By Keith Miller
This season won’t go down in the annals of history as a year of great decision making at Auckland Cricket.
First we had the boundary rope debacle in the pinnacle of the domestic one day game.
Then, after knowing for years – quite literally – that should New Zealand make the World Cup quarter finals then they would be in the fixture held today, Auckland Cricket decides it would be a good idea to make all afternoon cricketers (Senior & Junior) play at the same time.
It’s not like a precedent had not been sent. They were quite happy to shift all games that clashed with an Eden Park fixture to the corresponding Sunday. Nothing wrong with that by the way – that actually makes perfect sense. A rare occurrence it would seem.
Yet after warning all players before the season started that there would be a number of games transferred to Sundays during the World Cup, today is the second occasion that Auckland Club Cricket has been played at the same time as a New Zealand fixture. Ludicrous.
So what is the impact?
Well, generally you can rely on 2-3 defaults across the board for club cricket in Auckland. So far today there have been 15 (that we know of). That’s in excess of 300 players affected already. You can almost sense the tension of the Mexican Stand Offs at other fixtures to see which team blinks last this afternoon and wins the default points.
There have also been a number of clandestine arrangements between teams across some grades to play tomorrow instead
Furthermore, there’s some light drizzle hanging around Auckland today. At the first spot of rain, there’ll be a few sideways glances, a few sheepish grins, and handshakes all round in record time.
The most common sound throughout Auckland today will be the sound of squealing tyres as cricketers leave their venues to catch the second innings of the New Zealand/West Indies game.
It’s a ridiculous situation, and one that should have been so easily avoided months ago.