Advertisement

Blast schedule not ideal - Bears skipper Davies

Alex Davies keeping wicket for Birmingham Bears
Alex Davies' Bears have suffered back-to-back T20 Blast losses after starting with two wins [Getty Images]

Birmingham Bears captain Alex Davies says this year's T20 Blast schedule is "not sustainable for elite sport" due to the lack of recovery time between some games.

Bears had to play against Durham on Saturday afternoon at 15:30 BST having only got back from Friday evening's game with Lancashire in Manchester in the early hours of the morning.

They were forced to leave out England T20 international Richard Gleeson as he had not recovered in time from the Old Trafford trip - and his replacement Aamer Jamal suffered a nightmare T20 debut, hit for 25 from the Pakistan international's only over.

"We had to rest Richard, [so] Aamer came in and it didn't go quite as planned," Davies told BBC Radio WM.

"Having to leave one of your best international bowlers out because he hasn't got time to recover for the game is disappointing.

"I know it's the same for everyone in the country but it's not an ideal schedule, getting back on Friday night at 2am, and the lads having a few hours' sleep and turning up to the ground again.

"It's not really sustainable for elite sport, in my opinion."

Birmingham Bears bowler Richard Gleeson
Richard Gleeson was a key factor in Bears' win over Durham eight days earlier, taking 2-12 from 18 balls [Getty Images]

Durham, well beaten by the Bears eight days previously, had also played the evening before.

But they were only a little more than an hour's drive away from Edgbaston at Leicester - half the travel time back from Manchester.

Following Saturday's second successive defeat, the Bears have six days off before their next game - at home to Yorkshire on Friday evening, followed by a day's rest before a Sunday afternoon trip to Derby.

Bedingham brilliance burns Bears

The other key factor in Durham's win at Edgbaston was the tremendous 29 minutes spent at the crease by South African David Bedingham.

He smashed just 63 in 27 balls, including a six and three fours in taking 20 runs off Jamal's one eight-ball fifth over, having hit 18 off four balls off George Garton two overs earlier.

"In both games this weekend we had a couple of overs which have been really costly," admitted Davies.

"That gets you behind the game early and we had a few decisions go against us which were questionable. David Bedingham played really well but he survived a run-out and I'm really not sure how."

Victory was Durham's second on the spin after beginning their Blast campaign with two defeats.

"There is a reason why the Bears have been as successful as they have over a number of years so any win at Edgbaston is great," said Durham all-rounder Ben Raine, who took five wickets.

"But David Bedingham's innings was ridiculous. Nobody else was really timing the ball until he came out but he hit the ball beautifully. We felt we were quite over-par with our score."