Monday, August 17th, 2015

Worcs Ccc Chief Executive Explains Schedule For Natwest T20 Blast Quarter-Final

Worcs Ccc Chief Executive Explains Schedule For Natwest T20 Blast Quarter-Final

Several Worcestershire CCC members and supporters have enquired as to why Friday's NatWest T20 Blast quarter-final with Hampshire started at 5.30pm or did not take place in the Saturday afternoon slot as the other home counties had permanent floodlights.

Here Worcestershire CCC chief executive David Leatherdale explains the thinking behind the start time, why circumstances involving one of the other home quarter-finalists in Kent meant the Rapids game could not be staged on Saturday, and why the reserve day could not be used.

He said: "The decision to stay with the same start time of 5.30pm, the same as all our group games that were played on a Friday evening, was agreed with and by the ECB.

"With four quarter finals taking place that week there was only one weekend-afternoon slot in which the game could have been played – Saturday.

"The other three grounds – Hove, Edgbaston and Canterbury – do have floodlights but, due to Kent hosting the England Women's Ashes Test on the three available evening days – Wednesday, Thursday and Friday – the only day they could host was the Saturday afternoon – meaning we would host an evening match.

"On a day when sunset was not due until 8.36pm, and with a scheduled finishing time of 8.15pm, it was felt by both the Club and the ECB that it was not unreasonable to therefore start at the same time as our group games namely 5.30pm.

"The lead up to the game saw probably the worst day of the summer we have had so far with torrential rain overnight, as well as during the day of the game – 40mm+ in total, combined with a great deal of low cloud.

"While bringing the game forwarded to a 4.30pm start could have been an option, on this occasion it would not have helped as, with the rain leading up to the match and on the day itself, the match would not have started before 5.30pm meaning light would potentially still be an issue on this specific day.

"With regards the use of the reserve day, ECB rules and regulations state that every effort to complete the game on the schedule day should be made, hence the use of the Duckworth Lewis method.

"It is obviously very disappointing to lose on the Duckworth Lewis system with the light fading considerably earlier than could normally be expected in mid August and ironically, the day after (Saturday) we could have comfortably started the game at 5.30pm and played the game with an 8.15pm finish time and beyond.

"As we do not have permanent floodlights, and the option of temporary floodlights was only briefly discussed with the ECB, I am sure we will have more discussion in this area going forward to avoid this position in future years, particularity as the future domestic structure is being discussed as we speak."