Saturday, January 13, 2007

Undercover

Here's a question that's been bugging me for sometime, and no amount of searching can provide a definitive answer so I thought I'd throw it out into the blogosphere and see if anyone can help.

Simply - what's the history of covering wickets in Test Matches?

My own immediate response was that it came in during the 1970's - it can't have been earlier than that in England otherwise Derek Underwood would have ended up with half the number of test wickets that he eventually did. (Remember The Oval 1968, Lords 1974...)

However, a West Indian friend of mine vividly remembers covers being used in Port of Spain in 1958, which suggests to me that there was no formal ICC policy at the time and covering wickets was done on some sort of ad hoc basis.

Any thoughts?

2 comments:

Scott said...

Think covering came into Australia in the 50's. There was a traditional Brisbane sticky in 50-51 and 51-52, but they don't seem to have happened after that.

Tony.T said...

Andrew Ramsay mentioned the introduction of covered wickets in an article a week ago.

"Perhaps the biggest changes to the game in the past 60 years were the switch to covered pitches in 1980 and the introduction of helmets at about the same time. These two things make it difficult to meaningfully compare cricketers who learned the game before and those who learned after."

However, that probably doesn't hold for everywhere. I mean, "when the Headingly groundsman rolled back the covers on the wickets" in 1975, I'm fairly sure that indicates Leeds grounds had covers before 1980.