May 16, 2012

Why rain can enhance a game of cricket

Carlyle Laurie

Bad weather can mar a game of cricket with even a steady drizzle putting play on hold for long periods. Rob Bagchi, writing in the Guardian, says that before the mandatory covering of pitches began, downpours could produce some enthralling passages of play.

"The elements are cricket's presiding geniuses," wrote Sir Neville Cardus, the effervescent nonpareil of this parish, and it seems apt to reflect on the intrusions of the weather this shower-wracked May as the Spin hourly checks the forecasts for the prospects of play at Lord's on Thursday.

Some of the greatest matches have been given a helping hand towards immortality by the rain. Indeed the England v Australia Test at The Oval in 1882, the one that inspired the sardonic notice "in affectionate remembrance of English cricket" and began the Ashes tradition, was settled by Frederick Spofforth's match figures of 14 for 90 and his mastery on the sticky dog.

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