Rain, rain go away…

If there’s one thing to be said for today’s complete washout, it’s that for once after the first day no one will be expressing certainty about which way the game is going. Indeed it’s fair to say neither team has the upper hand…

What it does mean is that over the next four days there will (should) be 98 overs bowled, which in an ideal world would make up a third of the lost play on day one. In reality of course, the teams will probably fail to get the overs in, and with a longer day involved, ironically there are more overs to lose. That we’re at the point where the absolute certainty that the teams will get away without bowling what is meant to be a minimum stipulation – and with an extra half hour to make up for any delays – remains ridiculous. Those that advocate four day Tests have never managed to answer this particular problem besides saying that the overs stipulation should be enforced. Well, yes. But it won’t be, and the overwhelming evidence for that is because it isn’t.

Equally, the loss of day one turns this into a four day game, with the follow on target reduced to 150 runs. A rare example of good sense in the international game.

Other than that, the forecast for tomorrow is for a cool day with light showers, and a weekend of rather better weather before Monday turns iffy again. The nature of the two batting line ups means that there could still be a result, depending on the surface produced. It has certainly looked green in the previews before today, though Lord’s is rarely a bowlers paradise.

Social media carried its fair share of postings about what the players and media had for lunch, which always seems a peculiar way to promote the ground, given how the plebs are confined to bringing their own or selling a kidney in order to buy a ropey burger and chips. Lord’s is a funny place. Half the time it appears to be the Henley Regatta of cricket, a place to see and be seen for a certain kind of person, rather than a sporting venue.

For sure, some will be lining up to point to it being the same old BOC moaning, but the problem is that the general public always appear to be invited in on sufferance rather than welcomed, except financially – and given the extraordinary prices charged, that financially is clearly a major factor. But it always jars somewhat to see what amounts to a celebration of the right kind of people being in attendance, something that doesn’t happen at any other ground – not even the Oval, which is hardly a bargain basement entry fee. Some things they get spot on, the installation of water fountains is an unqualified good thing, the ability to bring in your own drink equally so. It’s not like everything about it is objectionable by any means, but there’s a feeling about visiting, a nagging dislike that won’t go away.

Perhaps it’s me. Perhaps it’s a reverse snobbery to have a problem with the endless hagiography for the place, for undoubtedly it is a special ground for the players, the most special and iconic. But of all the grounds to go and watch cricket, Lord’s is generally my least favourite. I have friends who strongly disagree, and who love the pomp of a visit there, and as a club player, there’s nothing in your dreams quite so much as the outside prospect of reaching the club or village knockout final played there.

It’s beautiful, it’s historic, and it’s genuinely special. But as a paying spectator? Not for me, Clive. Or Sir Clive more likely.


66 thoughts on “Rain, rain go away…

  1. psoans Aug 9, 2018 / 5:42 pm

    Call me a romantic but there is something special about being at Lords that is special. Yes I do agree that the food is expensive and so is the merchandise but I still go to the shop and allow myself to get tempted.
    In terms of over rates. I do not think the shot clock is a good solution. A solution has to be found that does not penalise the bowlers too much.


    • LordCanisLupus Aug 9, 2018 / 6:54 pm

      There is nothing romantic about sitting in the Compton or Edrich Lower at a test match. An embarrassment of a view.

      I’m lucky. Had a mate who could get me into one of the corporate areas – where do you think my Lord’s pictures were taken from – but that’s now dried up. When I’ve paid for county games, it’s a great place to watch cricket. When I’ve paid for test seats there, it’s an abomination.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sean Aug 9, 2018 / 8:23 pm

        Despite being an ardent Middx fan, I hate the place on Test Days (except on the rare game that goes into Day 5, when the plebs are allowed in).

        It’s basically Henry Bloefield’s extended family that attend, the sort of type you’d walk to the other end of the railway carriage to avoid! £85 to sit in the Compton lower (definitely for the have nots), no bloody thank you.

