“Flaming June” used to be a colloquial description for the fine weather associated with mid-summer. As far as the current cricket season is concerned, it may be a more disparaging phrase used by the county game’s commercial managers following the disruption by rainy weather to many of the early matches in this year’s Friends Life t20 competition and the loss of valuable gate receipts.
It was with more than a touch of irony that the Twenty20 Cup competition began on the first official day of summer and followed the driest Spring since 1893, with little interruption to the first two months of County Championship matches. In all, just 5.7 per cent of time was lost in the four-day matches up until the end of May.
However, the first two weeks of June have witnessed a very different picture in the Friends Life t20, with four of the five games scheduled for Sunday June 12 being completely washed out and just 20 overs being possible in the other contest at Chester-le-Street. Then, on Friday June 17, a total of just six balls were bowled in the four matches in the South Group as a series of rain-bearing depressions swept across the counties.
Even though many of the games have been floodlit, with the provision of an extra half-hour’s play, there has still been plenty of disruption, especially for Somerset – one of the counties who have vehemently argued in favour of maintaining the 16-match programme of zonal games. The weather gods at Taunton, however, have not been smiling on Marcus Trescothick and his team, with three successive home games being completely washed out.
The table below shows the percentage of playing time lost by each of the sides so far in the two Friends Life t20 zonal groups, as of lunchtime on Saturday, June 18:
|Northern Group||% of playing time lost||Southern Group||% of playing time lost|