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Monday, March 24, 2014

India wins; Broad complains .... weather halting play .... and more

A post on “delay in matches” ….. Talking more ~ can you imagine what stopped play at Hambantota in the 2nd ODI between Sri Lanka and New Zealand in Nov 2013  ?

The venue is same – after the debacle in Asia Cup, things are looking brighter for India…. we beat Pak and yesterday – WI folded without putting up great fight… Dhoni continued winning the toss – Indians continued grassing catches – some simple ones – Dwayne Smith played so slowly – Gayle hit, mishit and so much was on air – not expectations but mistimed hits which fell short of fielders and when they went straight, most were dropped – Amit Mishra bowled beautifully, the loop and spring in his foot and delivery … and the target was lowly 130… again for which there was some confusion, which delayed the start of Indian innings too. Shikhar Dhawan got a raw decision … Rohit and Virat Kohli piled runs and still Indians reached the target only at 19.4 – in fact in the last over when a solitary run was required – the first two balls produced no runs and off the 3rd Yuvi was out – thus it was 1 off last 3 ….

Matches have been stopped – delays are inevitable – but this was rare … a delayed start of the innings following a confusion over the target. The stoppage lasted for about 10 minutes with the West Indies players and the opening pair of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma waiting in the middle and getting impatient.  The confusion revolved around India’s target — 130 or 131. It was the result of a no-ball bowled by Ravindra Jadeja in the 18th over. Lendl Simmons was given out caught in the deep, but the decision was later reversed after TV replays showed Jadeja had overstepped. Finally the target was settled to 130. Both teams, however, took it in the right spirit. 

…. Washout – rain halts play; stoppage due to bad light all happen in Cricket – especially in Test Cricket, where Umpires would check with light meters on whether there is enough visibility !.  – on rare occasions, snag in flood lights have halted in the game.  There are some stadiums (especially Tennis courts)  which have retractable roofs atop of their existing courts  which do not stop even in torrential rains…

At Bangladesh, England were unfortunate to lose after making a good score. After the match, England captain Stuart Broad has been fined 15% of his match fee for comments following his team's rain-affected defeat against New Zealand. England lost on the Duckworth-Lewis method and Broad questioned the timing of the umpires' decision to take the teams off the field. Lightning was seen above the ground in Chittagong before five overs of the New Zealand innings had been completed - the amount required to constitute a match - but Aleem Dar and Paul Reiffel elected to keep the players on until the arrival of rain, which came after 5.2 overs, a decision that Broad described as "decidedly average". His comments were, according to match referee Javagal Srinath, in breach of section 2.1.7 of the code of conduct for players. "Umpires are the final judges of the fitness of the ground, weather or light for play," Srinath said. "Weather decisions are the most difficult to make, but the umpires make the best decision possible, taking all factors into account. "Such public criticism is not good for the spirit of the game. Mutual respect between players, match officials and administrators is paramount to the game of cricket."

At Hambantota in Nov 2013, rain proved not to be the tropical monsoon's only disciple in its ongoing war against cricket in Sri Lanka, as a less mundane meteorological phenomenon stopped play and prompted the players' exit in Hambantota. Dark clouds had gathered over the venue before the match had begun, but around the 20th over, lightning began to strike the forest to the east, about 1.5km from the venue. Spotting a particularly menacing fork, the umpires conferred and led the players off the field, citing concern for their safety.  Well, that sounds aright, but who will care for the groundsmen and others on the field – is their lives any less important !!!

Downunder, this January (2014) – play the Australian Open was called to a halt for more than four hours on day four with temperatures at Melbourne Park hitting 43.3 degrees Celsius. Later in the day, at just before 0900 GMT, lightning and thunder then hit Melbourne Park as the blazing hot weather finally broke, with play suspended once again on the outside courts as weather played havoc with the schedule of play. Organisers,  were  slammed for forcing players to play on in searing temperatures.  Some players accused organisers of forcing players to play in "inhumane" conditions. Ivan Dodig became the 10th player to retire in the first three days of the tournament on Wednesday and said he feared for his life after being rendered immobile by the heat on the exposed outer courts. Under a change to the rules for this year, the decision on whether to stop matches at the tournament was at the discretion of tournament referee Wayne McKewen. It was again technology – rather than use the raw Celsius readings to assess the heat, organisers prefer to use the Wet Bulb Global Temperature composite, which also gauges humidity and wind to identify the perceived conditions.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
24th Mar 2014.

Photo credit : cricinfo and Sydney morning herald 

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