Durham and Yorkshire have decided against requesting an hour’s delay when they resume LV County Championship action on June 18, despite their respective coaches being unhappy with the scheduling.
Both face Friends Life t20 matches the night before their four-day clash at the Emirates Durham ICG starts on Saturday and Yorkshire’s director of cricket Martyn Moxon said: “Ultimately the quality of the product has to be affected when you have situations like that.”
Durham, who are at Grace Road on Friday night, had to wait until noon to start last month’s Championship match at Worcester as their hosts had a floodlit match at Lord’s the previous evening.
But coach Geoff Cook said: “An hour doesn’t make much difference. We’ll get back from Leicester about midnight. It’s not great, but that’s what we’ve been given. Most counties want to play Twenty20 cricket on Friday nights to maximise crowds, but it shouldn’t be beyond the wit of man to avoid situations like this.”
Yorkshire are at home to Lancashire on Friday evening and Moxon added: “We’re not going to get to the hotel at Durham until 11.30 and you can’t just go straight to sleep. Having played in a Twenty20 game it takes time to wind down so it’s going to be a challenge for both teams to come out on Saturday morning and put in quality four-day cricket.”
Moxon is hopeful that a couple of days practice will help his team complete a Roses double after narrow wins against Worcestershire and Lancashire were followed by a washout at home to Northants on Sunday June 12.
He added: “It would have been nice to try to keep our momentum going. We went straight from Championship cricket into the t20 for the first two games but once we did get the chance to do two days of practice it showed.”
Moxon has been pleased with Adil Rashid’s t20 form, the leg-spinner having played a key role in the last two wins following inconsistent performances in four-day cricket.
He took three for 19 against Worcestershire at Headingley and followed up with two for 29, again from four overs, against Lancashire at Old Trafford.
In the last two Championship games Rashid had figures of none for 88 at Taunton and none for 187 at Hove, the latter return being the third most expensive in Yorkshire’s history.
But he is still Yorkshire’s leading wicket-taker in all competitions with 28 in the Championship at 33.78, ten in the Clydesdale Bank 40 at 17.90 and nine in the Twenty20 Cup at 13.00.
“Adil is very much a confidence cricketer,” said Moxon. “When he’s on top of his game, he’s a brilliant performer. Other times, when it’s not coming out quite right, he can lose confidence quickly.
“When Adil’s bowling well, I always think he’s got a lovely arc and trajectory to his bowling. The ball goes up before it starts to drop and that’s always the best sign for me.”
Yorkshire have also used off-spinner Azeem Rafiq in the t20 competition, but there are unlikely to be openings for him in four-day cricket and Derbyshire are keen to have him back.
Following his loan spell there, Derbyshire skipper Luke Sutton said: “I had a lot of time for him, and it would be great to have him back.
“He’s a very good cricketer who’s only going to get better. He works extremely hard on his game and he’s very smart. He’s got a very, very good cricket brain and I actually think there’s a captain in there. He reads the game brilliantly.”