Rain delays could be a thing of the past, as MCC and ECB mull revolutionary technological innovation
The testing is at a very early stage but has attracted interest from the England and Wales Cricket Board.
What’s the story?
Rain breaks in cricket have always been a nuisance and there have been instances when owing to intermittent showers games have been cancelled. The fickle nature of weather in England has always meant that the imminent threat of rain pervades every cricket match played in the country.
However, if the good folk of The Telegraph are to be believed, this menace could slowly be swept into the past as tests, which are being conducted on new technology, could see mesh canopies being placed over cricket grounds. This will allow the game to continue even if it starts pelting down.
A United States-based company has approached the ECB with a new proposal that includes suspending a very thin plastic mesh from the floodlights with a hot air balloon being used in the centre to lift it up, creating a tent-like effect.
“There is some interesting technology around trying to create protection from rain and keep the game on in wet weather,” MCC CEO Guy Lavender was quoted as saying by Telegraph Sport.
Lavender also said that since he was with the MCC, it gave him and the club the opportunity to try out new things and innovate without any restrictions.
In case you didn’t know…
Rains have always plagued cricket in the United Kingdom and hence the MCC's proposal has met many optimistic takers.
In this year's Natwest Blast, there were as many as 16 games wiped out by showers. Hence, the ECB is quite serious about this new technology as its proposed revamped T20 league will be played in August, a month that has been the dampest over the last few seasons.
The ECB and the MCC have identified the fact that there is still a very long way to go before this proposal sees the light of the day.
Issues that are very glaring include plans to combat run-off water, and safety of the audiences and players when matches are played in high wind when the light mesh could be problematic.
Owing to the aforementioned factors, this new technology, that is still in its nascent stages, could well take a couple of years before being rolled out onto a cricket field.
MCC has always been on the forefront to suggest new and innovative changes to the game and after the success of the pink ball, which was another one of their proposals, this new innovation could well be a shot in the arm for the game which still lies at the mercy of the weather, a factor which can never be accounted for.