        The game I went to at Lords was in the last Ashes series, where I was sat in said stand for a small fortune and vowed never to return unless there was a game that went into Day 5 at £20 a ticket and a decent chance of a good days’ play.

        Shame as it’s wonderful place to watch the county game without the so called aristocracy present


        • Sean Aug 9, 2018 / 8:23 pm

          ‘Last game’ even, been plenty of times to Lords for the Test Match


      • Pontiac Aug 10, 2018 / 12:22 am

        Everything gets worse when it becomes a Veblen good.

        Liked by 1 person

        • quebecer Aug 10, 2018 / 2:29 am

          Lordy, Pontiac. A Veblen good? A conspicuous stand out smarty thing to say, that I’ll happily consume as a tone raiser.

          It’s also a nice reminder that there’s more to Norway than A-ha and Tore André Flo. Because we forget, don’t we?


          • thelegglance Aug 10, 2018 / 7:02 am

            Gave me chills remembering my Economics A Level too.


          • nonoxcol Aug 10, 2018 / 7:09 am

            Fjords. Coastline courtesy of Slartibartfast.
            Poem by Adrian Mole.
            Bjorge Lillelien
            Second track on Rubber Soul.
            One quarter of ABBA, by birth.
            Vidkun Quisling.
            Good sign that a Masters-level historian goes through pop music, football commentary and his teenage literature before remembering WW2, isn’t it?


          • Pontiac. Aug 10, 2018 / 2:45 pm

            That Veblen was born in Wisconsin! His nephew Oswald Veblen is my favorite Veblen though.

            Anyway, that’s the battle here: is this something open to anyone or instead is it something like … yacht racing maybe?

            I’ve only been to Lord’s once – but that time I did get a photo of Finn about 200ms away from getting ten Doeschate LBW, everything in the frame with the ball in the air.


          • quebecer Aug 10, 2018 / 3:08 pm

            Hmmmm, I realize I don’t have a favourite Veblen. What about Davey Veblen? Plasterer from Pinner.


          • OscarDaBosca Aug 10, 2018 / 7:09 pm

            You drop the Quisling bomb.
            A man who’s surname became a definition of his behaviour


  2. Mark Aug 9, 2018 / 6:40 pm

    I have never liked Lords. Maybe it’s because I never went to a posh private boarding school. It has all that type of atmosphere with silly blazers and matching socks. In recent years it has taken on the mantle of one of those awful antiseptic private Disney towns with white picket fences, and an encyclopaedia of rules and regulations.

    Fake. It just smells fake to me. If I was a player I would rather play at The Oval or at Birmingham. But it’s the place to be seen, and overseas players go all all weak at the knees playing there. You will probably get a better corporate experience at Legoland.

    Sorry, but I can stand the place. Not that they will care with a 40 odd year waiting list. They are welcome to it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Zephirine Aug 10, 2018 / 9:29 am

      To paraphrase Groucho Marx, I wouldn’t belong to any club that was going to make me wait 30 years to be a member.

      And it’s those ghastly red and yellow stripes. Like remnants from a jester costume.


      • Zephirine Aug 10, 2018 / 9:49 am

        I did meet some people once who were members. They were retired stockbrokers. They said: “Oh, we always go to Lord’s, we’re members”, so I hoped for some conversation about cricket, but it very quickly became apparent that they didn’t follow cricket at all. They’d joined because it was what you did, and they went once a year to be seen and to chat to business acquaintances.


  3. quebecer Aug 9, 2018 / 11:19 pm

    Hey, Metatone: looks like you were right about conditions.


  4. thelegglance Aug 10, 2018 / 10:03 am

    You don’t want to get a nut like that first over…


  5. thelegglance Aug 10, 2018 / 10:13 am

    On another matter, I’m rather aghast at the nine game ban for the Somerset club cricketer who threw the ball to the boundary to deny an opponent a century. It’s a tosserish thing to do, but nine games? Jesus. That’s outrageous – you’d get less for anything bar punching the umpire.


