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Adam Leventhal:

Raising the roof

Can Handy Andy come up a plan to keep the rain at bay?

Adam Leventhal Posted 3rd August 2009 view comments

Andrew Caddick could have the answer to one of cricket's greatest problems. Having set his retirement date he could now go on and change the face of the world game. He could become the hero of players, fans and groundsmen all over the globe.

That view is backed up by three former England captains, Sir Ian Botham, Nasser Hussain and Michael Atherton, in addition to one of his former coaches David 'Bumble' Lloyd.

They all feel he has what it takes to be a key player in a cricketing revolution to end all revolutions. Forget Packer and pyjama cricket, Stanford or Twenty20, Caddick has the ability to innovate to a level that the game has never seen.

Beefy does his bit to get play going - but what would YOU do?

Beefy does his bit to get play going - but what would YOU do?

You may be wondering how and why the 6'5", Christchurch born, 40-year old holds the key to this unprecedented change, well let me explain. Caddick is one of the world's finest DIY experts, and I have this on authority of those English greats.

Nasser informed me that whenever anyone wanted anything fixed they would go to 'Handy Andy'. Televisions, cupboards, wardrobes, Walkmans anything, Caddick was the man. Nothing was beyond his powers.

The MCC and ICC are looking into floodlit Test matches using pink balls, the ECB might start a new Twenty20 x two innings competition on Sundays, but why not work on defeating the biggest problem in the game... the weather. Should we not try and move into the future with the aim to supply climate controlled cricket stadia. Why not?

Adam Leventhal
Quotes of the week

Now has come his greatest mission, one that I hope he will accept. Having sat at Edgbaston on a number of occasions throughout this test with the covers on and the rain soaking deep into the already sodden turf, I want Caddick to fix the situation.

Umbrella

My challenge to Mr Fixit is to ensure that rain never leads to time being lost on a cricket field. If he comes up with the answer he will change the face of the game and I think he has it in him to succeed. Although he is the master, I have come up with a few suggestions that he may want to look at.

It would be wonderful if an enormous mechanical hand could rise above cricket grounds holding the world's largest umbrella whenever rain was on the horizon. Maybe it could be sponsored, the PA could announce its arrival "Behold the npower of the umbrella hand".

The answer could be linked to the Betfair blimp, perhaps a huge tarpaulin could be suspended from a number of blimps around the ground, to save the pitch from rain. The patter from the ground announcer could be, "Thanks to Betfair the heavens have been defeated, what are the chances of that?"

Other ideas include a swimming pool style roller cover that stretches across the entire pitch, a Wimbledon tennis tent that could be erected, a Truman Show clear plastic bubble that could be inflated around the ground or here's one of the most outlandish ideas - roofs on stadia. Now forgive me, I know that sounds unlikely, would never work, and has never been tried in any other sports before, but I think Caddick might be able to sort something.

Seriously though, I think we've reached the time for new stadiums to be built with roofs on. There are obviously valid concerns about how that would affect the grass, the ball, the light and not to mention big hits bouncing off the ceiling, but surely fans would rather watch action whatever the ball was doing, if the other option was sitting in a rain-drenched stand.

With so much money being pumped into the game, could some of it not be ploughed into something that would ensure that spectators never miss a minute of action.

Floodlit

We've seen instances during this Edgbaston Test where fans have been sat in a packed stadium with the sun out after rain, but there's been no action because the wind is being given extra time to dry the surface. Should we not try and stop bizarre situations like this?

The MCC and ICC are looking into floodlit Test matches using pink balls, the ECB might start a new Twenty20 x two innings competition on Sundays, but why not work on defeating the biggest problem in the game... the weather. Should we not try and move into the future with the aim to supply climate controlled cricket stadia. Why not?

If you have any ideas that Caddick could work on, please do send me your suggestions below. The cricketing world needs to unite behind the fix-master general and ensure that he is given the best help possible to stop matches being hindered by rain. Let's not waste his retirement!

Got any idea of how we can keep our cricket grounds dry? Are roofs the answer? Let us know your suggestions by filling in the feedback form below... and Adam will consider them in his next blog

Comments (1)

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Martin Hicks says...

I think you are asking Andy to tackle the problem from the wrong end. Years ago when they were the TCCB they said we don't need lights because it doesn't get dark as quickly here as it does in other countries and yet we lose more time to bad light than anywhere else. Now we have lights we can't use them. Playing under a retractable roof would require lights so that would not solve the problem. If memory serves me Australia staged a Test Match against South Africa indoors under lights so we must use the wrong kind of lights. Andy needs to design wellingtons for bowling and a coal miner's helmet with a vizor and wipers. We can then play in the rain and bad light.

Posted 18:22 3rd August 2009

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