Second Test match abandoned, venue changed

February 14th, 2009 - 3:34 pm ICT by IANS  

North Sound (Antigua), Feb 14 (IANS) The second cricket Test match between England and the West Indies at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium here has been abandoned due to an unfit ground after only 10 balls were bowled on the first day Friday. The match has been shifted to the Antigua Recreation Ground and will start Sunday.

Put into bat, England were 7/0 in 1.4 overs when the play was stopped after West Indies bowlers complained that they couldn’t keep their footing on the outfield, which is made up of a thick layer of sand in parts.

After much discussion, Match Referee Alan Hurst declared the match abandoned and the authorities shifted the match to the Antigua Recreation Ground.

In terms of the immediate future for the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, the venue will now be subject to the start of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Process.

“Following discussions involving the local authorities and the two Boards it was clear we could not proceed with the Test match at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium. The ground conditions, and especially the bowlers’ run-ups, were unfit and potentially dangerous and we decided it would not be possible to rectify those fundamental issues over the course of a day or so,” said Hurst in a statement.

Given the short period of time between now and Sunday the ICC has taken the decision that Sunday’s match will take place without the umpire decision review system.

This is because the host broadcaster already has a great deal of work to do to de-rig its equipment at one venue and rig them at another.

“The Antigua Recreation Ground gives us the opportunity to stage a Test match on the same island, something that is a prime consideration given the many supporters who have come here to watch the West Indies and England in action. Preparations will now be made to get the ground ready for Sunday,” Hurst added.

Hurst will now to submit a report to the ICC concerning the quality of the playing surface. After receiving the report, the ICC will write to the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), forwarding that report and asking for a written explanation on the condition of the surface.

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