    • Mark Aug 10, 2018 / 10:44 am

      Cricket has always had an obsession about so called “unsporting play” yet turns the other cheek to full on cheating, and slow over rates, and all sorts.

      I remember many decades ago Worcestershire getting into big trouble because the then capatain a New Zealander (was it Howath? or Wright? I can remember exactly) declared the innings after the first over with just 4 scored. It meaned they would lose the game, but it was impossible for the other team to beat them on scoring rates. As a result Worcs went through or won the trophy. (My mind can’t remember all the facts.)

      But needless to say the Lords hierarchy were very angry, and disqualified Worsc for the whole competition despite the fact there was noting in the rules to do say you couldn’t do what they did. The truth was the person who drew up the rules never invisaged this happening. So instead of blaming him, and his precious committee you blame the person with some initiative. And in doing so get very pious about the “spirit of he game,”


      • thelegglance Aug 10, 2018 / 10:49 am

        The same thing happened with the club side who won the title by declaring early to prevent their opponents scoring maximum points last season. Yet I can recall exactly that happening maybe 10 years ago in one of the Sussex Leagues, but it didn’t make the national press. And I can also remember playing on the Sunday and seeing the league results published and all of us talking about it. The general attitude was that everyone knew the points system, and the team on the rough end of it should have known that this was a possibility and chosen to bat first so they were in control of the game.

        For that one, nothing happened – the league took no action and anecdotally speaking, not many of us had much sympathy for the side who lost out.


        • Mark Aug 10, 2018 / 11:13 am

          Yes, I think that was it. Isn’t it strange how your memory goes? I could have sworn that it was Worcs who got into trouble, but it was in fact Somerset and the then captain Rose. I’m sure there was something involving Worcs and a New Zealand captain but I guess I got it mixed up.

          Quite funny reading that piece because it really created a stink at the time with editorials in newspapers. You can just imagine people still parking their cars only to be told the game is finished. They guy who travelled 150 miles must have been very pissed off.


    • d'Arthez Aug 10, 2018 / 10:46 am

      That is only unsportsmanlike behaviour (and I can think of worse offenses on a cricket field that have been left unpunished). Blatant cheating would have resulted in a less severe penalty.

      As for punching people on the field of play, I struggle to recall any instance whatsoever that that has happened in the professional game (though I would not be surprised that in the early days of professional cricket, such events have occurred). It has happened in the recreational game (if only because the number of professional games is just a fraction of the number of recreational games), but the bans for such instances seem to be roughly the same length..


    • REDRUM106 Aug 10, 2018 / 3:18 pm

      I once played in a game where something similar happened. Batsman 99 not out 4 runs to win 5 wickets in hand plenty of time left. Our fast bowler, after a quick word with the wicketkeeper, fired the first ball of an over down the legside for 4 byes. Game over cue one irate batsman chasing the bowler off the field threatening to wrap his bat round his neck. I should in fairness point out the mitigating circumstance that having arrived at the crease at 9 for 3 chasing 170ish this batsman gloved his second ball (off the aforementioned bowler) to first slip. Cue celebrations from the fielders until we realised that said batsman was still at the crease rubbing his arm, an appeal to the umpire (their representative – no neutral umpires) fell on stony ground as he claimed his view of the incident was blocked by the bowler’s follow through. Needless to say plenty of “banter” directed at the batsman, no applause when he reached 50 and the final revenge with the last ball. As a postscript there was no complaint to the League as some of their players were just as disgusted with his cheating as we were – apparently he had never scored a century for the club having been dismissed in the nineties four times hence his reaction at the end – true karma!!!


  6. d'Arthez Aug 10, 2018 / 10:15 am

    Looks like a good toss to win. Already hard to see beyond an England win.


