Yesterday afternoon, at around 4pm, we all learnt that Warwickshire’s appeal against the points deduction imposed because of the state of the pitch during the recent game against Worcestershire had been unsuccessful. This perhaps came as little surprise although was still very disappointing. The Bears must also pay £3,000 towards the costs of the appeal. Once again disapointing but par for the course in such cases. Never mind, we tried our best to tell ourselves, tomorrow is another day, and we have a promising LVCC match to look forward to between ourselves and close rivals Durham. They won the Championship match at their gaff and we had just won the CB40 game at ours. Honours even – and so were the points in the LVCC Div 1 table.
And so today began full of hope and expectation. But there was always a niggling worry in the back of my mind. What would the pitch be like? Would it be another lively pitch? Or would the club take the cautious root of producing a feather-bed? Or a happy medium between the two?
Sadly, there was no happy mediun, and after winning the toss and electing to bat Durham finished on 348/3 on a pitch described by BBC local radio as slow and easy. Feather-bed it was to be then. Now I am the first to say that you should wait to see both sides bat / bowl on a pitch before drawing too many conclusions about it (ECB take note), but it looks pretty likely that this fixture is going to end in a bore draw.
This is not what players, fans, clubs or indeed the ECB really want. But it is what they will get from clubs once they have been penalised for producing lively pitches.
These sorts of pitches can produce great limited overs games but are death to the first class game!
It has been one of the high points of the season so far that the fine weather has allowed enough play in most matches to lead to a positive result one way or the other.
If this pitch is the shape of things to come for the rest of the season at Edgbaston it could be draws all round from here on in. No doubt the records will be tumbling and totals soaring in the 40 and 20 over games. But there will be less and less interest in the Championship games.
I hope we get this pitch situation sorted – we don’t want Edgbaston to be the new Sabina Park, but we don’t want it to be the new Taunton either! After all, there must be reasons why Somerset have never won the County Championship, and one of these is too many draws!!!
C’mon you Bears!