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A good time to return to drones and tarps, then. Ian Forth is with me but doesnt want to enter the Beefy phase of my life and grumble to anyone wholl listen. Lucky, then, that we have solutions.
Tor Turner has just travelled from Manchester to London and can confirm it was raining every place the train passed through, which is far from ideal. Its given him time to think, though. In terms of roofs, inflatable ones would be the way to go. I know it sounds weird but stay with me. Oh, dont worry, Im with you.
This company reckons it could be manufactured off site and installed in a single night. Id like to see them manage that for a stadium mind.
Be right back, off to throw my wallet at them for all the shares theyll give me.
Elbert Matt Loubser is also into my inbox on the topic, from South Africa. Hes not keen. I am an engineer, but not of the structural persuasion. Greatest challenges with implementing a temporary roof are matters such as the mechanics required for relatively quick setup or breakdown (rain cover times 20), man-power wouldnt cut it and the machines required would have to be integrated with the structure of the stadium (including lighting). Cost and inconvenience would lead architects to rather install a permanent roof. But indoor cricket is another matter; how high would the roof have to be? Will grass-care be assured? What will the white-clad Test Match officials have to say about this sudden change? Its just not on.
Drones, though. Drones with tarps. With gutters that manage the flow. Et voila!
Last but not least for now, M. B. Anand with his first ever email to the OBO! Welcome to the club. Make sure it is not your last.
Very interesting ideas - holding up a tarp with drones or balloons, he begins. Some quick calculations below to check feasibility:
1) Drones -
Problem is power. Considering most stay aloft for about half hour and the very best, costing around $7500, can last no more than a couple of hours before needing re-juicing, this is likely to be a problem.
Of course, we could arrange a complicated change of guard as drones rotate in and out constantly....
2) Hot air balloon -
Representative heavy duty tarp weight = 18 oz. per square yard
With a ground, say a circle of about 80m, the tarp weight is about 12183 kg.
Given that a cubic foot of air lofts about 7 g of weight, this translates to a large spherical balloon of about 150 ft. in diameter. About a third of the size of the ground. Or many smaller ones that add up to the same volume. That seems quite feasible. Balloon wins, I think. Lets do this!
This started with a shadecloth in space and has morphed into a hot air balloon. Im proud of the progression. But I think, for now, Im going to move this conversation on. Thanks for the many, many emails on it. Its been fun.
I must say, your emails today are outstanding. There are a lot of them, so please dont be angry with me if they dont all get the attention they deserve.
Any mathematicians out there? asks Ian Forth. Is a compressed game likely to have a disproportionate effect on a net run rate?
So you are telling me there is not one ICC authority member that figured out that a World Cup in England could have some serious rain affected matches? yells Hugo. Really poor planning on their behalf accoring to me.
I cant sign up to that one. There was 2mm of rain here last June. It sucks but it happens. Check out the days rained out during Sydney Tests over the years. But the broader point about planning, well, back to my giant umbrella bit shortly.
Its now 5am in Edmonton in Western Canada and the games start at 3.30 am and we are anxiously huddled around the TV, but this totally sucks!!! adds Mike Weerasooriya.
Thanks for sticking it out. I really hope this happens today. The crowd outside this morning were just brilliant. Three hours should do the trick.
More grounds that rock your world that arent talked about so often. Garry Sharp loves Adelaiade for the nocturnal reasons - dont we all. Great night out, especially since they liberalised their laneways. Hes also fond of Sophia Gardens. Just the perfect sized stadium. And that Welsh warmth. Also the scene of Shane Watsons final Test Match, lets not forget. The place was heaving that day.
Back in the middle, all the big covers are off and only the hovercraft is left. More importantly: the darkest clouds seem to have lifted. Its still overcast but no longer deathly. No formal word quite yet on when the inspection will be, however.
Hardly an original sentiment I imagine, but a washout here is no bad thing for we Kiwis (collective noun: we-ki-wis), writes Ben Bernards. A shared point against India clearly helps the Quest For The Final 4. Worst-case scenario is the sunshine coming out at 3pm, and being defeated in a resultant 20-over slap-a-thon.
For those interested in these things, in order to get a T20 played before time runs out, they need to spark up the first ball by 4:20pm. At least this was the time we were given last Friday when there was the Bristol washout. Im hopeful again.
