County news January 9, 2009

Sun sets on Derbyshire delays

Cricinfo staff


Sunset: the bane of cricket at the County Ground © Getty Images
 

Derbyshire have confirmed that the club are turning the square through 90 degrees to face north-south, in a bid to end their regular problem of play being stopped by the setting sun.

Currently, all the pitches at the County Ground face east-west, and the early-evening sun has often caused delays and, in some cases, defeat, as the sun sets right behind the bowler's arm. The club even requested special dispensation from the ECB to bowl all overs from one end.

From 2010, however, the problem ought to be eradicated for good. "By turning the square, sun stopping play will become a thing of the past for ever and that can only be of benefit to Derbyshire," Keith Loring, the club's chief executive, said. "Lancashire is currently the only other county that currently plays in a west-east direction and they have also started work on turning their square. We certainly don't want to be left as the only county playing the 'wrong way'.

"Floodlit cricket is great for the sport because it allows matches to be played at a more convenient time for spectators and adds atmosphere to the occasions.

"This decision will ensure that it continues to thrive at the County Ground unhindered for years to come."

The work is expected to cost in the region of £100,000.