London, England – In the aftermath of Friday’s abandoned one-day international at Headingley, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has called on the ICC to sanction use of “precision watering” at cricket grounds as a way to deter rain.

Speaking in his role as Special Envoy to the Middle East and spokesman for Chessington World of Adventures, Mr Blair issued the following statement:

“The events of this past Friday have once again highlighted how ineffective umpire inspections have become in preventing rain during international matches held in England. As a global cricket community we can no longer stand idly by whilst the paying spectators of that weather ravaged country continue to be terrorised by its unpredictable atmospheric conditions.

I have therefore written to the ICC asking them to sanction the use of unmanned sprinklers backed up by wellington boots on the ground, in the form of groundsmen armed with hosepipes. Through this use of precision watering it will be possible to flood bowlers run-ups thus making any rain in the area completely irrelevant.

I understand that this will result in some collateral damage to spectator enjoyment but in the long-term millions could be saved in weather-based insurance premiums.”

A spokesman for the ICC commented, “At face value this idea seems both counterproductive and a huge waste of time. As such it’s been passed to our cricket committee for evaluation and field testing.”

The second ODI between England and Australia starts today in Manchester. Conditions are expected to be dry with the chance of limited outbreaks of political idiocy during the afternoon.