Cricket – It’s Pretty Shit Really

Posted on July 24, 2023

In a way, it was fittingly English that the most exciting Test Match in years should end up ruined. There were England, on the cusp of something special, then it rained. Not just for a few hours but nearly two days.

Rain Wrecks Once in Century Opportunity

England were, without doubt, in the ascendancy. Having reduced the deficit to 1-2 in the series, they were dominant over a tired and listless looking Australia. The stage was set for a vibrant English Test side to level the series at 2-2 and set up a classic encounter at The Oval later this week.

Not since a Don Bradman inspired Australia reversed a 2-0 deficit in 1936, had any team fought back from 2-0 down in an Ashes series. This series had once in a century heroics written all over it. Then it pissed down. Australia played the game like a team waiting to be rescued by rain, so you could argue they got their tactics spot on. They have retained The Ashes.

If It Rains, It’s a Draw

Cricket must be the only sport that can be completely ruined by weather. Of course, you occasionally get abandonments in football and rugby, but the game simply gets replayed. In Tennis, the bigwigs at Wimbledon finally got sick of fixture congestion and put roofs on. Even in Rugby, Wales decided enough was enough and stuck a roof on their new stadium.

Cricket is open to the elements and so is England. It’s bad enough down south but putting a Test Match on at Old Trafford, Manchester, was always likely to backfire one day. Ironically, this ruined spectacle took place during the same week the Lancashire and Yorkshire Cricket Boards lost their shit over not being awarded Ashes Tests in 2027. This disaster will hardly help their cause.

What can Be Done?

So, what can be done? Well, short of putting roofs on, not much. I suppose they could say that 5 days need to be completed and if that means overrunning, so be it. The trouble with that is the next Test starts on Thursday and the forecast remains awful. In the cricket Test World Championship, a sixth day is reserved in case the weather is awful, so that’s an option, maybe? However, it might be best to keep quiet about that. England have been saved by the rain on countless occasions.

It’s not only Test cricket, at local level it’s been a disaster as well. My club was looking for a couple of wins against lower teams in the last few weeks. Two victories would have catapulted the team into promotion contention. However, two cancellations leave everything as it stood a fortnight ago. We are now running out of games to catch up the top two.

One club I know, went all the way to Cornwall to play in a 40 Over Quarter-Final last week. It pissed down most of the day and the game got reduced to 8 Overs a side. They lost and had to drive back in the pissing rain wondering why they bothered. Rain also affects income at small clubs. At Oakley, we rely on bar takings to fund upgrades. We have had none for over two weeks.

Barmy Army Silver Lining

It’s hard to find anything positive to say about cricket at this moment in time. I was really looking forward to a season featuring success at our club and at international level. I even went against all my beliefs and paid for the Sky Cricket channel. After a cold start, late May and June seemed to indicate a summer to remember. June seems like a long time ago now.

However, there is a silver lining. The England fan group, ‘The Barmy Army’ will be seriously fed up. I had the misfortune of being sat next to them after travelling all the way to Mumbai in 2006. They remain the biggest bunch of wankers I have had the misfortune of being nearby. So some consolation there.

Otherwise, cricket is a pretty shit sport really.

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