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Bears hoping to avoid lottery

Warwickshire were hoping for a significant improvement in the weather today to avoid another quarter-final bowl-out against Kent.

The Twenty20 tie at Edgbaston was washed out yesterday without a ball being bowled and the sides will reconvene this evening in an attempt to complete the tie.

Only five overs a side need to be bowled to constitute a match but if that is not possible then a bowl-out will be used to determine the result.

That would bring back memories of the 1994 Benson and Hedges Cup quarter-final at Edgbaston when no play was possible on the two days set aside and Warwickshire won the bowl-out in the old indoor school at the ground to progress to the semi-finals. Attempts to move the match to a neutral venue also failed.

"It's very frustrating for everyone but there is really nothing that you can do about the weather," said Warwickshire's director of cricket Ashley Giles.

"We have struggled all week with our preparation for this game. But we were pleased that an early decision was taken because it gives us a better chance of getting a longer game, rather than having overs reduced."

The start time of today's game has been brought forward to 5pm.

Warwickshire have already sold 6,000 tickets for the game and, as those are valid for the reserve day, they wanted to give spectators the opportunity to see as much cricket as possible.

Spectators who have already purchased tickets who are unable to attend this evening can swap them for a ticket to one of Warwickshire's Pro-40 League home matches.

Representatives from both counties met with Alan Fordham, the ECB's cricket operations director, and umpires Jeremy Lloyds and Rob Bailey before the amended start time was agreed.

The delay in playing the quarter-final means the draw for the semi-finals at the Rose Bowl on July 26 will now be made tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Warwickshire will give a first team debut to Leamington wicketkeeper Michael Balac in tomorrow's tour match against Bangladesh A at Edgbaston.

Balac, 20, has been registered with the ECB so that he can make his first-class debut in the absence of Tony Frost, who has been rested, and Richard Johnson, who has a broken finger.

source - birminghammail.net
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