Cow Corner

Bad light… again

Cow Corner

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Once again we're left flummoxed by the light. The English summer
provides too little, the floodlights at Lord's too much.

With the
cheapest ticket at Lord's no less than £50, surely the International Cricket
Council need to act to ensure the paying public get their money's worth.

The
current regulations put the umpires in an almost impossible position. The
floodlights were turned on in north west London, but the artificial
light and the red ball combined causes havoc for batsmen. Catch 22.

Alastair
Cook and Jonathan Trott were hauled off and, granted, the rain which delayed
the start of the day's play soon followed - but bad light is not a new
phenomenon.

"When
you're playing with the red ball you need decent light," explained Kiwi
umpire Tony Hill.

"When
the artificial light starts to take over, the shadows become more distinct and
it makes it harder for the guys out in the middle.

"Hopefully
at one stage they'll end up with the right type of ball so we can still
play."

When asked
about the possibility of using a white ball, like in one-day cricket, Hill said:
"If they can get one which lasts long enough then I think that's a very
good idea."

Hill has
the answer and the ICC must follow suit. Whether the ball is red, white, pink,
yellow or blue, a ball needs to be found which facilitates the playing of
cricket in England.

Trott
certainly had no trouble initially seeing the Duke and opened his account at
the first opportunity with a lovely four and followed up with three through
the covers in the next over before, just one ball later, being told to head for
the pavilion.

Of
course, with dark clouds hanging over all four corners of the ground and Mohammad
Asif getting the ball to swing around corners, it would be wild to suggest Cook
and Trott wanted to stay out in the middle.

In truth,
Cook shouldn't have been there at all. Pakistan's resurgence at the Oval
was largely down to fearsome bowling and an English batting collapse which
brought memories of the 90's flooding back.

The
visitors' fielding was vastly improved, too - but that didn't last long. Umar
Akmal putting down the simplest of catches in the slips after a thick edge from Cook.

Cook put
on a remarkable century at the Oval to book his Ashes spot but his
technical form was tested again at Lord's, where he insisted on
prodding away outside off stump, albeit in very tricky conditions.

Strauss
has been under pressure himself but, on this occasion, was undone by a moment
of genius from Asif, who, with pace and precision, got the ball to nip back,
slip through the gate and clip off stump.

But
that's as much action as we got as a sodden day ended early. There was rain,
yes (lots of it), but bad light remains a pressing issue on home soil.

Nearly
1,000 tickets were available at the start of play as the MCC failed to sell out
the opening day of the summer Lord's Test for the first time in
more than a decade.

And while
the conditions brought England
some respite, it is cricket we want to see, not an empty field with the players
cowered in the pavilion.

SHOT OF THE DAY: Trott defied the lightmetres to
start his innings with a shot clipped wide of mid-on and down to the boundary
for four.

STAT OF THE DAY: Only 12.3 overs were bowled at
Lord's, giving those who bought tickets the right to a 50 per cent refund.

USER COMMENT OF THE DAY: "I'm gonna plump for an
opening knock of 350 to give the game some umph!" The ever-optimistic Glenn falls well wide of the mark on
this occasion.

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