IT always rains, and pours.

At least that's how it's starting to feel this summer.

Nobody lost last weekend, when an entire programme of matches in the Cheshire County League and the Cheshire League was washed out by the weather.

But nor did they win.

"You want a year like this if you're me," Martin Evans told the Guardian.

"Because last summer was pretty terrible."

During the 2018 campaign Winnington Park, where he is a member, had two first-team games cancelled.

Neither of them were at the Rec.

That figure has doubled already this term and there is still a third of the campaign to go.

Evans is not being flippant; he plays on a pitch that he looks after because is also the groundsman at the Northwich club where he has been a member for more than a decade.

He prepares bowling greens for bowlers at Park Road too.

"Last summer was exceptional," he added.

"We had more than three months of sun, almost uninterrupted, and temperatures above 20 degrees.

"The pitches went, the greens too, and there wasn't much I could do about it."

They may not want to, but cricketers haven't had much besides the weather to talk about in recent weeks.

In their sport, everything has to be decided inside a 22-week window.

Unlike in football, or rugby union, cancelled league games are not rearranged and instead both teams are awarded seven points.

The impact of that can be exaggerated; what if one of your missed matches is against a side at the bottom of the table, while a rival collects 25 points by beating the same opponents on a dry day?

It doesn't mean the likes of Evans work less hard.

In fact, the opposite is true.

"This is my job," he said.

"I can be flexible, and fit in what I need to do around the weather.

"Sometimes that means I'm helping out inside, but at least I'm here if the covers have to go on to the square at short notice.

"It must be much more of a challenge for volunteers; I don't know how they do it."

Improvements in technology have made the weather easier to track and, unsurprisingly, Evans has an app on his mobile phone that can warn him when clouds are gathering above the ground.

In 2019, that's been invaluable.

He shares the tale of the run-up to second XI knockout game, scheduled for midweek, that lit up his screen with messages from players wondering if they'd have a game to take part in.

"There had been glorious sunshine," he said.

"And the next thing it's chucking it down again.

"It changes hour by hour."

He didn't need to be drawn into a debate on climate change to acknowledge that.

The evidence speaks for itself.

"Spring is later and the summer is getting deeper into the year," he said.

"The dividing line between seasons is so much more blurry now."

And what makes cricketers happy doesn't always apply to those that play crown green bowls.

The knowledge from eight years as a greenkeeper at Delamere Golf Club helps, but the job he has done for the past four is different.

Last year, bowlers were frustrated at how quickly woods scuttled across a surface scorched by the sun.

"That's not a problem now," laughed Evans.