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September 2009
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Old Trafford Rain Debacle: A Round-Table Discussion

September 3rd, 2009 by Alan Tyers in Alan Tyers, England, Twenty20

Key stakeholders get together to thrash out the issues after waterlogged abandonment

FRED RAMSBOTTOM, LANCASHIRE CCC: These players are a bloody disgrace. In my day, we dreamed of playing on run-ups like that. I remember Brian Statham bowling 95 overs off the reel in a bog at Southport and he were entirely under water in his delivery stride. He was fatally drowned just before tea but that didn’t stop Brian, he just kept running in all day.

KEITH ‘KEITHY’ KEITH, PLAYERS’ UNION REPRESENTATIVE: With respect, Fred, the modern player cannot afford to risk injury in a packed schedule. These lads would be kicking themselves if they missed out at a chance on the IPL big one for the sake of a few overs in a freezing midwinter night up here. Have you seen some of the conditions out there? It’s a miracle nobody was killed, and nobody wants to see them have to put one of those green tents round Ryan Sidebottom like at the Grand National and put him out of his misery down at third man. Imagine poor old Knighty having to commentate on that: “Ooooh, on the one hand, ooh, you just feel, don’t you, that it’s sad to see a professional sportsman shot to death on the outfield, but I’m just thinking, you know, maybe, possibly, something good could come of it?” It’s not fair on anyone; especially Knighty.

SIMON TERRY, TWENTY20 FAN: I can’t stand Test cricket because it goes on for ages and they hardly ever hit sixes but me and some of my workmates from Foxtons came down for this. To be frank, we’ve got a 50 quid refund, we’ve had a bit of banter and a few WKDs and Dave’s dressed up as a Pirate and we haven’t even had to watch any bloody cricket which is a bit of a result to my mind. On the other hand, when we got to watch Man United or City or Liverpool or whoever is doing well at the moment they play even if it’s raining really hard and in this day and age, cricket needs to attract people like me.

DARREN WONK, ECB HEAD OF FAN RELATIONSHIP AUGMENTATION: If I could just cut in here, Simon is absolutely right: Twenty20 is the people’s game, the Princess Of Hearts of cricket if you like, and we need to make sure that we are doing everything we can to attract the Simons of this world and the millions of as yet unborn Simons to cricket, because we are competing for the entertainment dollar in the marketplace and we need these loyal Twenty20 fans to keep coming back.

SIMON: I won’t be coming back. ‘Sboring,

DARREN WONK: Well, I think that just tells about a key flaw in the product. Are we all on the same page?

KEITHY: I think I know what you’re going to say here. It’s the bowling, right?

SIMON: The bowling bit is really boring.

KEITHY: Not to mention strenuous, risky, and modestly rewarded. Players who bat can expect to earn over 40 percent more than bowlers in a lifetime, with much less risk of injury.

RAMSBOTTOM: And they never shut up, bowlers. Christ, Statham could moan for England. One little bit of drowning in his approach to the crease and he’d be off whining. I’d shoot the lot of ‘em.

DARREN WONK: Well I think we have a solution: we’ll do away with bowling all together, just have a machine that lobs that balls up into the air for batsman to hit—

SIMON: Six! Wahey!

RAMSBOTTOM: And it don’t matter if it rains 364 days a year here, Lancs can still have the matches?

DARREN WONK: You certainly can, and we’re all going to be rich.

SIMON: Twenty20 – it’s the new Gladiators! I love it.

By Alan Tyers

Posted in Alan Tyers, England, Twenty20 |

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