Derbyshire Rotate Pitch To Combat Sun Stopping Play

Derbyshire County Cricket Club has taken the bold decision to defy the problems with the setting sun at the County Ground by turning the playing square by 90 degrees. The decision to take decisive action to alleviate sun-stopped-play once and for all was taken at a committee meeting last week and work will begin at the conclusion of the 2008 season. The initial work to the square is likely to costs in the region of £100,000 and once the newly aligned square is ready for play the scoreboard and floodlights will be relocated. Sun stopped play at the County Ground for the first time in June 2006 during the televised Friends Provident Trophy match against Nottinghamshire and several matches were affected during the 2007 campaign. During the forthcoming season the Club will aim to manage the problem by using sophisticated technology to predict the location of the sun in advance so that an appropriate strip can be prepared for the game. The county have consulted at length with the ECB specialists and will engage the services of one of their recommended contractors to ensure the highly technical process is carried out to the highest specifications. Derbyshire Chief Executive Tom Sears said: "The problems we have had with the setting sun in recent seasons are well documented. To be forced to stop play in perfect conditions is an unacceptable situation for players, officials, broadcasters and most importantly our members and supporters. "As a Club we have to look at the long term and we have a commitment to providing the best possible facilities for players, officials and spectators. Turning the square will ensure that we never endure this problem again and importantly that any future development of the ground can be centred around a playing area that is fit for purpose." © Derbyshire CCC
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