ECB ‘arrangements’ are a fall from Grace
THE much discussed impact of limited-over cricket upon the traditional version has some odd side effects.
The Division Two match between Gloucestershire and Derbyshire started at Bristol the day after the West Indies ODI on September 25, resulting in disorganised chaos on several levels.
Although unfair to ask staff at Nevil Road to change from one gear to another seamlessly, the ECB fixture ‘arrangements’ were exposed as the farce they are and spectators paid the price.
Stands blocked the view from bar and restaurant and no-one knew which hallowed portal was in or out of bounds. I was ejected from one spot and, and moments after, a second.
Motoring down with a disabled member, care was taken to check with the county for access.
The Grace gates are closed and there is no parking we were told and parking at Ashley Down Road end is unavailable too. After a quarter-mile hobble we found the Grace gates were open with several parking spaces. The Ashley Down Road car park was also operational.
Reluctant to suffer further indignity I sought refuge in the cafe at the far end of the ground, a cheerless cloister where many glum souls will often be found during the day. It was closed.
As a member of the MCC and a life-long follower of Gloucestershire I am saddened to record such a dismal tale.
My late friend, the noted cricket writer and journalist Arthur Russell always referred to the Nevil Road ground as the Mauseleum, which on the 25th, lived up to it’s billing for many ordinary spectators who, excluded from the warm embrace of privilege and inclusivity, sat under a leaden sky in the rain.
And they wonder why people no longer come to watch cricket.
PAUL DOWNEY Tetbury