A 50-over match between the second XIs of Yorkshire and Lancashire was called off as unseasonal snow covered the entire pitch and outfield after the halfway mark at Headingley on Tuesday (April 25).
Parts of England have been going through a springtime cold wave with an Arctic blast moving southwards from Scotland. Towns as far south as Norwich as well as many places in the north of England and the Midlands reported snow on Tuesday, while Staffordshire, Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and bits of the North East also experienced wintry showers.
The Headingley game started in “bitterly cold” conditions, according to the Yorkshire website. Lancashire won the toss and opted to field, and Jonny Tattersall (48) and Matthew Waite (70) did most of the scoring for Yorkshire as they finished on 259 for 8 with Simon Kerrigan, the left-arm spinner, returning 3 for 22.
The weather worsened after the Yorkshire innings but play did resume after a delay, and Lancashire faced 1.1 overs in which they got to 7 for no loss before the snow came down in a rush and the field was covered in no time.
Change in weather patterns have meant that the infamously fickle weather in England has been even more up and down than usual, and even last year, around the same time, matches in London, Durham and Birmingham were affected by snow or sleet.
It was April 26, 2016, and Surrey’s clash with Somerset at The Oval was stopped just after lunch when a sudden onslaught of rain, hail, sleet and snow hit the ground and the area around it, while there were similar scenes at Chester-le-Street, where Durham were playing Middlesex, and at Birmingham’s Edgbaston, where Warwickshire were hosting Yorkshire.
Snow has stopped play in England on quite a few instances in the past, but it was possibly never more dramatic than in 1975, when in the middle of one of England’s hottest summers, a Derbyshire v Lancashire county match at Park Road Ground in Buxton had a whole day’s play taken away because of snow. It started with rain, which quickly turned to hail and then snow, covering the entire ground in a sheet of white.