Saturday, 25 August 2012


It is one of the minor tragedies of modern life, how the Met Office has upped its game. Once upon a time you could head out into a gloomy cricketing day and stand a 50-50 chance of it “turning out nice”. No more.

It’s all well and good Danny Boyle including Michael Fish’s hurricane denial in his delirious opening ceremony montage of British eccentricity (incidentally, if he was truly “visionary” and cutting-edge, he’d surely have included a bumptious MP tweeting about how it was all “leftist multicultural crap”), but surely such errors are now an archaism.

I, on the other hand, am not quite so reliable in my prognostications and may well have been a tad premature with the assessment that overhead conditions were “muggy” (it could have had something to do with a sharp dash up to the press box). In fact, there’s considerably “more nip in the air than in the Notts attack” harrumphed Nev in the top of the Radcliffe Road Stand, an imaginary curmudgeon who will hereafter be used as a device to smuggle in slightly cheeky gags to which I’m not yet prepared to put my name.

It is thus with a tinge of regret that I report that the floodlights are on here and the sky has turned Four or Five Shades of Grey (which Nev and sidekick Len are finding far from erotic). It will surely not be long before Climate resumes its anti-cricket agenda, for BBC Weather shows a huge blue splodge passing over these parts in the early afternoon and not leaving us until late afternoon.

In the meantime, with 49 on the board, Notts have nipped out three good wickets (Will Smith, Keaton Jennings, playing his second first-class match, and the in-form Phil Mustard, promoted to number 4), while both Len and home skipper Chris Read will hope to see the backs of veterans Benkenstein and Collingwood before rain truncates the day.

* * *

...However, the covers that had been hovering – literally – near the square throughout lunch have now been pushed floated on. On the subject of food, Nev’s slow descent from the Gods down to the canteen at the back of the press box for a plate of tandoori chicken ended unhappily as Sky Sports roving reporter, Dominic Cork, made sure his cameraman barged in front of the members to the front of the queue so that he can keep his 1.20pm appointment to talk about some fellow called Kelvin Peitermaritzburg and his texts and Tweets. Know anything about that?

Back in the slightly more staid world of county cricket, the preferred social media of Nev and Len is still conversation. Not much of it, mind...

* * * 

The rain has just relented at Trent Bridge and the ice cream men (the umpires) are out in the middle. One is called Gale: not a good omen. They have repaired to Kettleborough. Dominic Cork is down there, too, perhaps asking about a possible resumption, perhaps telling them why, exactly, umpiring wasn’t the career choice for him, perhaps letting them know how he’d have fancied a bowl in these conditions.

Anyway, while the covers are indeed being slowly peeled off, those in the know – again, the umpires – reckon the rain will be “torrential” by 4 o’clock, ten minutes after their next inspection is due. Unless Bill’s mother has recently moved house, I can corroborate the forecast.

The above was published by the Guardian on County Cricket - Live! for August 15, day one of Nottinghamshire vs Durham. Report here.

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