  7. nonoxcol Aug 10, 2018 / 10:57 am

    From the Guardian OBO, a debate in anticipation of another long rain delay:

    ‘“I see that Jimmy is now 17 wickets from overtaking Glenn McGrath as the highest Test wicket-taker among fast bowlers,” says David Hopkins. “Without wanting to start a ‘Rooney is worse than Charlton’ debate, is this due to volume of matches played, or should we be getting the bunting out if he gets there at the Oval?”

    Both, I reckon. The volume of cricket has helped, but volume also means longevity, one of sport’s more underappreciated virtues.’

    Get your “more skilful” klaxon ready.


    • thelegglance Aug 10, 2018 / 10:59 am

      I absolute despise the “is he better than…” debates. It’s idiotic. Anderson is a very fine bowler, who has been very fine for a long time. You can appreciate that undoubted skill and longevity without pointless pissing contests concerning other players.


      • d'Arthez Aug 10, 2018 / 11:05 am

        Yeah, and the longevity is helped by little domestic cricket, unlike most if not all of his predecessors. Botham played 300 domestic First Class games. Jimmy will barely break 80.

        Liked by 1 person

        • LordCanisLupus Aug 10, 2018 / 11:41 am

          Wasn’t all plain sailing. Here are the marks out of 10 for the South Africa tour in 2004/5

          1 James Anderson
          Runs: did not bat
          Wickets: 2 @ 74.50
          High point: Selection at Johannesburg.
          Low point: His bowling at Johannesburg.
          Where now: Back to county cricket, where he must remind himself of the sensation of bowling.


          Tee-hee at the author of this piece.


          • LordCanisLupus Aug 10, 2018 / 11:47 am

            Angus Fraser…


            Some interesting stuff.

            JAMES ANDERSON

            3 out of 10

            Poor Jimmy. The Lancashire seamer had not bowled in a match for six weeks before being picked in the fourth Test, where he got smashed. He needs to return to county cricket and bowl. Only then will he regain form and confidence.

            But this bit on Simon Jones caught my eye..

            HUMBLE PIE

            Geoffrey Boycott spent most of the first Test in Port Elizabeth slating the bowling of Simon Jones on BBC’s Radio 5. And even when Jones began taking wickets in the second innings he refused to back down. Eventually, the former England opener said that the South Africans were deliberately getting out to Jones to keep him in the side.


      • LordCanisLupus Aug 10, 2018 / 11:36 am

        Just seen a tweet which put Jimmy Anderson’s ball to get of Rahul as a GOAT contender.

        If he does that in Colombo with Chandimal on 150 at the end of the day, come back to me.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Stevet Aug 10, 2018 / 11:42 am

          Bet there’s no mention of the batsman playing it badly! Bloody decent ball though.


          • LordCanisLupus Aug 10, 2018 / 11:43 am

            Of course it was a great ball, but GOAT? I hate Twitter. I really do sometimes.

            [Goes back to Twitter to find more rubbish]


          • Stevet Aug 10, 2018 / 11:49 am

            I don’t have a Twitter account. Sounds like one big cess pit! Love the selected snippets from Selfey that come up here though. Doesn’t look like they are coming out for the scheduled 12.45 restart. GOAT business is bloody stupid. Just enjoy the moment FFS.


          • LordCanisLupus Aug 10, 2018 / 11:52 am

            Twitter can be really good and enjoyable. It is also a place where the loudest voices make even more noise.

            I learned judicious use of the mute button too late. Blocking makes no sense. A few have blocked me, but I still see their tweets.


        • Mark Aug 10, 2018 / 11:57 am

          It’s the “greatest of all time” almost every Test match these days. Or most sporting events. I’m sure we will get a lot of greatest ever premiership games coming up.

          Shinny toy had Kohli’s innings in the first test as one of the greatest ever.


    • Mark Aug 10, 2018 / 11:19 am

      With this England team having England’s greatest ever run scorer, and their greatest ever wicket taker, at the same time you would be excused for wondering why they have been so crap in recent years?


  8. Mark Aug 10, 2018 / 11:15 am

    Yes, thank you boss, I know that now!


