Rolling Back The Years

Some things are ingrained in the club, and despite an infusion of youth the familiar Whaley collapse was in evidence as the seconds fell 27 runs short at Buxton. From 35 for 0 to 48 for 7 is some collapse, even by Whaley standards, and even a late rally was not enough to avoid defeat. The game was notable for two events. One inevitable and the other scientific. The inevitable was the dismissal of Clayton who fears that the advancing years are now catching up with him, whilst the rest of us think they overtook him a long time ago. Clayton danced down the track, slipped, fell on his arse and was bowled, to round applause and laughter. The scientific event was the categorisation of the ball after Gibbo has run a one or a two or, perish the thought, a three. After a detailed study (Buxton is a big ground with many ones and twos as opposed to boundaries), it is evident that the ball following Gibbo’s perambulation is known as the “Breath back ball”, as it is obvious that Gibbo will do anything to avoid even getting bat on ball as he struggles to get his breath back.

The first had better success, with Eddie getting six wickets and Luke getting 5 victims. In the Sheps last night no one could remember a “fielder” buying a jug before, so if you can recall the previous occasion let me know.

There have been several emails recently seeking to clarify various rules, so imagine a phone call to a league official to clarify the “rain stopped play” rule.

Captain: Hi, can you tell me the rain stopped play rule, there seems to be some confusion.

League Official: Certainly, if you start after 1.30 then for every 7 minutes lost each team loses an over, i.e. the overall game is reduced by 2 overs.

Captain: Ok, but what if you start on time?

League Official: Ah yes, firstly let me explain that the above rule should really refer to the scheduled start time and not 1.30, as later in the season there are of course 1.00 and 12.30 starts. On to your last point, if you lost time after the start then nothing happens for the first half hour, and then you start losing overs.

Captain: Isnt that a bit illogical? I mean, why the difference between before and after. Couldnt you make it a bit more complicated (hint of sarcasm)?

League Official: Well yes, I could actually. You see if the time is lost between 3.50 and 4.00 no overs are deducted.

Captain: And why is that?

League Official: Thats to ensure compliance with a rescheduled start time within the 150 minute rule and matches to consist of a minimum 50 overs.

Captain: Eh?

League Official: Keep up captain, we like to think that during a rain delay minds can become idle so we have made the rules suitably challenging. For instance, did you know that for play to start after 3.30, or should I say 120 minutes after the scheduled start time, tea must have been taken?

Captain: Yes, I knew that.

League Official: And no game can start more than 150 minutes after the scheduled start time?

Captain: Ah, the 150 minute rule. But cant you make it more complicated?

League Official: Oh yes. Thats just the rules for a delayed start. For time lost after the match has started we have added some new twists and turns.

Captain: You do surprise me.

League Official: Obviously you know that no overs are lost for a 30 minute delay, but then you lose one over for every 3.5 minutes lost.

Captain: Well that sounds quite simple.

League Official: Ah yes, but that doesnt apply for overs lost due to the tea interval or the sun.

Captain: So if the sun gets in our eyes we have to wait until it goes dark before we continue without losing time?

League Official: Now, now. Theres no need to be facetious.

Captain: Well, what if its raining but the sun is shining? And what if this happens during tea? Couldnt you think of anything to make it more complicated?

League Official: Oh yes. You see, if a match has started and then time is lost, if the team batting second receives at least an equal number of overs as the team batting first then the team batting first can still gain a win without bowling out the team batting second and without completing the overs.

Captain: Err, youve lost me now.

League Official: Well, the team batting first can declare, and the team batting second would have the chance to bat for more overs than the team batting first.

Captain: So, in theory, we could bat for one over and score 36 then declare, and then the team batting second bat 2 overs and score 20. The rest of the match is washed out so we win?

League Official: I’ll have to get back to you on that one, as there is the 50 over rule!

Captain: Ahhhhhh!