Richards wants a say in ground preparation at SVR stadium

February 16th, 2009 - 8:02 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Feb 16 (IANS) Embarrassed by the Antigua farce, West Indian batting legend Vivian Richards wants a say in the fitness of the ground and pitch if further Tests are to be scheduled at the stadium bearing his name.

Angry that the second Test between England and the West Indies at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium was abandoned after just 10 balls due to poor under-foot conditions, Richards said: “I must be consulted about whether I am happy with the ground. I think I have a fair idea about grounds and what surfaces are fit to play on. In the future I want to have a say.”

Richards may not even get that chance in the near future. The International Cricket Council’s chief executive, Haroon Lorgat, has warned that, upon receipt of a report from match referee, Alan Hurst, they might impose “the ultimate sanction of a ban” upon the SVR stadium.

Richards visited the stadium Wednesday evening and was dismayed by what he saw.

“I only went halfway out to the middle and turned back. That was enough. I went straight to the local officials and said how very disappointed I was with what I saw. I was not happy, I tell you. The reports I had been getting were that the ground was in good nick. So they were blatant lies,” Richards was quoted as saying in The Telegraph.

Richards, like many others, is unsure how the pitch at the hastily-prepared Antigua Recreation Ground will play in the third Test. “It is normally a very placid wicket, but I am told the net pitches last week looked a little spicy. But then there is nothing wrong with that, I suppose. In fact England might quite like that.”

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