Rain stops play?

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  • A frustrated looking Billy Doctrove, umpiring the First Test between England and Sri Lanka, walks off the the ground at the SWALEC Stadium in Cardiff under brooding skies. Photo: David Davies/PA Wire.

    Fans in fancy dress shelter from the rain as the start of play in Cardiff is delayed. Photo: David Davies/PA Wire.

    Groundstaff work on the pitch at the SWALEC Stadium. Photo: David Davies/PA Wire.

    The sun eventually shone on the Sri Lankan batsmen. Here is Tillakaratne Dilshan on his way to a half century. Photo: Gareth Copley/PA Wire.

    Awaiting the third umpire's decision as the shadows begin to lengthen during a sunny end to the first day. Photo: Gareth Copley/PA Wire.

  • Rain stops play?
    27.05.2011 07:18

     

    The English cricket team began their summer of cricket yesterday, Thursday 26 May, with the first of a three match Test series against Sri Lanka. And, right on cue, the start of the Test was badly delayed by frequent showers.

    Play did not get under way until around 3.30pm, although today is likely to be dry and should see a full day’s play. However, there is likely to be some rain on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

    Saturday afternoon shoud improve, though, anmd although Sunday will be drizzly it could become sufficiently dry to take the field. On Monday the rain should be on and off, so there is still a chance of enough play for a positive result - depending, of course, on whether bat or ball dominates.

    Of all the Test playing countries, cricket matches in England are by the far the most likely to be delayed by the weather. The best venues weather-wise are at Lords and the Oval in London.

    The weather here is drier than at all the other regular Test venues and warmer than elsewhere as well. In contrast, matches at Old Trafford, Manchester, and Headingley, Leeds, are more likely to be affected by rain or bad light.

    There have only been seven Tests in the history of the game that have been abandoned without a ball being bowled due to adverse weather conditions and two of these were at Old Trafford, both against Australia, in 1890 and 1938.

    The only other venue which has seen two Test Matches abandoned is Carisbrook in Dunedain. This ground is located in the far south of New Zealand and this part of the world has a similar temperate climate to much of England.

    Although rain does stop play at times in many other parts of the word, it is usually in the form of heavy showers. Brisbane on the Queensland coast of Australia often sees heavy thunderstorms breaking out late in the day.

    Indeed, England were saved from almost certain defeat on the final day of the first Test in the 1998/9 series at the Gabba ground in Queensland by a violent thunderstorm. The Barmy Army celebrated by diving into the many subsequent pools that developed on the outfield.

    The most reliable part of the world to play international cricket in is the Asian subcontinent during the dry monsoon, or what we would call winter or early spring.

    Here the weather is usually fine and sunny but with generally pleasant temperatures. Indeed, the most likely interruption from play is likely to be from bad light later in the day as the sun sinks quite rapidly at this time of year.

    By: Tony Conlan