Sunday, 3 July 2016

Derbyshire v Northamptonshire T20

No result

I feel sorry for a lot of people tonight.

First of all the club, whose hopes of a good attendance at the start of the Chesterfield Festival were dashed. Then there's the players, who will have wanted to get the game on and move into a stronger position in the table. Perhaps most of all the supporters, some of who traveled a considerable distance to be there and found that their best-laid plans had come to naught.

I don't blame the umpires at all. They have to consider everything in making a decision and of paramount importance is the safety of players. It is all well and good to say that there was a club game going on down the road, or a women's match, but there's a difference between playing for fun and for a livelihood. You get one player sustain a major injury from dangerous conditions and there's hell to pay.

I've played in torrential rain to finish a game and on very wet outfields, but that was a choice made to get a game on. The decision is totally different when professionals are concerned, not least what damage it might do to the outfield ahead of the scheduled four-day game this week.

Nor can the protestations of an individual that 'my back garden is fine' hold any weight. Good for you then sir, your drainage does you proud. Yet with respect they aren't playing in your back garden and the umpires can only go with what they have in front of them.

Likewise, to criticise Derbyshire and say 'we shouldn't be using out grounds' is nonsense. A lot of time, money and effort went into upgrading Chesterfield and I would hate to see it disappear from the calendar. A lot of supporters come from that part of the county and south Yorkshire and the festival week is keenly anticipated every year. Yet the club do not own the ground, so can only do so much to protect it, and cannot control the weather. They will, I am sure, have insured the festival, as the income from it will be a major factor in the budget, but it is just one of those things that happens.

What the club could have done better was in their communication. Between ten and eleven this morning, tweets were going out showing the delightful vista at the ground, with nary a comment on the fact that, sun shining or not, the outfield had a lot of surface water. The forecast was, we were told, favourable, but that would have been an opportune time to tell supporters about the surface water and the possibility, even if slight, of delays. People could then have decided whether to risk it or not and it would have saved a number of disgruntled individuals from venting their spleen on social media.

I get the frustration, but it happens, as I have written above. It is not the first and won't be the last match to fall foul of the weather, but some of the knee jerk comments were unnecessary and very unfair. 'You've ruined my day!' said one. Seriously, what do people expect them to do?

The result leaves us in fifth place in a strong group, with our remaining games against the four teams below us (Yorkshire, Lancashire, Durham, Leicestershire) and Worcestershire, who we beat so impressively on Friday night.

In short, our destiny still lies firmly in our own hands and it is some time since we were playing for much other than pride at this stage.

Leicestershire away on Friday and then Yorkshire at a hopefully drier Chesterfield next Sunday will make for a special weekend, especially if we can keep the momentum going.

Here's to better luck in the four-day game tomorrow, for which John Sadler has named the following thirteen:

Hamish Rutherford
Billy Godleman
Chesney Hughes
Wayne Madsen
Neil Broom
Ben Slater
Shiv Thakor
Matt Critchley
Harvey Hosein
Tom Milnes
Tony Palladino
Rob Hemmings
Andy Carter

Neither side has won in the four-day game this summer, so perhaps something has to give in the next four days. No news of the visiting side, though they are pretty much down to the 'which eleven can still run?' selection process at this stage, a small staff stretched almost to breaking point.

With rain showers forecast for the next two days, that outfield won't take a lot more and I expect a sadly rain-ruined draw in this one.

With that, I bid you farewell for the evening.

As always, thanks for your interest!


Roger said...

Just one little question - could the Twenty 20 organisers in this country look at the possibility of replaying games which are abandoned without a result? Give both teams 2 weeks to get a game rearranged or the game becomes a draw?

The supports want to see cricket. The clubs want the incomes. Could this be a way forward? Most other sports will play the game if it's abandoned first time round...

creweblade said...

went today as only down the road - no chance of playing when i arrived in my opinion at 12 noon - outfield nearest the town was saturated and like a muddy bog - doubt it will be fit tomorrow to be honest - you cant blame the umpires nor control the weather but what i was annoyed about was 1, letting the crowd in for 3 hours before calling it off - that was very poor with the state of the outfield and 2, more disturbing heard comments from chesterfield staff that allegedly no DCCC ground staff did anything on saturday to soak up water from outfield or even try to cover it - that is just plain daft and needs answering at the members forum on wednesday

Daniel Smith said...

