Bowl outs - calm after the storm
Davy Holmes (News Letter)
Comment- Calm After the Storm
There has been much discussion over the last week about the merits of deciding Challenge Cup matches by a bowl out, so letís get a few things straight.
As the NCU rules stand after two attempts to complete any cup match on the field, the final resort is a bowl out. Why is this rule in place? Very simply because the member clubs of the Union voted on this solution at their AGM.
Now on Friday it was becoming apparent that if the weather did not relent we were looking at the very real possibility of not only the Challenge Cup quarter-finals but those in the Junior Cup as well all being decided by what is effectively a lottery.
Most right thinking people would probably agree that this is a far from ideal way of deciding the last four of your premier cup competition. I also happen to believe that this applies to players, administrators, spectators and the gameís sponsors alike.
On Friday evening the NCU called a meeting of their Emergency Committee for Saturday morning to discuss the situation. I am reliably informed that despite much discussion on Twitter and other forums that this meeting was not at the instigation of the clubs; indeed no-one in a position of authority at any of the clubs involved had approached the Union.
The meeting was called for one simple reason in the preceding 24 hours up to 6pm on Friday two thirds of the average rainfall for the month of June had fallen.
I spoke with Richard Johnson the NCUís sponsorship officer about the situation:
ďThe committee met at 11am on Saturday and ahead of that meeting had spoken to all the clubs involved. At that stage the position was that no grounds had been deemed unplayable and therefore the decision was that whilst there was a possibility of cricket the committee concluded that the appropriate competition rules should continue to apply in all ties.Ē
From a personal perspective I believe it would have been a travesty if all ties had been decided by bowl out, but the weather relented and half were decided on the field and half by bowl out.
What this episode has highlighted is the adage that you should be careful what you wish for; or in this case vote for. I am sure that no one ever foresaw the possibility that such a doomsday scenario might occur when they voted in this rule change.
Equally I have no doubt that the Union welcomes the opportunity to see such matters aired and debated publically. If all concerned have a genuine wish that this situation is not repeated in future; given the climate we live in, it is a distinct possibility, I have no doubt that a suitable amendment will be brought to this yearís AGM.