Australia wants review of bad light rule

December 3rd, 2011 - 7:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Brisbane, Dec 3 (IANS) The Australian team wants a review of the bad light rule after early stumps were called in apparently reasonable conditions on the first two days of their ongoing Test against New Zealand due on plea of bad light.

A similar incident happened in their Johannesburg Test against South Africa. Hours were lost and a day’s play was abandoned when a reading was taken in shadow at one end of the pitch.

Under new playing conditions it is up to the officials to decide whether the light is unsafe. In the past, the players were offered a choice but gamesmanship and time wasting resulted in the decision being taken from them.

The umpires must take a light reading when they abandon play for the first time in a game and then will do the same when the machine shows the same reading at any other stage in the match.

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland met the match referee to find out why the first day’s play was called off for bad light when there was blue sky overhead.

Sutherland had contacted the International Cricket Council (ICC) during the South African series over the issue and he said he would push for a rule change.

“The big picture view is we should be playing as much cricket as we possibly can,” Sutherland was quoted as saying in The Australian.

Sutherland, who has been a supporter of day-night Tests, said the ICC needed to review the rules.

“I understand that if it is dangerous that we have to deal with that, but I am concerned at the standard we are setting in terms of the trigger to go off,” he said.

“I respect that the umpires are out there and have to make regulations on what is dangerous themselves, but in a broader sense I think the ICC and member countries need to revisit where the bar is set.”

Australian captain Michael Clarke said he spoke with umpires Asad Rauf and Aleem Dar at the end of the first day against New Zealand.

He said there needs to be more clarity about the bad light.

“It’s a tough one. You set a standard with day one and then that’s how it stays for the whole Test,” Clarke said after making 139 on day three.

“I think we as players need to be told to understand a little better what we’re trying to do. If we say we’re going to play on until it is dangerous, then you can keep going a little bit longer.”

Clarke said as a batsman it is the hardest time to bat.

“No doubt when you come in, it’s overcast, the lights are on and have taken effect. But is it dangerous? Probably not. So it is a tough mix but what has happened in South Africa and here is you set your standard on day one, so you get your light meter and say ‘this is what we’re going to go to’ and you stick with that throughout the game. I like the consistency, but it is about to what level we’re going to take it.”

When the game was abandoned on the first day at the Gabba, the clouds were dark and a storm about to hit, but on Friday the sky was blue.

After the match, the umpires told ABC radio they believed it was too dangerous to play. Asad Rauf said they were bound by light meter readings.

“We follow the reading of this light meter, we can’t say that it looks brighter than yesterday,” he said.

“It could be brighter than yesterday but what the light meter says, we have to follow that, and that is the ICC regulation.”

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