Monday, 4 July 2016

Derbyshire v Northamptonshire day 1

No play

The least surprising news of the day came when the umpires fairly quickly called off play for the day at Chesterfield.

There is still plenty of gnashing of teeth going on and I daresay that there will be discussions between the club and council over this, but there are facts that can't be denied and hopefully the following will answer a few of the mails and comments I have had today.

First up, first-class cricketers cannot risk their livelihood by playing on wet, dangerous turf, especially seam bowlers. One slip in your run up or action and your knee or ankle is gone, your season and possibly career ruined. It is simply not an option to play first-class cricket in wet conditions.

Then there's the ground protection. Derbyshire do not own Queens Park, Chesterfield Borough Council do. While there could doubtless have been more or better covers on the ground, the club needs to do the best it can with what is there. I have no idea on the ground maintenance arrangements between Derby and Queens Park, but suspect our ground staff will have an advisory role, rather than the right to take over. I am happy to be corrected on that, but we can't bring covers from Derby to Chesterfield and risk the main ground suffering damage in their absence.

Nor could we transfer the game from Chesterfield to Derby. Neil Godrich will plan the use of his square over a summer to ensure that it plays consistently and is used evenly. There's much more goes in to arranging a cricket match than simply announcing a change of venue. There was a Second Eleven Trophy game at Derby today and ongoing work on the ground and media centre.

To make knee-jerk comments to the tune of not playing at Chesterfield any more is unhelpful and silly. It is still the nicest ground I have ever watched cricket on and I would hate to see it disappear. Such is the lot of the out ground, but  everyone looks forward to Chesterfield, just as they look forward to Welbeck Colliery in the near future. If you think they will play there if it rains much beforehand, you will be deluding yourself. Nice little ground, but hardly of international quality drainage standards.

Finally, could Derbyshire have done any more? Not really. The club hasn't the money to throw at the protection of a seven day per summer outground, nor would the ECB give them it. The council have invested in the festival, but rain of the weekend quantity would test any cricket ground. Sod's law would be that you spend 50K on better covers, reducing your playing budget accordingly, then the sun shines...

It is a shame, it is an annoyance, but it has happened and we move on. No one has died and while a few things could perhaps be improved on, the brutal truth is that the game we love is wholly dependent on the weather.

When it has it in for you, one can only bow to the inevitable. The country spent millions on flood defences, but parts of it suffer every single winter - and summer, for that matter.

Fingers crossed for better luck tomorrow, but I understand that there's been local rain tonight, which doesn't bode well...


Adam said...

Frustrating but it did enable me to watch a very good performance by the seconds yesterday who beat Worcestershire by eight wickets in the 2nd XI trophy. There was some good all round bowling from Durston, Carter and Alex Hughes and then a Wes century and a very good 60 from Elstone to complete the job.

There was a young lad from Repton School (James Sookias) who did well behind the stumps. It was my first chance to see Johnny Tattersall who struggled a little bit and never really looked comfortable and Charlie MacDonell who was 12 not out at the end and it is a shame that there wasn't an opportunity for him to go on as he looked in very good form.

There is a 3 day 2XI championship game at Derby starting today so at least there is some alternative cricket if as expected today is another delayed start or no play at all at Chesterfield.

Anonymous said...

If there is no play for the whole 4 days, the club will have to consider moving the Yorkshire T20 game to Derby but let's home it doesn't, come to that.

NatWest 81

Peakfan said...

They are looking at that option, NatWest 81 and rightly so.

Adam, I enjoy watching the seconds and plan to be at their game next week at (I think) Denby. Starts on Monday and will see some of the first two days - weather permitting.

I hope to see some of the bright young things in prime form!

creweblade said...

peakfan - not surprised re sunday derby option but guess they also have to offer refund option if moved the game is not as sold (ie chesterfield) - to be honest the clubs communications have left much to be desired - it is 6pm on tuesday now and no news on prospects for wed play given the dry overnight forecast nor if members forum is going ahead (little point if play is off on wed) - re pitch - i went sunday and was there from 12 noon and can confirm the groundstaff did do a little work (bit of sanding and took roller out on square) but definitely did little else - an announcement there was little they could do to help might have helped as at other grounds you see groundstaff working on the pitch to get it ready - but i guess even forking doesnt help if the water table is so high - if so just say so - its the silence that is poor - also my membership hasnt been worth it at all this year due to the weather so probably wont bother next