Just thought I'd add a few comments to this since I went to the 'game' yesterday.

Chesterfield is the closest ground to where I live so I really wouldn't want to see it disappear from the calendar. There was one tweet about the state of the outfield, and the umpires inspection at 2.30 (when the game was due to start). I checked the club's Twitter account about 12.40 before setting off, it takes about an hour to get to Chesterfield from where I live.

We got there in reasonable time, found a seat and sat in the sun with our ice-creams. We were just pondering whether to put some sun-cream on when the announcement came that the game was called off. This was a shame. There seemed to be a really good crowd and it looked to be lovely weather but walking on the field showed that it wasn't really feasible to expect anything to be done on it except wait for it to dry. At the lower part of the slope you could see footprints in the mud, and it really was extremely soggy. My son bounced his tennis ball on the ground and it stuck. It would have been a mud-bath if the game had been played, and I daresay there would have been a fair few injuries.

Could the ground-staff have done anything? I really don't know. The field is sloped so has natural drainage of a sort. It was drying quite nicely up at the top. Could it have been covered to keep the worst of the water off? I don't know. In this case it would have meant keeping sheets on the ground for a week.

It wasn't un-expected that the game was called off, and I'm certain that there was a certain amount of hope that a game could be played. It's just really un-fortunate.

Anonymous said...

Chesterfield is one of my two favourite grounds to play at in the Country, let alone County! However, the outfield has always had signifucant drainage issues which, in today's professional world of minimising risk, probably means that it is now too risky to use for County cricket. It would have been pretty obvious a couple of days out to anyone who knows the ground that the game would be doubtful....couldn't it have been switched to Derby then?

Paul said...

The club really don't learn do they ?

I accept that there is disappointment at the game being cancelled, I accept people tried their hardest - but why oh why oh why have the club followed up yesterday's twitter updates encouraging people along with the same nonsense again this morning.

It's a disgusting way to treat fans.

6hrs in a car yesterday for a game on a ground so obviously far from being fit and ready that it was still unsafe 24hrs later.


Doug said...

Doesn't CBC pay Derbyshire to host cricket at Chesterfield? Presumably that is to pay for the ground staff and equipment to be shipped up there. It was annoying enough to see Derbyshire staff on the outfield standing around with their hands in their pockets. Now we find they were doing the same on Saturday.

John said...

To suggest that Derbyshire groundstaff made no effort to improve the pitch conditions is utterly ridiculous, and a complete lie. You cannot simply go around spouting that "Derbyshire staff were standing around on the outfield in their pockets on saturday" and "more disturbing heard comments from chesterfield staff that allegedly no DCCC ground staff did anything on saturday to soak up water from outfield or even try to cover it"

Please can somebody explain to me how they expect groundstaff to attend to the pitch on saturday, when it rained all day? Criticism of the Club for this is totally unfair. Nothing more could have been done. Embarrassing attitude by so-called 'supporters' of DCCC.

Anonymous said...

Afternoon Steve. Sadly a second trip from North Yorkshire to Chesterfield failed to bear fruit, that is the sad lot of a cricket supporter. However sitting in the sunshine at Queens Park was a wonderful opportunity to read your "In conversations " book. What joy! Many thanks for your efforts.
One thought came to mind, and not tempting fate I hope, I trust the club will do something to celebrate Walter's Century on Feb 1st 2017. There are a few of us St Michaels Lads still alive to wish him well on his day.
Had a conversation with a few Northampton lads who came to chat with th hardy few. Not optimistic about play on Wednesday or Thursday
Graham Jones

Peakfan said...

Many thanks for your kind words, Graham!

Yes, I hope that the wonderful Walter gets his ton and that it is duly marked by the club.

He is genuinely one of the most remarkable men I have had the pleasure to meet.

Peakfan said...

Replays or reschedules will depend on weather and wickets Roger. Derby has a limit on available wickets and other games than first eleven, though they take priority.

And other grounds have commitments and logistical issues too. It is a nice thought but unlikely.