Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Cricket game Late Finishes and Early Starts Hardly Fair are they ECB?

I study the Cricketing fixtures schedule quite a lot, well extensively in fact. I even chat about them with others on the FISO Cricketing Forum we all enjoy playing Telegraph Fantasy Cricket (TFC) and we constantly try and plot our way through the fixtures making the most of our meagre 30 transfers. Fixtures of course are not our only problem, and it's only fantasy. In real life, fixture planning seems to have made much more complicated than it really need be.

This season it soon became obvious that this 2016 summer season the months of June and July in particular were going to be quite challenging for the 18 cricketing counties, never mind us. The constant switching from T20 to T50 and even 4 day county championship games has to be very confusing. Heaven knows what it must be like for a Captain. Trying to remember what the power play rules are and the fielding restrictions. Some teams (Middlesex for example) have got 3 captains, I don't know if this is part of the reason, but it would seem to take this problem out of the equation as far as the Captain is concerned anyway.

The other problem that seems to pop up more and more is that some teams are playing (for instance) a T20 game under floodlights finishing at 10pm then they have to travel quite a distance for an 11am start the next day. This just cannot be fair. Here are two examples. There are others.

27th May Northants V Derbyshire T20 6.30pm Start (allow 3 hours) 9.30pm Finish Won by 4 wickets

Travel 129 Miles

28th May Sussex v Northants County Championship 11am Start - Lost by 10 wickets after a dreadful start. 

2nd June Worcester v Yorkshire T20 5.30pm Start  Finish 9.30pm Won by 7 wickets

Travel 77 Miles

3rd June Northants v Worcester T20 2pm Start Lost by 7 Wickets

Surely the public deserve to be watching a team FIT and able to play to their full potential, it seems to me these crazy schedules are unfair the players, the clubs and the spectators. 

It just seems ironic that the powers that be in ECB towers decided to increase the 40 over competition to 50 overs so it mirrors an International ODI game, fair enough. But, you will never see two ODI's played on consecutive days ever, so its hardly a carbon copy.

I am all for trying to keep the number of games up high and also get as many games on TV as possible, but, this higgledy piggledy schedule that ask's players and counties to do the almost impossible is harming the game. 

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