On the Front Foot: Sky's the limit for the pundits as fixture congestion threatens

 

Part of the allure of big-time cricket is supposed to be that it has three formats.

The ICC constantly use it as a selling point, both to supporters and TV companies. "Ooh, look at us," they sometimes say, "we've got all these different types of game which nobody else has, so there." Or that is the gist.

The trouble is, it is difficult to know what is taking place where, when and above all why. Take next summer in England, the schedule for which has been announced. First there are some Test matches, which are followed by some one-day internationals and then some Twenty20s. After that, there are some more one-day internationals in the form of the Champions Trophy. Then come some more Tests, with another lot of Twenty20s after that and finally some one-day internationals.

At nine different grounds there will be seven Tests, four T20s and, depending on the format of the Champions Trophy, 23 one-day internationals. It seems too much. The other night on Sky Sports, when James Taylor was blitzing his way to a wonderful hundred in a CB40 match (that's another format, by the way), there was a concerned commentators' conversation about the plethora of cricket even this summer in the wake of Kevin Pietersen's retirement from ODIs and T20s.

If Sky, with their £260m rights deal with the ECB, think there is too much cricket then the ECB ought to start listening. Mind you, there may always have been too much, if not of the international variety. When Australia toured this country in 1972 they played 26 first-class matches (including five Tests and Lancashire twice) and 11 one-dayers. No one complained.

No reduction for DL method

Duckworth and Lewis, a cricketing double act to be bracketed with Hobbs and Sutcliffe and Trueman and Statham, is with us to stay. Their system of calculating target scores in reduced limited-overs matches, which no one understands but everybody accepts, had been under threat.

For 10 years, an Indian engineer, V Jayadevan, has been urging the ICC that his system, the VJD, is more accurate. The ICC first ruled that DL, the brainchild of the statisticians Frank Duckworth and Tony Lewis, was best eight years ago and they did so again last week, concluding "there was no evidence of any significant flaws in the DL method".

Indeed DL is more than a cricket system. It is part of the fabric of things now. A popular music combo named itself after the pair three years ago with a riproaring, eclectic album. And what other statisticians had a naughty BBC Radio 4 comedy sketch written about them?

The scene is a bedroom where a couple have been in the throes of passion. A man asks: "Was that good for you, darling?" A woman replies: "Fantastic this time, sweetheart." The man says: "Well darling, that was all down to the Duckworth Lewis method."

Trueman but a false dawn

There is another diamond jubilee on Tuesday. It will be 60 years since Fred Trueman began his Test career. Two days later, India, in their second innings, were reduced to 0 for 4, the worst start ever in Tests. Trueman had three of the wickets and had announced himself to the world.

"The crowd were stunned into silence as the drama unfolded before them," said the Wisden Almanack. By the end of the four-Test series, he had 29 wickets. England had no tour that winter but for the start of the next summer Trueman was omitted.

Times, you might say, have changed.

Tattoo little, too late

Kevin Pietersen's retirement from limited-overs cricket will not only reduce England's run-rate. The tattoo count will also go down significantly. Pietersen had three lions emblazoned on his arm in the days when he was still in love with one-day cricket.

With Andrew Flintoff not having been around for a while it will leave Jade Dernbach, a self-confessed devotee of body art, as the sole standard-bearer, at least on public display.

s.brenkley@independent.co.uk

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Powdered colors are displayed for sale at a market ahead of the Holi festival in Bhopal, India
techHere's what you need to know about the riotous occasion
Arts and Entertainment
Larry David and Rosie Perez in ‘Fish in the Dark’
theatreReview: Had Fish in the Dark been penned by a civilian it would have barely got a reading, let alone £10m advance sales
News
Details of the self-cleaning coating were published last night in the journal Science
science
News
Approved Food sell products past their sell-by dates at discounted prices
i100
News
Life-changing: Simone de Beauvoir in 1947, two years before she wrote 'The Second Sex', credited as the starting point of second wave feminism
peopleHer seminal feminist polemic, The Second Sex, has been published in short-form to mark International Women's Day
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable