Saturday, 24 May 2008

Not particularly bad light stops play

Cricket watchers were short-changed on the first day of the Test match between England and New Zealand at Old Trafford yesterday. There was no issue with the cricketers on show, there was some excellent play with New Zealand’s innings ebbing and flowing one way and then another. The problem was the umpiring and specifically their decision to offer ‘the light’ shortly after tea. Once taken there was no real chance it could improve enough to play again. From my position in E-stand the light had become no worse, and was no worse, than at any other time during the day. The light at that time and for at least an hour afterwards, was perfectly playable. In my view the umpires were simply wrong in their assertion that the light was too bad to play in. Don’t get me wrong, the light was not fantastic but it was perfectly playable and the spectators got a raw deal. The umpires, Darrel Hair and Simon Taufel, are both Australian and I wonder if their decision was influenced by the fact that most of their cricket would be in bright Australian light rather than battleship grey English summer days.

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