Worcestershire v Nottinghamshire, New Road, 4th day April 29, 2012

Worcestershire fear repeat of New Road flooding

Jon Culley at New Road

Nottinghamshire 88 for 2 and 243 (Jones 4-76) drew with Worcestershire 157 (Adams 5-62)

Worcestershire are bracing themselves for flooding at New Road after heavy rain forced the abandonment of their Championship match against Nottinghamshire.

Umpires Michael Gough and Nick Cook decided soon after 9am that torrential overnight rain on top of an already wet outfield would make play impossible but the loss of the last day of a match heading for a draw may be the least of the club's worries.

The Environment Agency has flood alerts in place for the nearby Severn and Teme rivers and a spokesman said: "The Environment Agency is closely monitoring the forecast and rainfall, particularly in Worcestershire, as the river levels are already higher than normal in the rivers Severn, Teme and Avon."

Worcestershire chief executive David Leatherdale admitted he had his fingers crossed with rain forecast to continue through much of Sunday. "The river levels have risen considerably overnight and we are concerned about the effects that today's rain will have," he said. "There is nothing we can do apart from wait, unfortunately."

Contingency plans are in place to move fixtures to Kidderminster should the worst happen. The next scheduled first-team cricket at New Road is the Clydesdale Bank 40 match against Netherlands on May 7, followed two days later by a four-day match against Surrey, in which England's Kevin Pietersen is due to make his only Championship appearance of the season.

Worcestershire had to switch the final two matches of the 2008 season to Kidderminster after floods in September, although that was a minor inconvenience compared with the previous summer, when no cricket was possible on the ground from mid-June onwards, costing the club around £1 million in clean-up costs and lost revenue, largely from the loss of lucrative Twenty20 fixtures.

New Road has a history of winter floods but the 2007 flood was the first to cause fixtures to be moved since 1969. The following year's repetition had a direct bearing on the decision to demolish the ground's historic Victorian pavilion and replace it with the glass-fronted Graeme Hick pavilion, built on stilts one metre higher than the 100-year highest water level.

"It means that the pavilion can continue to be used for commercial activity but there is nothing we can do to prevent the field flooding if the worst happens," Leatherdale said. "We would try to get the ground ready again as quickly as possible but how long that takes would depend on how badly it floods. A few inches in the car parks would be one thing, the ground under several feet of water quite another matter."

The 2007 flood left a quarter of an inch of silt covering the entire playing surface, which had to be reseeded in its entirety. No cricket was played until the following April.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • John on April 30, 2012, 8:51 GMT

    @Lord_Dravid on (April 30 2012, 00:13 AM GMT) You sound a little desperate for other folk to watch IPL there. I actually quite enjoy IPL sometimes and would have watched it yesterday but ITV4 - despite buying the rights to show IPL cheaply - decided to show the British Touring Car championship instead so maybe the IPL isn't the bees knees guys like you think it is

  • D on April 30, 2012, 3:30 GMT

    Lord Dravid... woo hoo, the ball went in the air, wow that was so high and far, how exciting. La.

    You see, in my opinion, Twenty20 is boring because there's next to no suspense. Most of the time, if a couple of quick wickets fall, that's it. Bang. Game over. Moreover, although it's fun to see a six hit, it's less fun to see fifteen sixes hit. It's called the Law of Diminishing Returns, and it IS working on you, even though you don't feel it. Next year you'll be that little bit less excited by all the sixes. And so on. There's more to cricket than sixes, and although there is a place for Twenty20, I hope it doesn't destroy the real complexity and contest of the game, most of which is in the mind. I don't find the mind boring at all. Although yours might need a bit of work.

  • Hira on April 30, 2012, 0:13 GMT

    this county championship is soo boring..watch the IPL ppl you'll see kevin petersen and co hit more sixes! :)

  • John on April 29, 2012, 20:01 GMT

    Ray Lashley on (April 29 2012, 15:32 PM GMT) Not bad points although I'm sure there are some scenarios where it might favour both sides if a game is rained off @Ameshisuto- You could only play 5 dayers in the months before the T20 etc gets under way so maybe only in April which would mean each side could play 2 home and 2 away 5 dayers. To be honest April usually seems to be the most reliable month of the year weatherwise. This year it's been colder and wetter than March - possibly Feb too.I wonder if Worcs could improve their drainage system.

  • Dummy4 on April 29, 2012, 17:57 GMT

    njr1330 is right to some extent- when Sussex beat Lancashire to the title in 2006, Lancashire lost a lot more time in the season due to rain than Sussex. However, when we lost in to them again in 2007 (the year of THAT run chase at the Oval), I'd say the weather had less on an impact than Ramps getting hundreds in both Surrey innings!

  • Nicholas on April 29, 2012, 15:54 GMT

    "...weather can have an effect on who wins the CC..." Lancashire: 76 seasons at Old Trafford - championships 0. 1 season at Liverpool - championships 1. It rains about 30% more in Manchester than Liverpool !!

  • Dummy4 on April 29, 2012, 15:32 GMT

    It does seem unfair that teams can 'lose' points by drawing a game in which very little play is possible. I'd favour a sliding scale of 'points for a draw' depending on how much time is lost: No play possible - 8 points each Less than one days play possible - 6 points each Less than two days play possible- 5 points each Less than three days play possible - 4 points each three or more days play possible - 3 points each (as now for all cases) (points could be deducted from the home team if ground staff cause unnecessary delays, as currently for poor pitches)

  • D on April 29, 2012, 15:26 GMT

    I totally agree with JG2704 - first and foremost feel sorry for Worcestershire, it's a lovely ground and a great club, fingers crossed that the field doesn't flood. But the April weather does have a big impact when some counties are playing three games in very unpredictable weather. Five dayers sound like a good idea - although wouldn't have helped this week with several games abandoned without a ball bowled. Will be "interesting" (to use a Pratchettseque euphemism) to see how these results affect the final table come September.

  • John on April 29, 2012, 13:12 GMT

    As a cricket fan , it's been a frustrating start to the season with weather affecting so many matches. April usually seems to be a good month weatherwise so I like the idea that they have started the season early. Sods law that this has been a particularly bad weather month. I also say - without taking it away from any CC winners - the weather can have an affect on who wins the title esp in close run races and if one team at the top has better weather than their closest rivals they have a greater chance of winning the title because the points difference between winning and drawing is quite significant compared to draws and defeats.I'm just wondering if there's any way they could schedule a certain amount of games as 5 dayers at this stage of the season before the T20s kick in etc? As for Worcs , my heart goes out to the groundsmen and club as a whole. I hope it's not as bad as 2007

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