Because bad light stops play at 3.30pm every day that it's not raining.
Because all the teams who turn up as opposition are either a) the minnows or b) would rather be at the IPL.
Because it means Test players never play county championship cricket.
Because the Test selectors have to make big decisions based on three early season games.
Because too much Test cricket is played, and I'd prefer fewer but more meaningful games were played.
Because England players should get more than 2 weeks at home at a time.
I can think of others, but it's a start.
I don't know, I went to see England v NZ at Lords May before last. From the stands, the light looked absolutely fine, but they began offering it at 2.30pm. They came on and off every half hour or so, with seemingly miniscule (and unnoticeable to untrained eyes) changes in the light conditions causing another stoppage. It was farcical.
Then this season, they countered that by having floodlights available at one ground (I forget which), but the shadows from the floodlights were deemed unsuitable for test cricket, so off they went again.
If they want to play May Tests, they have to start at 9.30am to get the best chance of getting 90 overs in. If that means a slightly earlier breakfast for the players, well so be it.
"Hate" far too strong a word, but I think they're definitely too early. Back in the day there used to be a significant chunk of first class cricket played before the first test and one could compare the form of the various possibles and probables.
I know times moves on, but May tests pretty much guarantee the incumbents are going to fill most of the XI becuase no-one else gets a chance to put a case forward with their form.
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And it goes further than that. England v Bangladesh in August is a poor enough contest in August. But it's even worse if the match is played at Chester-le-Street, on a muddy greentop, in an icy gale, against a Bangladesh team fielding in gloves and blinking to accustom themselves to the gloom and who haven't had more by way of warm-up games than a one-off rained-off T20 v Lavinia Dutchess of Norfolk's XI.
For me, I'd prefer we scrapped the early-season series altogether and returned to the old system of warming up for a Test series with a short series of (say) 3 ODIs. That gives the ODIs a degree of interest that's so painfully lacking in the current series. However due to the FTP and the Test championship (about which no-one really gives a toss anyway) we are forced to play more international cricket than is really good for us.
Last edited by zaremba; 14-09-2009 at 05:43 AM.
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Nah, May in most parts of the UK is, on average, significantly more overcast and less sunny than July or August. What's more, the lesser warmth means more time will be lost when it rains, because evaporation is lessened. Yeah, sure, when you get a nice day in May it's as good to play and watch cricket on as any time in August (in fact from my POV, better, because it isn't too hot as those months sometimes are). But you won't get it incredibly often.
There's also the "too much" angle, which I think is the main thing. I don't really mind a Test starting at the end of May, but one starting in the middle is far from ideal, and the situation we had this summer, with the even-more-insanely-overcrowded-schedule-than-normal, of two Tests in the first half of the month, was nothing short of ridiculous.
Ideally, the international summer would run from ~27-28 May to ~1-2 September. With 6-7 Tests, 10 ODIs, and nothing else.
Even though there's only a single summer I recall strongly where there was no May Test, it's an idea I've never been keen on.
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It's probably no problem for the armchair spectators but for people at the ground a cold day in May is very uncomfortable to say the least. You don't ideally want to be watching cricket in a duffel coat, balaclava and scarf. It should start during the second Bank Holiday at the earliest.
Personally I wouldn't mind Tests starting around May 20th, but first week of May is ridiculous. The season's barely got started then.
Playing the T20s /ODIs first would help (they should always do that anyway IMO, now that there's no triangular contest).
Limited overs after tests are always going to have an "after the Lord Mayor's show" feel to them.
In 2005 they whetted the appetite for the main course; this year they seem like an unnecessary round of brandy and cigars after the host has already started to doze off.
The only trouble there is that they would have to condense or reduce the fixture list or play Test cricket in mid-September - which is just as bad as May.
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