Paul edwards caught up with Head Coach Peter Moores at the close of play yesterday
"There was no possibility of playing cricket that day. We had been wandering, indeed, outside the desolate press-box an hour in the morning; but since lunch, the cold autumn wind had brought with it clouds so sombre, and a rain so penetrating, that further out-door exercise was now out of the question."
Devotees of the works of Charlotte Bronte will probably be outraged by my dreadful adaptation of the opening lines of her novel Jane Eyre, but I must bear their opprobrium with fortitude. The gales which whistled and howled round the press box on Wednesday morning brought memories of walking the moors around Haworth to mind and the temptation to mix two scenes linked only by their unmitigated bleakness was irresistible.
Eventually, though, my attention shifted from moors to Moores and the news that there was, indeed, no possibility of playing cricket on the third day of the game against Nottinghamshire. The destination of the County Championship is still unclear, but Somerset seem to be slight favourites. While Nottinghamshire may want to arrange some sort of game on the final day of the season, Lancashire's head coach sounded some notes of caution at the close of play.
“Everyone knows the Championship situation and it has to be seen to be right," said Peter Moores. "We will see if we get a day’s cricket, then we will decide just like it is any game. There is a responsibility that the integrity of the game and competition is kept. We have to make sure whatever we do it is fair within the competition.
“What happens elsewhere shouldn’t influence what goes on here, this should be a game in itself," he added. “People understand it has been a long season and everything should be done fairly and how you would have done it in any other game, not just because it is the last game of the season, so it is fair across the board for everybody.”
Moores's stress upon the integrity of the Championship is very welcome and very typical. Nevertheless, today will still be dominated by hypothetical points calculations, all of them taking place against a background of showers, gales and inspections - the English summer at its most engaging, in other words.
Amid the afternoon's inactivity at Old Trafford yesterday - one colleague even suggested a game of press-box cricket - one very pleasant ceremony took place in the library during the afternoon when Shivnarine Chanderpaul was awarded his county cap.
The Guyanan has scored 698 runs at an average of 58.16 in seven first-class games for Lancashire. He has passed fifty seven times in 13 innings. But as Peter Moores pointed out, his influence has extended beyond statistics. "Shiv is a very gentle man, but is a craftsman as a batsman,” said the Lancashire coach. “We had VVS Laxman last year and Shiv this year, and they are both of the same ilk, both great blokes to have around.
“Shiv will have the bowling machine up at 85mph in the nets and will show you his craft, he will work the ball around brilliantly. For anyone to watch the rhythm he has and the skill he plays with and the sheer enjoyment he gets from deploying that skill, if it doesn’t excite you then you don’t love the game.
“To watch him bat and to hear him talk about how to wear a bowler down, how to sit in when needed and how to protect your off-stump is superb. There is fantastic knowledge there which he is happy to share because he loves the game.
“He is an example of overseas players adding something to the club as a whole. We have young cricketers in the dressing room and they have learnt a lot from Shiv and he is hungry. He is the first person in the nets every day.
“The cap is fitting reward because even though he has only been here a short time, he has been totally committed and that is all you can ever ask from an overseas player."