    • LordCanisLupus Aug 10, 2018 / 11:32 am

      Deleted it when I saw D’Arthez had done the hard work.

      BTW, I thought they were bang out of order then, and do now. Sport shouldn’t just be about winning, it should be about the sport itself, not your tiny little place in it. But then I’m a hopeless naive fool.


      • Mark Aug 10, 2018 / 11:42 am

        I must admit re reading it and seeing how many fans had travelled, and been inconvenienced you realise what a business it was. Mind you he did check with the Test and County cricket board and they didn’t exactly tell him no.

        Interesting reading about Firths Prophecy…… .

        “In the following month’s Wisden Cricket Monthly, the editor, David Frith, wrote that he hoped the events at New Road had restored some sanity to the game. “I have been waiting, with some trepidation, with six runs needed off the final ball and a lot of money at stake, the bowler informs the umpire of a change of action and rolls the ball along the ground. Maybe this dreadful vision will now vanish.”
        Sadly for Frith and the world of cricket, 20 months later Chappell did just that at Melbourne.

        Perhaps Chappell got the idea from Wisden?


  9. Mark Aug 10, 2018 / 11:24 am

    With a complete days play washed out yesterday doesn’t this show how ludicrous the concept of 4 day test matches could be in England? Especially if you are going to rule out June and July. Immediately, we would now be into a three day Test match.

    And as it’s forecast to rain most of today you would be down to a two day match.


    • LordCanisLupus Aug 10, 2018 / 11:34 am

      Imagine if the 1st day ended 300 for 6 to one team, and yesterday was Day 2. The game simply has nowhere to go outwith a mad collapse. If a side is defending a 1-0 lead in the series, the game is utterly dead. There’s more of a case for a 6th day to cover rain delays, than a 4 day test which reduces the chances of the best team winning because they have to fight time.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Mark Aug 10, 2018 / 12:01 pm

        Indeed, and I still don’t believe they can bowl 95/100 overs per day.

        I wish they would focus on the real problems in cricket, and stop tinkering around with things that are fine. They have an obsession with cost cutting, and saving money. “Let’s See how much money we can save by getting rid of the fifth day. We won’t have to hire the catering staff or the police.”

        No, but then fewer people will come because there is no point as most games will be draws.


      • metatone Aug 10, 2018 / 6:59 pm

        I’ve actually suggested a 6th day before (and indeed a 5th day for County games) purely to catch up lost overs. I know it would add some costs, but *if* you believe in the integrity of the sport, then there’s nothing great about matches drawn due to rain. Teams that want a draw should have to bat out plenty of overs.


        • man in a barrel Aug 10, 2018 / 9:02 pm

          I think the final test of the Ashes 1972 was a 6 day match and in 1981 was a 7 day match. It might be the other way around. But one of those matches ended in a draw.


  10. Stevet Aug 10, 2018 / 12:55 pm

    Comical run out. Reckon Pujara was well shafted by his skipper there. But that was criminal. Now it’s belting down. India will be less than chuffed to be called back out. Quite a lot of water will have fallen on the wicket.


    • quebecer Aug 10, 2018 / 3:13 pm

      Pujara gets run out a lot. He’s got previous, and he did give a little /hesitation/fake to Virat. Captain pulled some serious rank there though.


  11. Stevet Aug 10, 2018 / 2:52 pm

    Given the conditions and the way both teams bat, I still wouldn’t be surprised to see a result in this match


  12. Stevet Aug 10, 2018 / 3:54 pm

    The Sky Mob have now caught ‘greatest ever-itis’ regarding Jimmy’s Jaffa. They ranked as one of his top 5 ever. The irony of it hitting the top of off stump seems to have been lost!


  13. Rohan Aug 10, 2018 / 6:09 pm

    Been watching for last couple of hours. Want Curran to do well when he is bowling, but can’t help myself wanting India to bat well when other England bowlers are on, its odd having such split feelings…..


