due to a change in Kolpak laws, and we all wish Pedro well; a good performer in all codes of the game this year. And Owais Shah is leaving, released by the club, perhaps due to money, perhaps due to poor performances, probably a combination of both.
Chris Rogers will arrive as an overseas player for next year, and if he can maintain his 60+ average at the top of the order, it could be a very good piece of business. Eoin Morgan is staying, having re-signed his contract, but the nature of the international calendar means we'll be without him, Strauss and Finn for long spells of the season.
While this season has been often one to forget for Middlesex, there have been some positives. There have been plenty more wins then last season - proof that Angus Fraser is slowly turning it around. The emergence of Toby Roland-Jones and John Simpson as very good young county players (and potential internationals in the future) is very encouraging, as has been some infrequent performances from Josh Davey, Adam London and Sam Robson.
The problem with Middlesex at the moment is that we're a team in transition; a side who are building on our way to bigger and better things. With very promising, talented youngsters, as well as some players like Dawid Malan who are continuing to flourish, we could be in with a chance of promotion next year if we remain consistent. But that's probably me just being blindly and optimistically deluded.