The start of the Headingley test between England and New Zealand
was delayed due to rain. The captains finally tossed around 1245 pm local time
. The scheduled start was 1100 am. The crowd, sparse though it would have been, would have waited for over 2 hours for play to start soon after the toss. However, the umpires, in their infinite wisdom [and obviously bound by the rules & traditions of the game] thought that it was time for some more food and promptly declared Lunch
Lunch!! Without a single ball being bowled? Aren't players, like anyone else, supposed to earn their money? Even though cricket is moving from being a spectators' game to a sponsors' game, I'm fairly sure the players don't like playing in an empty stadium. Ask any of the players who were at the ground on the final day of the Asian Test Championship game at Calcutta between India & Pakistan
in 1999. The players were obviously weary of gulping down snacks, tea or juices in the cauldron of the dressing room.
Cricket, especially test cricket, will cease to be a spectator's game if it doesn't rid itself of such anachronistic and archaic traditions. If there has been rain in the morning, I can't see any reason why the players shouldn't play as soon as the toss is over. In fact, in any situation where the day's play is curtailed, the number of breaks for the players should also be reduced so that the spectators get their full money's worth. In fact it is in the interest of the sponsors too that the cricket is played for as long as possible. The more cricket that's played, the more the breaks between overs & wickets, the more the advertisements they can slip in. When the game is on, an ad can be shown every 4-5 minutes. However if there's no play and an older match/chat show being shown, the ads are shown only every 10 minutes.
Labels: icc, lunch, playing conditions, rules, tea