26th May, 2019

Chief explains T20 difficulties

Rob George 19th Aug, 2015 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016

WORCESTERSHIRE chief executive David Leatherdale hopes more discussions will be held in future to prevent a repeat of the Rapids’ curtailed Natwest T20 Blast quarter-final with Hampshire.

Several supporters took to social media to express their fury at the outcome of Friday’s sell-out clash due to bad light.

Many questioned why the game started at 5.30pm or did not take place in the Saturday afternoon slot as the other home counties in the last eight had permanent floodlights.

The Rapids hosted Hampshire in the popular 5.30pm Friday slot but saw the game halted just 8.1 overs into their reply when the visitors’ Chris Wood was struck in the nose while attempting to field.

“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,” Leatherdale said.

“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,” he added.

Leatherdale said much of the problems stemmed from ‘the worst day of the summer we have had so far with torrential rain overnight, as well as during the day of the game, combined with a great deal of low cloud’.

“While bringing the game forward 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,” he said.

“With regards the use of the reserve day, ECB rules and regulations state that every effort to complete the game on the scheduled 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.

“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.”

Another of the criticisms levelled was the issue of no floodlights at the ground, which Leatherdale also tackled.

“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,” he added.

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