Dark idea is left in the dark
The England and Wales Cricket Board has taken a dim view of Derbyshire's bright idea to solve the problem of the setting sun interfering with floodlit matches at the County Ground.
Play was held up for an hour during Derbyshire's C &G Trophy match against Notts at the beginning of this month because batsmen could not see when the bowling was from the Scoreboard End and the sun was low in the sky.
Derby is unusual among the first-class county grounds because its wickets face east to west.
But chief executive Tom Sears believed he had come up with the solution to prevent the sun becoming a factor in the coming Twenty20 Cup fixtures.
Derbyshire's home games in the competition, beginning with the visit of Lancashire today, start at 7pm.
Sears' proposal was that, for as long as the sun was in the eyes of the batsmen, the bowling should be from the Grandstand End only and sought approval from ECB head of operations Alan Fordham.
"He said the idea would represent a fundamental change to the laws of the game and would have to go before the ECB cricket committee before it could be approved," said Sears.
"It's obvious we are not going to get the green light this year and that's disappointing because I don't see why not.
"It seems daft to me that we cannot do this when I believe it is the most simple, commonsense solution.
"It's not as if it would affect the outcome of the game to bowl from one end in a 20-over match. The umpires and the batsmen would still switch at the end of an over and the fielders would still have the sun in their eyes no matter which end we were bowling from.
"There would be no advantage gained and it would have far less impact on the game than if we had to involve the Duckworth/Lewis system because play was held up."
The issue will be debated further by the ECB in the future but Fordham said this is not a precedent that can be set in haste.
"It is not something we can do on the hoof because it does have far-reaching implications," he said.
"We are not trying to be obstructive here but the sun has not moved and the ground has not moved. Squinting into the sun is not ideal but people have buckled down and got on with it in the past and we cannot make such a big change just because play was held up in one game."
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