On that same theme, from Andrew Cosgrove. I havent been to too many grounds, but Id agree with you that the Basin is my favourite. And obvious. Aside from that, I love that Sophia Gardens is slap-bang in the middle of the city, and just a short walk along the River Taff from the railway station (and its a lovely walk). Hagley Oval is less convenient, but a great place to watch cricket; it feels like youre watching a Test match on your local park.
Yes and yes. Cardiff because they sing Bread of Heaven over and over, which really gets me fired up and wishing I tapped more into my Welsh family history. Hagley Oval for the reasons you state. Geoff and I were there in January 2016 when Brendon McCullum smashed his 54-ball ton, to break the record in his final Test Match. I was on radio commentary for 20 minutes when he moved from 40 to 82. He made the next 18 runs in the next five balls. Special city. Love Christchurch.
A nice note from Eoin in Dublin on an earlier topic. Always love the OBO, especially when its raining...saves me from having to do some work. On the subject of favourite cricket grounds, there are so many beautiful ones around the world. Adelaide, Basin Reserve, Newlands, Eden Gardens etc. The Himachal Pradesh ground at Dharamasala is spectacular, but for all that, my favourite ground Ive ever been to is the old Rec in Antigua. Full of noise and colour as you sat there in the sun with a gentle breeze, drinking a beer, looking out over the Caribbean and watching the Windies play a test match. Such a shame its gone. What a way to spend a few days.
Great nomination. Both times Ive toured Antigua have led to me spending hours there in repeat visits. Last November, this brought a lovely moment. Out the back, they still have the food stalls and so on. I pulled up at one to grab some lunch at the front bench. A couple of bites in I look up and who is sitting next to me but Sir Curtly Ambrose. He always drops in when home, the boss told me after he left.
Back to my idea, [Ted Hastings] now were cooking with gas [/Ted Hastings].
Ben Finn to open the batting, from the many emails Ill try and get through on the topic. Here is my suggestion: in the event of washout-threateningly dreadful weather forecasts such as today, there could be an army of drones, tethered to the stadium, attached to some kind enormous tarpaulin. Arranged in a circle with one in the middle that would fly highest to allow runoff, these drones take flight and hoist the tarp above the entire ground. This could play havoc withlateral movement of the ball, so once in place, the roof would have to remain for the duration of the match, much like on Centre Court. What could possibly go wrong (provided the ground is not near an airport)? Thank you for your entertaining World Cup coverage in all conditions!
BEN! What a start! Cop that! Broadly in line with this, my Airbnb host this morning suggested that the military now has the ability to use thermal technology to shift where rain falls. Was she having me on? I feel like maybe she was having me on.
An engineer or ideas person, you say? adds Joby Allen. This is promosing. Myself (engineer) and my mate Barry (ideas) were discussing this very matter whilst sat in the rain at the Ageas Bowl on Monday. Our conclusion was a giant tarp held up by drones (engineer) or miniature hot air balloons (ideas).
Drones! I never even thought of this but now its all so obvious. So clear. Im writing you a proper reply. Lets invent something brilliantly bonkers.
Morning Adam. Brian Withington, always a pleasure. I was intrigued to read about your motor home journey from Taunton to Nottingham last night. I have visions of you pluckily criss-crossing the country and freedom parking in side roads by the grounds, eking out your frugal Guardian daily allowance with a bag of chips and reading a well worn Wisden by street light.
Its actually the bus of two colleagues doing pretty much as you suggest, Gav Joshi and Bharat Sundaresan, two of the very best people in all the cricket world.
Or is it more like the epic VW Camper Van questing journey to and around Pakistan from Duckworth-Lewis Methods Meeting Mr Miandad? Speaking of which, the great man turned 62 years old yesterday (not many people know that - and I was shocked that hes older than me). Where (whither?) are you next hitching your wagon?
Were finished for now; twas a one-night-only affair. But this is their #wconwheels from today, featuring Geoff and me at 1:30am looking as bad as we sounded after a day that included radio commentary, writing, video, podding and meal deals.
Just reading your blog and notice you are recommending the Trent Bridge Inn to hunker down in while rain ruins play, Chris Slade begins, with a reference to coffee in the subject line, which Im looking forward to. If its a little too early for some of your readers to be on the sauce then I can highly recommend the excellent coffee served by Okende in West Bridgford. Its a great little speciality coffee shop that has recently opened up and is run by two young entrepreneurs.
