Cricket gets what it deserves as Yorkshire CCC suffers latest washout

THE weather is often better in April and September than it is in June and July say apologists for the Hundred and the white-ball game.

Yeah, it might be sometimes, but most of the time it’s cold, wet and about as conducive to playing cricket as the Sahara Desert is to playing water polo.

We get what we deserve, quite frankly, which was why hardly any play anywhere on Wednesday and certainly none at Grace Road, where the madness of scheduling Championship cricket in late September and pushing the tournament to the margins of the season resulted in a washed-out day two.

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When umpires Neil Bainton and Neil Pratt called off proceedings at 2.15pm, it was the least surprising development since anyone connected with the England and Wales Cricket Board, Sky or the BBC described the Hundred as “the best thing since sliced bread” – well, they would say that, wouldn’t they.

Grace Road, home of Leicestershire CCC. Pic: Matthew Lewis/SWpix.comGrace Road, home of Leicestershire CCC. Pic: Matthew Lewis/
Grace Road, home of Leicestershire CCC. Pic: Matthew Lewis/

The Championship, a glorious anachronism in an age of the easily-pleased, the readily-fooled and the sadly-deluded, somehow manages to survive the slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune thrust upon it by the game’s administrators, who claim to love it on the one hand while cheating on it at every opportunity.

This year, Yorkshire played five of their 14 Championship games by mid-May (one of which was totally washed out – what a thriller that was, by the way) and had four scheduled from September 3 (the final one begins on Tuesday against Worcestershire at Leeds).

It’s a pretty typical situation, which also renders the competition more of a lottery than it is already, with players increasingly absent due to international/franchise commitments.

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Indeed, it will be of no consolation to a Yorkshire side currently bottom of the Championship Second Division that if they had their full complement of players available regularly, they would be winning or challenging for the title as a matter of routine.

Just as Yorkshire are naturally anxious to climb off the foot of the league, so Leicestershire are striving to bridge a 21-point gap to Worcestershire in the second and final promotion place.

The forecast appears to be better for Thursday and, when the action starts, Yorkshire will be endeavouring to prosper from a seemingly unpromising platform of 155-9 in their first innings, with Jordan Thompson on two and Ben Cliff yet to score.

Hold on to your hats/brollies/soaked copy of The Yorkshire Post.