Nassau pitch flora, solar symbolism, Frank Nsubuga + more in our latest T20 World Cup round-up

3 minute read

Aren’t World Cups more fun when there’s a whole bunch of nations involved and not just the same handful you’ve seen a billion times before? Welcome to our latest 2024 T20 World Cup round-up.

A story of soggy success and solar symbolism

The key moment in the England v Scotland abandonment came in the sixth over when Scotland’s Michael Jones munted Chris Jordan onto the top of the Greenidge and Haynes stand and smashed a solar panel.

“We won’t be needing that,” he seemed to be saying.

Sure enough, the weather was too strong for Scotland.

“The rain beat us,” said Jones. “We’ve got good bowlers and we’re a good team, so it’s annoying.”

You know it may just be that when atmospheric water vapour condenses into water droplets, a nicely-balanced bowling attack isn’t a particularly relevant counter.

Frank Nsubuga!

All right, Mrs Nsubuga. Is your Frank playing out today?

Today’s big news is Uganda’s first win at a T20 World Cup. They were pretty hot favourites to achieve that after bowling Papua New Guinea out for 77, although that favouritism cooled rapidly for large parts of their subsequent 78-7.

The key bowler was 43-year-old Frank Nsubuga who bowled the most economical four overs in T20 World Cup history, finishing with figures of 2-4. (One of his wickets was Hiri Hiri. “All right Mrs Hiri…” etc.)

Nsubuga’s spell featured no fewer than 20 dot balls, which meant it was so good, he barely even made the highlights.

Fun fact: Nsubuga made his international debut before Mark Butcher, Shoaib Akhtar and Adam Gilchrist (and quite a lot of other people) when he turned out for East and Central Africa in the 1997 ICC Trophy.

Frank Nsubuga! Remember the name!

Flower on New York pitch – bordering on dangerous

When we wrote about how the pitches for the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium were prepared in Adelaide, in trays, earlier this week, we thought to ourself: Couldn’t they have just splashed out on a roller? New York has soil, right? And grass? Why didn’t they just get someone to squash some of the nearby turf?

Similarly, when we saw a video on Cricinfo headlined, “Flower on New York pitch – bordering on dangerous,” we thought: Come on, even if you can’t afford a mower, you can stretch to a pair of secateurs. Or just snap it off with your bare hands. Surely that’s better than losing Rohit Sharma to the tournament because a short one’s skidded through off a rogue delphinium.

But no, turns out it was a different kind of Flower – Andy, to be precise – voicing the same thoughts an awful lot of people have been having – namely, that maybe shipping 30cm-deep trays of soil and grass halfway round the world isn’t the best way to create a cricket pitch.

Drop-in pitches have a reputation for taking a while to bed in (where ‘bedding in’ means batters having half an idea whether the ball will arrive at their face or toes as they watch it land). The ICC will be hoping this in-bedding happens quick-sharp because India are due to play Pakistan there on Sunday.

Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands and South Africa are the lab rats bravely carrying out the necessary testing before then.

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