Yet again the Twenty 20 Cup finals day at Trent Bridge last weekend proved to be a great success. Even the heavy rain that fell intermittently during the day could not dampen the spirits of all the people that attended.

It was particularly wonderful to see all the young children enjoying the day. It is so important that their interest is captured at an early age due to the fact that there are so many state schools that do not have cricket as part of their curriculum and there are many other opportunities available.

It will take a few years until we reap any rewards from the efforts being made by the "Chance to Shine" project. For people not familiar with the campaign, Mervyn King, the Governor of the Bank of England, formed the appeal a few years ago to raise funds and reintroduce cricket to state schools.

A huge task, indeed, but already hundreds of schools and thousands of children have benefited from the artificial wickets and cricket equipment provided.

As the profile of the national team and individuals has been raised considerably in recent years it is important that, along with the "Chance to Shine" appeal, the future of our game is secured among the younger children.

When talking to people about the state of cricket in the Caribbean it is a common understanding that during the great days from the late 1970s to early 1990s the future development of the game was not secured and many young talented children turned to American-orientated sports.

Although there was a little controversy surrounding the final of the Twenty20 match between Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire, it was a wonderful match. There is a slight grey area in the ruling regarding the waist-high full toss and it is also quite an awkward ruling for the umpire to judge.

For the people watching either at Trent Bridge or live on Sky Sports it would have been magnificent viewing had that last delivery been called a no-ball and given Nottinghamshire the chance to score the three runs required to win - an even greater climax to a day that already provided some wonderful entertainment.

With so much at stake in a final it does open the debate on using the third umpire. Personally, I believe it is necessary.

For many players qualifying for a final may happen only once in a career and I would rather leave the ground knowing that the right decision was made.

There are still many decisions left in the umpire's hands and Twenty20 would be a good competition in which to involve the third umpire more. I think people are growing used to the use of the big screens to await the umpire's decision which is always then met with a cheer.

Apart from the excitement that the decision creates within the crowd it also diffuses any tension or disagreement among players. There is very little scope for the players to disagree with the decision once the third umpire has intervened.

I hope that England do not lose too much time to rain in the final Test match against Pakistan as it will be a great confidence-building performance to either win or hold on to a draw. That will be hard work from their present position but a good performance for the remainder of this Test will add to all the hard work that has been put into the second half of the summer.

With the Ashes in the back of everyone's mind I think that it is days like Thursday that would cost England dearly against Australia. There is not much between the two sides but over the years Australia have limited their poor sessions.

For England in the past it has been a little bit of an Achilles heel where one bad session would cost them the match.

I believe we are in for another great series and the excitement among the public is building as people start talking about their winter travels. I believe that the toss and outcome of the first Test in Brisbane will have a huge bearing on the series. It is crucial that England do not leave Brisbane one down, as we have done so often in the recent past.

On a personal note, I'm delighted to have signed a new contract with Worcestershire for the 2007 season. I have had many wonderful moments with Worcestershire over the 23 years I have been associated with the club and I look forward to a few more next year.