This country and most of the rest of the World came to a kind of a halt in Mid March. Luckily for those of us in England the weather throughout March, April, May and June was pretty much perfect. That meant for me a new found obsession with gardening, rather than lots of time watching my beloved cricket. Sod’s Law the weather has been perfect for the game I usually spend my whole summer watching.

This week we have cricket back, albeit behind closed doors: The West Indies have been prepared to travel to a country where the virus was rife to go into a ‘bubble’ and play a test series. This is when the weather decided to change! Sod’s Law again! We had 17.4 overs on Day 1; with play mostly being curtailed by rain, by the end of Day 2 only 87 overs had been bowled in total. The interruptions today were a mix between rain and bad light.

Will we see Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson together this summer?

The Laws around play being stopped are fairly loose, but they are in place to protect the players. Going off for bad light used to be offered to the batting side, but the decision is now solely with the umpires:-

2.8.2 The Umpires shall immediately suspend play, or not allow play to start or to recommence, if either umpire considers that the conditions of ground, weather or light, or any other circumstances are either dangerous or unreasonable.

2.8.3 When there is a suspension of play it is the responsibility of the umpires to monitor conditions.  They shall make inspections as often as appropriate, unaccompanied by any players or officials.  Immediately the umpires together agree that the conditions are no longer dangerous or unreasonable they shall call upon the players to resume play.

So, annoying, no doubt. But the only way to play test cricket when the light deteriorates is to play with a pink ball. The photos I’ve included are from the first Day/Night test in this country, against the West Indies by chance. One of my favourites Sir Alastair Cook rather enjoyed that pink ball, he finished on 243 and England on 514 for 8.

243 for SIr A in 2017 at Edgbaston

This weeks test match and the Ageas Bowl has gone rather differently cricket wise. With Joe Root absent attending the birth of his daughter, Ben Stokes is captain. He won the toss and elected to bat. Rory Burns (back from injury) and Dom Sibley opened, Sibley had faced only 3 balls when he lifted his bat to the 4th, he was bowled by Shannon Gabriel for a Duck. Gabriel, (a player who wouldn’t look amiss playing my winter sport of choice, rugby) then despatched both Joe Denly and Rory Burns. Denly had soaked up 58 balls in 102 minutes for 18 runs before he too was bowled. Burns fared slightly better, he made 30 in just over 2 hours, and was initially given not out when an appeal for LBW went up. Jason Holder wisely used a review and that decision changed. England were 51 for 3.

No Bairstow in this 2020 test

As well as using his reviews wisely Holder used the ball wisely, he took 6 for 41 in 19 0vers, (he used several more reviews correctly) Ben Stokes top scored with 42, Jos Buttler scored 35 and Dom Bess added a very valuable 31 which included a last wicket stand of 30 with Jimmy Anderson. All that added up to England being all out for 204 in 67.3 overs.

In reply the West Indies lost just one wicket, that of John Campbell, who was given out 3 times, his first 2 reviews being successful. Anderson was the bowler each time and it was a case of 3rd time lucky! The West Indies finished the day on 57 for 1. I hadn’t intended to recap on the 2 days play, but it was a must.

Alzarri Joseph

What is also a must it to mention the amazing words of Michael Holding and Ebony Rainsford Brent on the Black Lives Matter Agenda as well as the respect shown by the players of both teams. The 2 ex-cricketers words were inspiring and heartbreaking, a must listen for anyone who doesn’t quite get it.

I had just intended to write about what’s on the schedule for next summer for England Cricket, but actual cricket, well, you know.

With the schedule for this summer firmed up those with international tickets have had emails from the grounds offering either refunds or the opportunity to have a credit and first dibs on tickets for 2021. I searched far and wide last week to find what was on the calendar and really struggled to find out, but I eventually found the information – so here you go!

  • June – Sri Lanka 3 ODI’s, 3 T20’s
  • July – Pakistan 3 ODI’s, 3 T20’s
  • July-Sept – Indis 5 Tests

I had tickets for 8 test days for Pakistan, 2 T’20’s and 1 ODI against Ireland. Looks like next summer (Covid Allowing) is going to be a busy one!

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