Day of Frustration

No play, a Test most likely ruined by bad weather, but plenty of anger and irritation around at the perceived tardiness of umpires, groundstaff and cricket administrators generally.

A grey, damp, dismal day like today was always going to cause problems, and it’s certainly apparent that the irritation is shared by the cricket media, who provided continual sarcastic updates throughout the day at the lack of activity even when it wasn’t raining. Maybe it was a justified complaint, maybe it was a reflection of an awareness amongst all concerned at the ground that whatever they did it was going to make little difference.

But one thing can be noted – it was probably not today’s inaction that drove the annoyance so much as the keenness with which the umpires chose to leave the field on the first two days. Cricket constantly fails to show a determination to do all that is possible to ensure play, meaning that there is little sympathy for umpires or ICC when they might well have a point about it being unsuitable for getting a Test match on.

It’s self-inflicted, as so many things in cricket are. There is no benefit of the doubt, and no sense of earned trust that all are doing everything in their collective powers to get the players on the field. As with so many misfortunes, there are many authors, but none who are prepared to put their names to it. Insisting that cricket has to change, and has to be aware of its need for spectator engagement is true, but requires a lot more than just an edict from on high.

The umpires too often hide behind the regulations, the players rejected the chance to ease the requirements lest it affect the outcome of matches. The ICC rarely seem interested, and the sight of the poor bloody spectators short-changed has never been a subject that attracts much sympathy from within. It’s an inherent problem, and speaks to a core dismissal of those outside the bubble of the game. All too often that can include the journalists themselves – they and the fans are in alignment on this one, but it’s more a marriage of convenience than a deeply held alliance. It’s not new, it’s not likely to change, and it’s forever a symptom not a cause.

Maybe tomorrow will be better. But I wouldn’t put your mortgage on it.

17 thoughts on “Day of Frustration

  1. metatone Aug 15, 2020 / 5:23 pm

    If the weather there was as it was where I am, I can see why there was no play and why it was frustrating. Just enough rain to mess with everything, but enough breaks in the rain to make people hope. The last two days were annoying, but I think the reality is that we ran out of luck re: scheduling. England is a rainy country, these things happen if your sport isn’t good in the rain.

    Like

    • thelegglance Aug 15, 2020 / 5:45 pm

      Yep, I can’t see how they could ever have got on today, which is why I suspect the howls of outrage are more about the first two days.

      Like

      • Mark Aug 15, 2020 / 6:39 pm

        “It’s self-inflicted, as so many things in cricket are.” Yes it is.

        “England is a rainy country,” Yes it is.

        Which is why it makes it even more ludicrous that the group think lemming like ECB are rushing towards the latest idea of four day test cricket. Good luck trying to get 95- 100 overs per day in England on a regular basis.

        Which by the way, the majority of the cricket media support.

        Like

        • thelegglance Aug 15, 2020 / 6:46 pm

          Majority? Not sure. A few high profile ones for definite. But then it’s a reminder that the media are not our (spectators, supporters) friends.

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          • Mark Aug 15, 2020 / 7:08 pm

            Indeed. The last six years has demonstrated that.

            The really bizarre thing about cricket adminsitrators is they treat their fans (customers) poorly, but then say we need to invent a new form of the game to attract a new audience because not enough people want to watch our product.

            They don’t seem to be able to spot a possible connection.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Marek Aug 15, 2020 / 9:17 pm

            Well, at least the existing spectators were coming to the games before they were treated poorly. The new audience of women and children (yup, that’s right–you never see a woman or child at a game currently) were being insulted before they ever even bought tickets for the Hundred!

            Like

    • richhow Aug 15, 2020 / 5:45 pm

      Yes, it is not a sport for the rain (although very few are in reality) but as has been proved in the various experiments on day/night fixtures, cricket does not need daylight. Which makes the first two days a wasted opportunity to entertain and keep their paying audience on their side.

      Like

      • thelegglance Aug 15, 2020 / 6:43 pm

        There aren’t too many that are so dependent on dry weather as cricket. Tennis is, but most of the major sports carry on. You’d think given that cricket might be acutely conscious of the problem really.

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      • Dmitri Old Aug 15, 2020 / 7:03 pm

        A small sample size I know, but the day-night fixture I saw between Surrey and Lancashire was a brilliant game of cricket. When it got dark, the batting became more attritional, but it was enthralling. The game had a fabulous ending, decent crowds, and convenient to go to after work. County and test are different things, but I’m not as down on this as others.

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        • thelegglance Aug 15, 2020 / 9:07 pm

          I’ll be honest. I’m slightly amused at the media outrage about today. First two days, yep, there’s an argument to be had. Today, they just weren’t going to get on.

          Like

  2. dannycricket Aug 15, 2020 / 5:45 pm

    A Cronje-esque double-declaration is basically the only way to salvage a game from this Test, I think. Both teams have something to gain from it: Pakistan get a chance to win the series whilst England need every possible point in the Test Championship to have any chance of reaching the final.

    Like

    • Sean Aug 15, 2020 / 9:37 pm

      I’d suspect there is more chance of this England cricket team winning the Eurovision Song Contest…

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      • dannycricket Aug 16, 2020 / 7:48 am

        Me too.

        I think today’s post will mainly be about the county cricket proposals than any Test cricket which will actually be played.

        Like

  3. dlpthomas Aug 16, 2020 / 11:49 am

    Ball doing plenty this morning – this could be fun (weather permitting)

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    • dlpthomas Aug 17, 2020 / 11:33 am

      I don’t say this lightly given my long history of writing / saying stupid things but that was the dumbest thing I have ever said.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. JustCricket Aug 16, 2020 / 11:52 pm

    Yes, the weather and lights are taking the life out of this match. Could have been interesting but unfortunately we have to hope weather is kind for the next game.

    Like

  5. dArthez Aug 17, 2020 / 2:17 pm

    And still they are trying to get the players back on? When there is no audience (and thus no refunds required)? Let this Test just die in the swamp.

    Like

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