Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Cold Cricket Grounds



Cricket is not a game to be played in weather conditions like we saw last week. The thought of standing freezing cold in the gulley, where you can't even walk in from to keep warm, and someone flashing a typical April long hop at you by an opening bowler who has banged it in all winter in the indoor nets, fills me with dread. The likes of Buxton CC, where in June 1975 where a game between Derbyshire and Lancashire got interrupted by snow are stuff of legend, but here Thorpster runs through a few other cold cricket grounds.

At what point of this game in Buxton do you think it snowed?

Like many of you I am currently in grips of despair re the current Siberian conditions. I am thinking of moving to warmer conditions, such as somewhere like Moscow. My Mrs is frankly sick of me moaning and groaning about the weather, which doesn’t show any signs of improving at present. Going back to the Russian theme, I sometimes think that Boris Berezovsky is warmer than I am at the moment!

With the 2013 “summer” season almost upon us, it also takes me back to many games of cricket played in bloody freezing conditions. Cold hands often lead to the dropping of more catches (impossible for me) and the beauty of the cricket ground wanes somewhat. A bit like a Greek Island holiday resort the weather can vastly change the appeal of a cricket ground. A beach in Corfu can be the most beautiful thing in the world in mid July on a lad’s holiday, when it is stacked with bouncy young ladies. However when you've picked up a cheap half term break with the family in October and its pissing down the appeal is altogether different. The same could be said of a cricket ground anywhere in the world however lovely. Extremely pleasant on a warms summers day can become extremely unpleasant on a chilly late season September afternoon.

Anyway enough of my dross and back to the point. England have recently been on tour in New Zealand and playing on grounds where the wind has been known to blow up and become more unpleasant than one of Chris Huhnes "partners", and leading to conditions becoming almost as chilly as the imprisoned former MP's family relations. On their previous tour they in India, they played a One Day international at the foot of the Himalayas at what was branded the coldest ground on the planet. I read a pundit say the warmest place was face down under the covers. For the disgraced Lib Dem now ex cabinet ministers sake, I hope over the next few months that's not the position he finds himself in! If so he will be taking more than three penalty points and may regularly find himself "going down".

Dharamsala

Given all the aforementioned slightly amusing and topical stuff/dross I thought I would have a look at some of the world’s coldest cricket grounds, so here we go:

1. Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium (HPCA)

Situated at the foot of the Himalayas the HPCA is certainly one for a thick jumper. Situated in the city of Dharamsala it is amazingly at an altitude of 1547 metres above sea level. England recently had the cold comfort of playing the first international match at the HPCA and some pre-match forecasts predicted snow. Basically it is fooking cold!

2. The Basin Reserve

The venue of England’s second last Test and favourite ground of ex Southgate Adelaide stalwart Paul Watts. Described during the test commentary as having been New Zealand’s premier test venue for many years, the Wellington based open bowl does not have much defence against inclement weather. At a ground where it blows more often than Tulisa, two jumpers are often required, leaving the players looking more less like Graham Smith and more like Cyril Smith!  During this latest test however the weather at the Basin was a little more reserved allowing England's batsman to make hay.

3. Headingley

In late May 2007, the iconic Yorkshire ground played host to the 2nd test match versus the calypso kings of the West Indies. During the Test the temperature hovered around seven degrees Celsius in the morning - the coldest playing conditions for a Test match in England. Unsurprisingly the boys from the West Indies did not fancy the conditions in Yorkshire, finding the climate about as welcoming as the famous Yorkshire resident Peter Sutcliffe, with a claw hammer in his hands. They collapsed to a defeat by an innings and 283 runs.

Headingley!

4. Resident Cricket Club New Dehli

In January 2013 the Resident Cricket Club in New Dehli cancelled all fixtures for the month stating on their website “it’s just too cold for cricket!”. The site made the following announcement:

“Resident Cricket Club has cancelled their forthcoming fixtures for January'13 due cold weather and will resume from 1st week of Feb'13.
Cricket is certainly not a game for the cold-hearted! One of the coldest recorded cricket matches was on last Sunday, when RCC 8 played against Ernst Young with the maximum temperature hovering around 7 degrees Celsius.

The RCC 8 Players has certainly never seen any action in such bone-chilling cold conditions.

Resident Cricket Club has cancelled their forthcoming fixtures for January'13 due cold weather and will resume from 1st week of Feb'13.”

Can any of our followers suggest anymore? Let us know on Twitter what your coldest ground was @TheMiddleStump

2 comments:

  1. For some reason the Compton Stand at Lords has a micro climate 15 degrees colder than the rest of London. I notice on your scorecad that the terminally nesh Michael Glenn was 'absent ill' from the infamous white-out at Buxton, presumably backed up with a letter from his mummy.

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