The infestation of daddy longlegs has put Sussex’s first game of the County Championship against Lancashire at risk. Whether the match will be relocated to the Emirates Old Trafford will be decided on Friday. The match was going to be played at the County Cricket Ground in Hove, the home ground of Sussex, but Lancashire has agreed to flip venues for the two matches if necessary.
An inspection of the damaged outfield in Hove will be done on Friday before a final call is made on the relocation. The damage was caused by a crane fly larva that was feeding on the grassroots. The two teams are supposed to play a match in Hove starting from April 8 which will be succeeded by another contest between the two teams which starts on April 29 in Lancashire’s home ground of Olf Trafford in Manchester.
After being forced to have a shortened first-class competition last year, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) was able to organize a 10-game conference stage for this year’s championship.
We have to make a decision now because everyone needs time to adjust to any change: Sussex spokesperson
ECB’s pitch and grounds advisor, Andy Mackay will meet Ben Gibson, the Sussex groundsman to check the bare patches which have appeared at the sea end of the stadium. Interestingly, before Gibson joined the role, Mackay was in the same position with Sussex.
‘We have to make a decision now because everyone needs time to adjust to any change, not least Lancashire who will need to prepare a pitch,’ confirmed a Sussex spokesperson indicating that the decision will be made soon in order to make sure that Lancashire has time to prepare a pitch if required.
The Sussex county club has faced some issues when it comes to dealing properly with the bug issues in recent times. The common solution to these issues has always been insecticide. However, since 2016 the ban on insecticide in the United Kingdom has not allowed Sussex to get rid of the bugs easily.
The one good thing as far as Sussex is concerned is the fact that the issue is not as same as the one which had caused issues during the 1972 Ashes. At that time, the Australian team was angry as a grass-killing fungus called fusarium had caused the Headingley wicket to stay bare and helped Derek Underwood to take England to a win in three days. The pitch in Sussex is not facing an issue on the square of the wicket.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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