Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Glamorgan v Derbyshire day 3: just not cricket

Derbyshire 205 all out
Glamorgan 103-4 dec

It is hard to imagine that there could be so much publicity about a day of cricket where there were only six overs played.

Then again, it is hard to imagine that a team would declare as Glamorgan did and I'm afraid that there's too much in what has emanated from their camp today that doesn't ring true.

Jacques Rudolph said that he wanted to put pressure on an inexperienced Derbyshire line-up where 'they have bowlers at five and six'. Where I come from, they are called all-rounders, Jacques. Indeed, your own country had a bowler at three for many years, a bloke named Kallis, Previously, you had one at two, in Eddie Barlow.

I can only assume that skipper and staff pay no attention to Carol Kirkwood on the BBC or the Met Office. If they did, they would have seen that the chances of a positive result and putting us under pressure tomorrow are slightly less than the chances of me riding into the 3aaa County Ground next weekend like Lady Godiva.

Then there's their club site, that reads 'Glamorgan show positive intent with Derby declaration'. Hmmm...methinks the Welsh lady doth protest too much. I could accept that stance, were it not for every man and his dog (presumably a corgi) knowing full well that the only pressure we will be under tomorrow is when we can start the journey home. Check out this weather report if you will...

There have been declarations in the history of the game that were innovative, brave and inspired. Stuart Surridge, skipper of Surrey during their 1950s period of dominance, was famed for them. Sadly, this one will, I think quite rightly, go down as one that is calculating and totally against the spirit of the game.

The brief passage of play suggested that Derbyshire might end the first innings with a decent lead. The wickets of the overnight batsmen left us in a strong position and with every possibility of maximum bowling points. There was a possibility that Glamorgan might have picked up a batting point, but it didn't look something you would put money on.

To suggest that they felt they could put Derbyshire under pressure is actually disrespectful. I find it hard to believe that a professional cricket club would be oblivious to the weather forecast today and tomorrow. It was simply never going to happen.

What they did was to attempt to protect their poor over rate and thus a points penalty, as well as preventing Derbyshire from getting bowling points. Nothing more, nothing less. Not nice, not clever, not at all in the spirit of the game.

I hope that Derbyshire take this further. I hope that their appeal is listened to and upheld and I hope that Glamorgan are docked points, pour encourager les autres.

I'm not being biased. I am far removed from a one-eyed sports fan and can appreciate good play, irrespective of who produces it. If other teams beat us, fairly and squarely, I can live with it and will acknowledge it willingly. Anyone who reads this blog regularly will appreciate that.

Had the boot been on the other foot, right now I would have been criticising Derbyshire and would have actually been ashamed to support them. I don't like unsporting behaviour and would never condone it, whether as a player or spectator. Win with grace, lose with dignity...that's how I was brought up.

Reputation was sullied today. That of Glamorgan County Cricket Club and that of the game of cricket.


Tim, Chesterfield said...

I don't see a problem with it myself. Seems a lot of fuss over not a lot to me.

Peakfan said...

You pays your money and takes your choice Tim..but my thoughts are fairly clear...

Peakfan said...

If Rudolph's intentions were genuine he was at best naive. If he really wanted the game to progress in poor light was he really going to open with his seamers?
The only way he could have stayed on was with spinners..and using them takes it back to the point of my piece...over rates and penalties.

Marc said...

I can understand Welch being frustrated at losing out on two bowling points but i,m not sure it,s the right policy to try and dictate when your opponents declare. After all,they are under no obligation to look at things from our perspective.

Perhaps Rudolph did have an extrinsic reason for doing what he did but unless there is any play today and we see just how he utilises his bowlers,we will never know for sure. Technically,he has given Glamorgan their only possible chance of winning the game.It is hard to imagine that cricket clubs are not aware of the latest weather forecasts,but leaving that on one side for a minute,can Rudolph,s actions be justified?. At a push,I think they can.

From his point of view he concedes a lead of a hundred. He bowls us out within 40 overs,which is by no means out of the question and would leave them chasing around 250 in 50 overs. That would not be an impossible task by any means and whether people regard his comments about the inexperience of our team as unprofessional,it is a undeniable fact.

Obviously, he is aware of his own team,s slow over rate and the need to do something about it if he possibly can. We tried to do the same thing ourselves against Lancashire,which necessitated Madsen using bowlers he wouldn,t have normally done and for longer periods of time,which had a detrimental effect on our chances of winning the game.

Rudolph,s actions may not be totally within the spirit of the game but there is some logic, at least on the theory side of his actions. I find it all a litle strange as to why we are getting so worked up over a couple of bowling points. We will drop plenty more through our own fault before the season ends. Is it really that much of an issue on this occasion?.

It will be interesting to see if there is any further action as a result of this and who the authorities will side with.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry peakfan but as a former player off Derbyshire amongst other counties I believe you have got this wrong. Yes the weather is poor. Rudolph is right it is an inexperienced Derbyshire side who could potentially fold under pressure.

Stephen Roe said...

We lost 8 wickets for ~70 runs in the first innings and - as you have written about earlier during the game - we have perhaps the youngest team in First Class cricket on the field. I agree that Rudolph's comments were unfair but in reality, we have three out-and-out batsmen in our side, one of whom is playing his first game of the season having spent almost all of last year out of form and another who has yet to find his this season. It's perfectly plausible that the forecast could change and, given that Middlesex, Somerset and Durham have all been skittles out for less than 100 during the last couple of days, I think Rudolph is within his rights to try and force a win. I would certainly be commending Madsen if the shoe were on the other foot.

Anonymous said...

To me this is a valid cricketing decision. It solves the problem of the over rate and prevents the opposition from gaining more points. Its not even unethical in the context of the match situation and professional sport beyond that.

Peakfan said...

I take your points gentlemen, all of them well-made but we must agree to differ.

I have commented further tonight but suspect this will die quickly.

It was, however, heartening to see Derbyshire disprove emphatically the 'collapse like a pack of cards' scenario!