I was one of many, both at the Sir Vivian Richards stadium and in their homes who sat aghast and disbelieving at the scenes which took place yesterday afternoon. For anyone who doesn’t know, the second test between England and the West Indies was abandoned after just 1o balls were bowled. The reason it was abandoned? The outfield was unsuitable.
An awesome bowling performance or a batting collapse I could handle. That a test match ground had an outfield which would shame a village club stunned me completely. “Hang on,” says I, “this is supposed to be an international ground for a test match, the top level of cricket. I’ve seen better outfields at local clubs!”
Bob Willis, Mike Atherton, Sir Ian Botham, Nasser Hussain, Michael Holding, Jonathan Agnew, Colin Croft, Geoffrey Boycott, Mike Selvey, Sir Viv Richards himself, Tony Cozier, Stephen Brenkley, Andy Bull, Martin Samuel and other journalists and broadcasters have slated the WICB over these events which are hugely embarrassing for West Indies cricket and the ICC.
The first eleven names there are all former test cricketers, Tony Cozier is the voice of Caribbean cricket coverage and has been for the last 40 years and the rest are all well known sports journalists. When people of this stature deliver such a stinging barrage of criticism you know there has to be something wrong. I wonder what Ian Chappell would have made of this? I doubt his response would have been broadcastable!
Michael Holding’s interview with Cricinfo is excellent stuff.
CaribbeanCricket.com lays the blame squarely at Tony Howard and asks some very straight questions.
Tony Cozier writes about the mediocrity of West Indies cricket and from where it can be traced.
Mike Atherton says the WICB must be held to account.
Mike Selvey says that the events in Antigua are a shambles that disgraces West Indies cricket.
Martin Samuel lets rip at the ICC. I wonder if he’s read any of my stuff? I’ve been saying the ICC is unfit for purpose since this blog started! (Actually, I’ve been saying that since well before this blog started)
Stephen Brenkley writes about building new houses on the sand.
Cricinfo reports comments by an insider: “The game should never have started”
Andrew Strauss was not happy. Neither was Chris Gayle.
Jonathan Agnew reviews the test match in the TMS Podcast.
With all these people delivering a withering criticism of events in Antigua, I need only say that I agree with them completely. As a cricketer I am embarrassed at the WICB’s failure here, I am feeling so sorry for all West Indian cricketers whose name and history are being sullied by this and am wondering what else can happpen on this tour?
A new test match in what is now a 5 match series will be started at the Antigua Recreation Ground on Sunday.
Can’t we have a tour where the cricket gets all the attention?