Consider it recommended. Im going to send Ben Jones out to grab me a flattie.
Stuart Eaton has a suggestion as well. In situations like this with the rain coming and going, why can the teams not just get the toss done indoors somewhere?
Will save time and also warranting a pitch inspection for a coin throw.
There is probably a logical reason for this to do with the ability for the captain to change their XI until the final moment in relation to the surface, but yes, this does seem a sensible way to save some valuable time on a day like today.
Im just picturing Virat Kohli holding the trophy up with, oh, I dunno, Mashrafe Mortaza. One arm each, on the balcony at Lords. And the world will live as one.
Its not a pretty view at Trent Bridge today. Brollies remain up, every cover in place. Nothing torrential but just enough to frustrate any hope of, well, anything.
Although, as Rohit Singh notes, it is possible if you really try to play in the wet.
Console yourself with the fact that theres a rare AFL Thursday morning game on, writes my best Eurovision friend (he has other traits too), Matthew Woolston. AFL straight into a India vs NZ T20 smash-up. The dream.
Speaking of 2017, its a replay of that years Grand Final: Adelaide vs Richmond. The cricket link is that theyre playing at Adelaide Oval, which was repurposed as an AFL ground about five years ago. My favourite of all the cricket grounds.
Bit boring and reflexive of me to say that though, isnt it? Same with where I am today, Trent Bridge. Or Basin Reserve in Wellington. All magnificent but always the answer when citing the best places to watch the international game. Where else? What ground have you been to which rocked your world? And why?
For me, its Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka. I had the good fortune to cover the Test there when Bangladesh knocked off Australia two years ago. Every Australian in attendance was moved by the response from the remarkable crowd, including emotional Bangladesh PM on the field at the end.
Only one thing to do now, suggests Gurminder Chera. Find a pub and set up camp. I had a similarly-themed email from John Starbuck, recommending the Trent Bridge Inn. Its a pub I know well. Not on this tour, though. I worked out yesterday that Ive had five pints since opening day. Five. Im no boozehound (promise), but I cant remember the last 15-day stretch where Ive been so anti-social. I feel this is enough of a link to pop in my favourite song of 2017.
Over here in NZ with the Kiwis, begins David Perkins. Theyre pretty level headed about the whole thing. But worst aspect (worse even than naming approach for all their sports teams) is one of the banks trying to drum up local fan support as the pyjarmy army. The advert featuring Kane W is as bad as you would imagine.
Lets dig it out, shall we?
Good grief. Make it stop. Then again, I want those New Zealand PJs real bad.
Will there be cricket? When I arrived here last night in the motor home that took me from Taunton to Nottingham, we didnt think so. It was torrential. It was biblical. It was not fit for the sport we love. However, despite mizzle and drizzle and all the rest over the last couple of hours, it hasnt poured. Theres a gentle breeze running across Trent Bridge. Were a chance. Probably not at the scheduled starting time of 10:30am, but provided this break of sorts in the weather continues, I think were a big hope of getting on. At a modern ground like Trent Bridge, perhaps sooner than might be the case if we were at a non-Test venue.
With expectations so cruelly built up like that, Im sure itll bucket down as soon as I hit send. But if we dont, both teams have a big opportunity to take advantage of the washouts from earlier in the week by claiming two points and remaining undefeated. Whoever does might already have a couple of toes into the final four.
In Blackcaps land, theyre fit and firing. Tim Southee - the Lennon to Trent Boults McCartney in the swing stakes - is fit and available. Theyd be made not to pick both of them on a morning like this. Alongside Lockie Ferguson - the quickest bowler in the World Cup so far - and Matt Henry, thats quite the quartet.
India boast similar selection riches. Well, with the ball at least. They are, however, missing Shikhar Dhawan with a thumb injury for a couple of games, which he acquired when stroking a gorgeous ton against Australia on Sunday. The margin of victory there (36 runs) should have been a lot greater. They thrashed them, really.
Whichever way it all plays out, rest assured that the OBO will be here to keep you company. If they do get on, lets hope for a game half as captivating as yesterday. Given Im currently writing this sitting on the ground in the Trent Bridge car park (long story; accreditation, urgh!) Ill just be a few minutes getting my act together and popping upstairs. But dont delay: drop me a line. Tweet me. Good morning.
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