Ashes 2013: Five Alternative Ways to Decide a Day When It Rains
The rain had the final say at The Oval on Saturday. Right from the moment London woke up, it was pretty clear that play was never going to be possible. With ground staff saying it would take up to two hours to get the ground ready once the rain stopped, when it was still hosing down by 15:00, things looked pretty grim.
By 16:00, it was still raining and umpires had the sense to relieve everyone from their misery and abandon play for the day. Barring a miracle, this game will now end in a draw.
However, what if we lived in a parallel universe? What if rained out days were to be decided through alternative methods?
We've picked five ways for teams to decide things on rained out days.
Have a Dance-off
Chris Gayle started it, then Kevin Pietersen tried it out, too. On days where there is no rain, a dance-off through interpretive dance can be used to decide the day. The umpires should be the judges and every player should get a chance to showcase his skill based on a theme drawn out of a hat.
The umpires then score the players—both positive and negative. Positive scores count towards the run tally, while negative scores result in a number of wickets through a very complex equation which Duckworth-Lewis can make up.
Based on the evidence above, we suspect England would have come out trumps today.
Use Costumes from the Crowd to Put on a Dramatic Play
Almost everywhere in the world, on any day of cricket, there will be a select group of people dressed in silly costumes. Day four at The Oval was no different. Despite the persistent rain, a group of people dressed as chefs and one single person dressed as a lobster provided some entertainment for the bored and frustrated.
At first, the chefs chased the lobster through the empty stands. Then, in a remarkable turn of events and lobster liberation, the sea creature found its inner strength and sent the chefs scattering.
Picking out this group of people from the crowd and asking players to write a script for a short play is another way play can be decided. Whoever writes the best script—as judged by the umpires—gets either 200 runs or five wickets. The scripts should incorporate all themes which encompasses a rain-filled day. Tragedy, comedy and an irksome protagonist are all needed for the win.
Have a Singing Contest
Shane Watson also plays the guitar and sings. With so much talent floating around the cricket world, there is obviously room for a singing contest on rainy days. If one team possess enough members with musical talent to make up an entire band, they automatically win.
The umpires once again play an important role in adjudging the winner. Ability to play a musical instrument, tone, range, number of songs each member of the team can sing are all criteria. Extra points awarded for those who have written original material.
Who hasn't seen the wet covers and fantasized about turning them into a slippery slide? Sliding on the covers is another way to decide the outcome of a day. Believe it or not, there is a serious technique involved in sliding on covers. The most important technique for international cricket teams would be to avoid getting injured.
Once they've managed to bypass that minor obstacle, points will be rewarded for extravagant dives, run up to the dive and the end.
In addition to sliding on the covers, the pools of water on the covers can also be used for electronic boat races. Ambushing the opposition's boats will be encouraged.
A General Knowledge Quiz About the History of the Game
Some cricketers really love the game. They have studied the history of it and they constantly read books about it. Others just like to play and sometimes forget the constant rule changes regarding fielders in one-day cricket.
A quiz on the history of the game is the perfect way to add spice to a dull day. There will be an hour of research time allowed and each team will get two "call a friend" options. Although teams are encouraged to give real answers as far as possible, it is up to the umpire's discretion whether they wish to award points to anyone who comes up with a creatively made-up answer.