Despite the fact that cricket's age of T20 expansion has seen an array of teams named after extreme weather - Hobart Hurricanes, Perth Scorchers, Sydney Thunder and Brisbane Heat in the Big Bash League alone - the game itself is restricted to a fairly narrow band of climatic conditions. (At least, it is if it's to be played comfortably, without people needing to go on a saline drip after batting all day, or having fingers too numb to grip the ball.)

Rain tends to be a spoiler, a bit of a wet blanket on things, although us clubbies are fairly optimistic when faced with precipitation. Not long ago I tried to persuade the umpires that the droplets of water we could feel round about us weren't rain, which league rules stated had to stop completely before you could resume play, but low cloud, about which there was no such provision specified.

Wind is also never hugely pleasant (although the Fremantle Doctor has a palliative effect at the WACA), while snow generally inconveniences the game, as it did in a famous county match between Derbyshire and Lancashire at Buxton in June 1975. After the middle day was snowed off, the third day's thaw gave a soft top to a previously bone-hard pitch and Derbyshire replied to Lancashire's 477 for 5 declared with 42 and 87.

Perhaps it was a masterpiece of home-advantage scheduling by the ECB to ask players from possibly the world's hottest cricket-playing nation to have a run out in May at Test cricket's most northerly venue, and Angelo Mathews duly admitted that one of the practice days was the coldest weather he'd ever been asked to play in. It makes you wonder whether there are conditions that are simply too cold for play, too cold even for the Australian team of the 1970s.

It has been an unusually, spitefully cold start to the English summer (over which I don't believe the ECB exercises any control). County matches at Edgbaston, The Oval and the Ageas Bowl were interrupted by snow. My team has taken out mugs of tea to fielders at our exposed hilltop ground, which can be chilly at the best of times.

The coldest weather in which I can remember playing was Moddershall's 2008 season opener. It was so cold that our sub pro for the day, Clairmonte Christopher Lewis, bowled his entire 30-over spell - we were getting our money's worth - in a brown beanie, recently acquired from Surrey CCC, who had signed the 40-year-old allrounder on a pay-as-you-play T20 deal after an eight-year hiatus from the professional game. Of course, Lewis had form when it came to weather-appropriate headgear, so it was reassuring to see his bonce nice and snug.

His marathon spell was more to do with the Arctic wind knifing through our layers of inadequate garb, and the fear of him seizing up, than any tactical master plan. I'd imagined some standard formula: new-ball burst, graze a while, bring back to mop up the tail/stop their score becoming unchaseable. However, as our opponent subsided to 20-odd for four after 12 overs, I felt that a couple more quick wickets would just about wrap things up, so we kept Lewis on in the hope that we could get inside and, um, wrap ourselves up. When the fifth wicket failed to materialise, Lewis cut down his run, tempered his aggression, and bowled accurately, very accurately, with that wonderfully graceful high action as unchanged as… well, as the bowling from the Road End. He kept going. And going. And going.

We were set 156 in 50 overs. At tea Lewis declined the ice bath we'd made him, and as he took what looked like an important phone call, I asked this man with a Test century on his resumé (albeit in Chennai, where the temperature is reputedly a couple of notches higher) to slide in at No. 5.

Our openers grafted us to 50, and as the rest of us huddled in the dressing room this guy who had played in the World Cup final 16 years earlier regaled us with stories - and boy, could he chat! On he yapped until popping back to his car, not yet having padded up - and why would you, with us 57 for 0? Well, perhaps because eight balls later we were 59 for 3 and he was burrowing through his kitbag like a demented terrier, looking for gloves, pads, sweatbands, thigh-pad, and in danger of being timed out. Stuff was found, flung, grabbed, velcroed, and taken into the Patagonia outside by this fretful yet essentially placid man, who took guard, advanced the padding-up process a little, handled his first ball unconvincingly, fiddled with his box, his helmet, jabbed hectically at a defensive shot, completed the padding-up process, then slapped his third ball scattily to mid-on.

We had lost two runs for four wickets in 11 deliveries but steadied the ship, then worked ourselves into a winning position until the April gloom - and the only umpire in the league with a light meter - took us inside with victory a formality. Not many in the crowd - and there were not many - were particularly gruntled by this, it has to be said. No matter, we ended up winning the title that year.

As for Lewis, it's fair to say the rest of his year didn't pan out all that well. The call he received at tea was from Surrey's coach, Alan Butcher, informing him they had an outbreak of food poisoning and he was required to play in the Friends Provident opener the next day, a 50-over London derby at The Oval. So he hauled himself into his wagon and creaked off down the motorway.

Middlesex racked up 315 (163 of them to Andrew Strauss), these pages reporting our sub pro's contribution thus: "Although diving around in the field, Lewis looked rusty with the ball and was clobbered for 51 in his six overs, 45 of them by Strauss."

Rusty! Stiff, certainly (perhaps scared stiff, existentially speaking, and not about the cricket but the snowy wastes beyond), but rusty…?

In December that year this genial, scatty figure was arrested at Gatwick airport having brought back from St Lucia five pineapple tins of liquid cocaine with a street value of £140,000. It would be another seven years before he came in from the cold.

Scott Oliver tweets here