Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Match abandoned and time to move on

I think we have now exhausted the comments on the rain-ruined week at Chesterfield, folks.

At the end of the day, this wasn't an error by anyone. No one decided to water the outfield on Saturday, then went away home and left a hose pipe running overnight. No one drove a tractor across a good length and left big ruts in the wicket. No one wanted a day of serious, torrential rain on Saturday.

That's what happened.

This isn't the first game of cricket to be washed out, nor will it be the last. Frustrating? Of course it is. Dozens, hundreds of people look forward to Chesterfield Festival, just as they have over the years, just as they have done around the country, at places like Cheltenham, Arundel, Guildford, Scarborough and Horsham.

Watching cricket at these grounds is one of life's great pleasures, with the players close, the facilities quaint and charming, the surroundings a visual treat. An international ground, or developed ground, can never capture that, but offers a greater guarantee if things go wrong and of things not going wrong.

Food preparation is easier, toilet facilities are better, parking is more readily available, congestion is less of a problem, the ground is better protected - the list goes on. The last one, of course, is key here.

Cricket, as we all know, is wholly dependent on the weather. There is little more depressing than a wet cricket ground, nothing more uplifting than a pretty one, with the action unfolding in front of you. Yet there is nothing can be done when the elements conspire against you. Nothing at all.

That it has been sunny at Chesterfield is largely irrelevant. The damage was done on Saturday, when the rain came down in torrents, leaving the outfield with no tolerance to further rain. It happens and I know as well as anyone. The club where I played for the last twenty years had a high water table near the River Forth. So high, that we didn't - more to the point couldn't - arrange a home game before June and sometimes didn't get on until July...

From Creweblade's report from the member meeting, there are an agreed further four years on the festival anyway and I am pleased about that. There is always a risk with such  a venture, but in my opinion, one that is worth taking. It was also confirmed that the game last Sunday and the first two days of this game were insured, common sense and good management. That is also evident in switching the Yorkshire game on Sunday to Derby. You still can't guarantee the weather, but you give yourself a fighting chance.

What we need now is for people to allow it to pass. The spleen has been vented, but neither the cricket club nor council control the climate. Another year may well be blessed, like many in the past, by glorious sunshine and the whole week pass in a blaze of glory.

I hope so, because Derbyshire cricket needs the Chesterfield Festival.

So does the wider game of cricket.


Huw Lloyd said...

Here here, no one can control the weather, if the club did away with out ground cricket the same people complaining about the unfortunate situation this week would complain about the club not taking cricket to different parts of the county.

Anonymous said...

what about colchester!

Peakfan said...

Or Bath, Hastings, Basingstoke, Maidstone and many wasn't intended as an exhaustive list!

Tim, Chesterfield said...

The issue is that CBC need to sort the drainage issue. That's the top and bottom if it. It can't be OK for the ground to be unfit when every other patch of grass in England would be playable.

Doug said...


Rain now being forecast by the BBC during Sunday afternoon for Derby but Chesterfield nice and dry! Well overhead anyway

Quick, lets move it to Chesterfield