Mop-up might’ve all been avoided

Jeremy Black­more talks to a frus­trated Mid­dle­sex cap­tain as rain damp­ens their hopes of sur­vival

The Cricket Paper - - LIVE -

Skip­per James Franklin mucked in with mop-up op­er­a­tions at Uxbridge as Mid­dle­sex searched for enough time to sal­vage the points they ur­gently need to en­sure first di­vi­sion sur­vival.

Franklin voiced his frus­tra­tion with the sched­ul­ing which meant Mid­dle­sex had to play this au­tum­nal fix­ture at an out­ground, rather than Lord’s where more mod­ern drainage fa­cil­i­ties might have pre­vented so much of the first three days be­ing lost af­ter heavy show­ers.

With Lord’s un­avail­able due to the Test match, the weather had a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact, leav­ing a wet square and an even bog­gier out­field.

No play was pos­si­ble on day one, but a tire­less ef­fort from the ground­staff, work­ing around the clock us­ing heat­lamps and bring­ing in ad­di­tional sheet­ing, en­sured play could at least start on Wed­nes­day be­fore a fur­ther short, but tor­ren­tial, down­pour af­ter lunch put paid to pro­ceed­ings for the rest of the day and the fol­low­ing morn­ing.

“It’s prob­a­bly scratch your heads time,” said Franklin. “I know the sched­ule is the way it is with the Test match and the way that it worked out, we’re hav­ing to play a home game away from our main ground. I don’t know of too many other coun­ties who play out-ground cricket in Septem­ber.”

Franklin said it would be un­fair to point the fin­ger at any­one for the de­lays: “It’s not a pro­fes­sional sports ground. When you go to a lot of out-grounds the re­sources are not what they are at Test grounds. They’ve done the best they can with the re­sources that they have avail­able. We’ve just copped it with the weather and been re­ally un­for­tu­nate with the amount of wa­ter that has come down.”

For Hamp­shire, for­mer cap­tain Jimmy Adams took over the reins at the 11th hour af­ter James Vince picked up a ham­string nig­gle dur­ing the warm-up.

“Cap­taincy is some­thing I prob­a­bly did feel was be­hind me, but needs must and hope­fully it’s an en­joy­able few days,” he said.

“There are times where it’s a frus­trat­ing thing to do, but it’s nice as a one-off.”

PIC­TURE: Getty Im­ages

Frus­trated: Mid­dle­sex cap­tain James Franklin was left down in the dumps af­ter lit­tle play was pos­si­ble at Uxbridge

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