The prevalence of high pressure across the country for much of the 2010 first-class season meant that the amount of weather interference overall in the LV=County Championship was well below average.
With the Met.Office reporting that the first six months of 2010 formed the driest start to the year since 1929, supporters the length and breadth of the country were able to enjoy matches in April and May without having to worry too much about major interruptions from the weather. The second half of the Championship season – in August and September – saw more breaks for the weather than in the first part of the summer, but overall every county bar one were able to report less time lost at home in 2010 than on average for the past dozen years.
As the table below shows, the one exception were Somerset – the bridesmaids of the 2010 season – who ended up as runners-up in all three domestic competitions, including the County Championship where they were level on points with Nottinghamshire but missed out on the county title by virtue of having won six matches compared with Nottinghamshire’s seven.
The West Country side lost 38.50 hours of play at home in the County Championship in 2010, but even this was only a small fraction more than the average of 36.81 hours and was not a significant increase upon the data for the previous dozen years. In contrast, Nottinghamshire were more fortunate, losing just 24 hours of playing time, compared with their recent average of 37.04 hours.
Other counties were even more fortunate, especially the “Severn Valley and Estuary” sides of Glamorgan, Gloucestershire and Worcestershire, as well as Essex, Kent and Surrey in the south-east of England, with all six counties having a significant drop in the amount of playing time lost when playing at home in 2010 compared with the period between 1998 and 2009.
The drop in the south-eastern corner may be the most interesting meteorologically because climate scientists, especially those producing long-range predictions for the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change, have suggested subtle changes in the climate belts under global warming, with the northerly migration of the Mediterranean belt into southern England. It`s too soon to say – based on just one year’s data – whether this is happening but a repetition of this trend in subsequent years could bring good news for the cricket supporters in the south-east.
Time lost by each county (in hours) when playing at home in the LV County Championship in 2010:
|County|| Time lost at home in 2010
|+/- the average for 1998-2009 (in hours)|