All eyes on Edgbaston weather for Ashes opener
At Edgbaston Cricket Ground, Friday’s current Birmingham weather prediction is for mainly dry weather with intermittent cloud cover – with no rain forecast. The average daily temperature should be 22°C (71.6F), while the England batsmen will be hoping the sun shines, creating good conditions for batting and hard work for the fielders. There is still a slight chance of showers as the match progresses.
All set for cricket’s greatest rivalry
One of sport’s greatest events – the Ashes between England and Australia – is underway.
The last time Australia played at Edgbaston in an Ashes test match was in 2015, and they suffered a humiliating eight-wicket defeat after being bowled out for 136 in their first innings. England bowling legend James Anderson took 6-47. But unfortunately a calf injury has ruled him out of the rest of the first test, after bowling just four overs. A big shame for England, as the Birmingham weather forecast would have helped his swing bowling.
Edgbaston forecast and the toss: Bat or bowl?
If a captain wins the toss, most experts believe they should bat first. As a test match goes on, by the last two days a pitch has deteriorated and become worn away. This makes it more difficult to bat as the bowling becomes more unpredictable. So, if you get a big score on the board first up, you can put more pressure on the opposition.
However, the first morning of a test match is often a good time to bowl, especially if there is cloud cover which can make the ball move and swing – batsmen are also nervous and the ball is fresh and new.
Why does the cricket ball swing?
There has always been an element of mystery around why a cricket ball swings in cloudy conditions and there are a number of theories.
- In overcast conditions, low temperatures and high humidity lead to the air becoming thicker, meaning the ball is more likely to swing around.
- The cricket pitch is also affected, with a high amount of moisture in the wicket due to humidity. This means that the seam grips the tackier surface and skids more, making it move laterally.
- The friction effect: You often see players rubbing one side of the ball. This is to create a smooth side and a rough side, to change the ‘flow velocity’. If the ball lands on the smooth side, it may do something different to when it lands on the rough side, thus confusing the batsman.
Five test matches in the series
But no matter what the Edgbaston weather, it promises to be an incredible series of intense cricket. All five test matches are taking place in just over six weeks. Here are the Ashes fixtures, with the current Ashes weather forecast:
Ashes forecast & 2019 itinerary:
- First test, Edgbaston Cricket Ground, Aug 1-5
- Second test, Lord’s Cricket Ground, London, Aug 14-18
- Third test, Headingley Cricket Ground, Yorkshire, Aug 22-26
- Fourth test, Old Trafford Cricket Ground, Manchester, Sep 4-8
- Fifth test, The Oval Cricket Ground, London, Sep 12-16
Weather and cricket – a fickle relationship
Of course, cricket is heavily reliant on the weather being good – with rain a constant curse. And the English cricket authorities will be desperate for the sun to keep on shining. Last year, on August 8, the first day of the Lord’s test match against India was washed out, costing the MCC a cool £2m in ticket refunds. Let’s hope the Edgbaston forecast is rain-free!