Meant to do this the other day. Midway through the first Test, England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Colin Graves smooshed around all of the various media present, saying the same things to different people.
The two main things that he said were that the T20 Blast is “mediocre” and that day-night cricket is coming to England.
We have two very quick points to make and once again, they both hinge on weather. If we sound obsessive, we’re not. It’s just a simple truth that in the absence of giant tarpaulins draped over our grounds, playing cricket in England and Wales demands that we consider atmospheric micturition.
T20 in a block
A lot of people want to see the domestic Twenty20 competition played in a block rather than throughout the season. If we consider only the cricket, this makes an awful lot of sense. You’d probably be able to get more big players involved and the competition would hold people’s interest better. Set against that, what if it pisses it down?
It can rain at any time of year in the UK, but sometimes it rains in a block. Sometimes it rains in a block across most of the country and cricket is barely played for a fortnight. What if that fortnight coincides with a large portion of your ‘flagship’ cricket thing? It also seems highly likely that the tournament will be played in August, during the school holidays, which is very much the rainy season in some parts of the country but not others, which seems a tad unfair.
We’re not entirely against this idea. We’re just pointing out that designing great cricket tournaments in the UK really isn’t as straightforward as it is in other countries.
Day-night Test matches
We also have reservations about the idea of playing day-night Test cricket in England.
In India and Australia, people are quite keen to watch cricket at night because it’s cooler. In England, people generally aren’t – because it’s cooler.
British people want to sit in the sun and get moderately shit-faced, don’t they? Maybe they don’t. Maybe they want to turn up after work and get moderately shit-faced while wearing a parka.
Yeah, okay, give it a try. Might as well see what happens, but again we’d like to emphasise that Britain and the British climate really don’t have all that much in common with the rest of the cricket-playing world and sometimes you have treat different things as if they’re different.