Monday, 26 August 2013

Stupidity denies spectacular end to boring test

WHEN cricket breathes its last breath it will look back to events like Sunday and say ‘Ohhh yeah, we could have done better there’.

Just 21 were needed for England to win the fifth and final Ashes test when Aleem Dar and Kumar Dharmasena decided it was far too dark to carry on and took the players off.

We’ll ignore the fact their concern did not prevent them letting Mitchell Starc bowl 90mph for six balls, we’ll also ignore the fact that it seemed only Peter Siddle was struggling to pick up the ball.

Two balls before the end, mid on dashed into to field a ball, clean and one handed threw it back to the bowler, you see it was pitch black out there....

We’ll also ignore Michael Clarke’s badgering of the umpires – as Geoff Boycott said you can’t dangle a carrot and then protest when it looks like you will lose.

Instead thousands who had been roused for an unexpected finale were told it was too dark, then looked up to see four big floodlights illuminating the ground.

The ICC have to wake up and realise t20 cricket is so popular because it’s free from bureaucracy and silly regulation.

The same MUST be applied to test cricket, too much will be said tomorrow about poor Michael Clarke and what a lovely declaration.

The truth is if some fielders couldn’t see the ball, I bet Bell and Woakes were having a bit of trouble picking up 90mph deliveries – it was the same for both teams!

Surely in 2013 we can have a regulation where the light can be over-ruled if there is a realistic prospect of a result?

Especially at the end of a test match which, let’s face it, hardly provided value for the money test match fans are now being asked for.

The light was closing in, but this was not Karachi in 2000 when England and Pakistan played to a finish in the dark.

Some commentators have pointed to that as a reason for the ICC not to go back to the rule where the light was offered to the batsmen.

But the argument is false, there were no floodlights in Karachi, had there not been at the Oval there would be no debate – it was that dark.

But the field was illuminated and surely messers Dar and Dharmasena should have a ‘common sense mandate’ to say a result is possible, the light is the same for both sides, let’s finish.

The reaction of the crowd spoke volumes, cricket has not got the same mass appeal as football, it cannot afford to annoy its spectators too much.

Are you listening Mr Richardson?

1 comment:

  1. I think offering the light to the batsman is not something we should return to. That was a perfectly workable law when batsmen were in the most danger in such circumstances, but with helmets and chest guards I think those most in danger when light deteriorates are the fielders and umpires. Unless the umpires felt it was too dangerous I think they should have had the balls to let the match play out. Imagine the umpires theatrically tossing the light meters back to the match referee, to the cheers of tens of thousands of fans. In these sorts of situations, finish the game and let the playing conditions be damned.