My corner of the oval

… thoughts from a Kiwi cricket fan

Disappointment doesn’t cover it!

on December 30, 2013

So, it’s the weekend after Christmas … it’s summer time, which means CRICKET in New Zealand for me … what better way to spend it than road-trip to the Hawkes Bay to enjoy a One-Day international match between the New Zealand Black Caps and the West Indies cricket teams?!

The posters are up ... and everyone's ready for cricket!

The posters are up … and everyone’s ready for cricket!

Sadly, however, it seems if you want to break a drought in the Hawkes Bay, you schedule a cricket match 😦

After arriving in Napier the afternoon before, I awoke on game-day to the sound of rain on the motel roof!  Not heavy rain, mind you, but the persistent, saturating kind … the kind that even the groundstaff of McLean Park, where the game was scheduled to be played, feel disgruntled and helpless against … or so it seemed when I turned on the television coverage half an hour before the scheduled start of play to see an on-field interview by Mark Richardson of Sky TV and the head groundsman at the ground, discussing the current wet situation and just how long it would take to dry out the ground once the rain ceased falling.

It didn’t actually seem like the groundsman really wanted the rain to stop, in my opinion.  He was most defeatist and gloomy about the whole outlook.

And eventually the rain DID stop … much to the delight of the thousand or so fans who had now made the trip to the Park, myself included 🙂

The sun shines on McLean Park!

The sun shines on McLean Park!

The sun eventually broke through the clouds at approximately 4.15, and we waited with much anticipation for the groundstaff to rush to work, pulling the covers from the pitch and surrounding areas, as well as commencing the job of mopping up the puddles of water over the ground.

And we waited some more …

And still we waited, getting rapidly sunburned in the warmth of the sun, noticing the steadily increasing blue sky above our heads … until finally, at 4.53pm, seven minutes before the umpires were scheduled to “inspect the ground” to see if it was suitable for play on, at 5.00, the groundstaff appeared, casually rolling the covers off the bowlers’ run-up areas, and finally the pitch area itself, and then, at 4.58, they were just starting to use the “super sopper” equipment to dry the outfield.

Well it was no wonder then when, at 5.00, the umpires trekked across the Park, to see the suitably for a game of cricket, they decided that the players couldn’t possibly play any kind of cricket on it and called the game off … to the immense dismay of the patient supporters, just dying to see their favourite cricket team play any sort of cricket match in front of them!

I mean, it’s not really surprising that the umpires didn’t find the ground suitable for play … considering absolutely nothing had been done to it since the last time they looked at it 😦

I am not actually disappointed in the fact that I didn’t get the chance to see a game of cricket … well, okay, I am disappointed about that 😉 … I’m more disappointed in the fact that the people concerned didn’t seem at all interested in trying to get any sort of game played at all for the people of Napier that evening!

I found myself wondering if the excellent groundstaff, for example, who look after not only the Basin Reserve, but also the pitch conditions at Westpac Stadium in Wellington, would have shown the same serious lack of urgency or desire to do their best for the players, as well as the cricketing public!  No!  I was imagining that the head groundsman at the Basin Reserve rallying his team quickly and smartly, as soon as the rain had dissipated, giving the pitch and surrounding areas as much time as possible to dry out and be ready to go in the time that was available.  Because, let’s face it, we could have started a 20/20 match at 7.00 that evening, and still had it finished in time, with the excellent light and sunlight that was now bathing the Napier area!

I left the Park feeling immensely disappointed and quite despondent, to be honest … which is not how you should feel when you spend so much time and resources to support your favourite cricket team, at all!  It’s probably just as well I can’t afford to make such a trip again for a long time, as I don’t think I will bother heading to the Hawkes Bay again for a cricket fixture 😦


One response to “Disappointment doesn’t cover it!

  1. Carm says:

    There is nothing like incompetent people doing the work that others would try to take care of right way so that the game could go one and not dilly dally around to getting to their job that they are paid to do.

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