For some weeks, I've been drafting a post on the subject of Club Cricket - specifically the ongoing debate between 'time' games and the limited over variety in friendly (non league) games.
For various reasons, it's still not ready - but to whet the appetite here's the transcript of a conversation I had last summer which provides some sort of contxt within which the debate has been taking place.
The scene is my club side's home ground on a Sunday afternoon last year. As skipper for the day, I'm wandering out to toss up with the visiting captain:
Me - 'Usual tea between and twenty from six-thirty?'
Oppo - 'What?'
Me - 'Start when we're ready, tea between innings, and start last twenty overs at half-past-six'
Oppo - 'We only play 40 overs'
Me - 'Even on a Sunday in non-league games?'
Oppo - 'Yes'
Me - 'Well, we rather play time games'
Oppo - 'Oh. How many overs then?'
Me - 'It depends'
Oppo - 'What time's tea?'
Me - 'Between innings - either when the first side is bowled out, or when they declare and set a target'
Oppo - 'Ok, what time normally?'
Me - 'Normally around 4.45ish - depending on how many runs they've got, and how much itme they think they'll need to bowl the other side out'
Oppo - 'Bowl them out?'
Me - 'Yes - otherwise it's a draw'
Oppo - 'But how many overs?'
Me - 'It varies - but normally the side batting first will get a few more, but side bowling first gets to use the new ball - so it sort of balances out'
Oppo - 'Ok then - but if we bat first we're having 40 overs'
Me - 'Regardless of how many runs you've got?'
Oppo - 'Yes'
To cut a very long, and very depressing story short, Opposition batted first. By 4.30, they had made 250 for 3. By 5 o'clock, they had 326 for 6 whereupon the declaration came. When it was our turn to bat, the Opposition bowled fourteen overs in the first hour (by which time we were 80 for 2) Every time one of our batsmen play two consecutive scoring shots, the field went back to the boundary. By the end of the game, we were 190 for 5.