    • Rohan Aug 10, 2018 / 6:16 pm

      Should add, that if Adil got a bowl I would also be rooting for him!


  14. Mark Aug 10, 2018 / 6:16 pm

    I find it ridiculous that we are playing at 7.10pm yet on other occasions they troop off at 6.30 with 4 or so overs still to be bowled.

    The playing regulations are pants. If they can play at gone 7pm in England they should stay out there most evenings (unless there is bad light) until they have bowled their required overs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rohan Aug 10, 2018 / 6:20 pm

      Can’t remember who, may have been Boycott, but I recall a prominent TV commentator, years ago (when I watched test cricket in my youth on FTA), banging on about this. They said, we often have lovely summer evenings in the UK, once daytime rain has cleared and that tests should be played much later into said evening, to make up lost time and overs.

      I thought at the time it was a wise suggestion and to this day I don’t understand why Test matches in the UK are so wedded to an 11am to 6pm schedule, it just seems dull……


      • Mark Aug 10, 2018 / 6:30 pm

        Yes, we can have nice summer evenings, but that cuts no ice with the ICC who want to standardise everything. If they are going to push day/night test matches it seems nonsense to say we can’t play until the overs have been bowled.

        Some nations the sun goes at 5-6 in the evening others, like here in England you can sometimes play on till nearly 8pm.


        • Zephirine Aug 10, 2018 / 6:58 pm

          Depends on the time of year here, so you’d need a table of some kind so the umpires could go “July 26th, we can play till 7.24 precisely.”

          Like tide tables. Should be easy enough to do. A doddle for the nation that produced Duckworth-Lewis.


          • Mark Aug 10, 2018 / 7:09 pm

            Exactly, we have lighting up times that change from day to day. We don’t need a one size fits all time system across the whole world. Sometimes we are playing with a Duke ball, and some times not. Sometimes with a pink ball and sometimes a red ball. The Authorities want some Test matches to be of four days, and some five days.


        • man in a barrel Aug 10, 2018 / 9:05 pm

          TV companies, who have all the money, like things to run to schedule. How would you like your weekly fix of Emmerdale to be delayed an hour? You make a crusty MCC caricature seem like a 3 dimensional human being


          • Mark Aug 10, 2018 / 9:12 pm

            Well it didn’t run to schedule today. What they wanted was live play, and the fact they had to wait until after 5pm to get most of the days action didn’t bother them at all.


          • man in a barrel Aug 10, 2018 / 9:16 pm

            How do you know it did not bother them? The unpredictability was one reason the BBC didn’t try to hard to retain broadcasting rights to Test cricket. Do you have data on audiences for what goes on when live cricket on Sky is not available or what happens to advertising rates


  15. metatone Aug 10, 2018 / 7:00 pm

    I’ll probably type in more detail if there’s a review of the day, but feel India were pretty unlucky.


  16. CowCorner Aug 12, 2018 / 10:43 am

    For some reason I’ve always felt uncomfortable at Lords, even though I’ve been a Middlesex member for a number of years, go a fair few times each year and have sat in most parts of the ground. I went to public school (but not a boarding school) and definitely feel like they’re not overly keen on anyone but a specific sort being there and those who aren’t the right sort but have to be allowed in should be damn grateful that they’ve been allowed to attend at all!
    The endless rules in the members areas – the way in which the most petty are always enforced (jacket on inside on a boiling hot day) while many simply go ignored (the reserving of seats with nobody sitting in them for sessions on end). The way half of the stewards are delightful people and the other half are people who like giving telling offs to grown adults. And the infernally needy #lovelords hashtag.
    The comment about the “right sort of people also rings true”
    The Compton and Edrich Lower are absolutely disgraceful and the sooner they’re gone the better.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus Aug 12, 2018 / 11:03 am

      Storm the Citadel!

      Welcome CowCorner (memory isn’t what it used to be, so if you’ve posted before, welcome anyway) to the Comments section.


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