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Rain Stopped Play


27-11-2012 09:00

Brendan ‘Weather Eye’ McWilliams may be sadly gone – but in honour of Illustrated Weather Eye, our beautifully illustrated collection of his columns, today our own sales director Peter Thew pays homage to his hero. He looks at three little words that cause cricketers so much frustration....

 

Rain stopped play – three little words that cause cricketers so much frustration. Over the past 20 years the popularity of cricket in Ireland has grown hugely, driven both by the success of the national team and the significant number of Australians, South Africans, New Zealanders, Indians and Pakistanis who have made their homes in Ireland. For those not born in this country, the ever present threat of rain – even at the height of summer – seems hard to understand.

 

And yet when you consider where Ireland is situated, it’s a wonder we play cricket at all. The latitude of Cape Town is 33o south - about the same distance from the Equator as Damascus. Dunedin, at the southern end of south island New Zealand is 41o south – about the same distance from the Equator as Bordeaux. Imagine the fun if we played our cricket in those sort of climes! To find somewhere in the southern hemisphere that’s as far from the Equator as Dublin (53o) you need to go to Tierra del Fuego on the southern tip of South America. And to find the equivalent of Derry (55o) will take you to South Georgia – the inhospitable lump of rock from which Tom Crean and others were rescued from Ernest Shackleton’s 1916 Antarctic expedition.

 

That we play cricket on this island at all is due to the benevolence of the Gulf Stream. Whilst it is responsible for much of the rain that so frustrates us, it also brings us warm air from the Gulf of Mexico, thus ensuring some playable conditions between the inevitable showers. Whilst it’s hard to imagine that Ireland will ever produce the hot, dusty playing conditions of the Indian sub-continent, all the time the Gulf Stream can reproduce its magic over Ireland we should continue to play the noblest of games.

 

Image courtesy of Photos.com/Corbis.



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