Cricket

Pitch 'sweating' delayed start at Sabina

Sanjay Myers

Saturday, May 04, 2013    

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OVERNIGHT moisture was the cause of wet spots on the Sabina Park batting surface which delayed the start of the opening day's play of the regional first-class game between Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago by 30 minutes on Thursday.

The high-profile semi-final encounter was originally scheduled for a 10:00 am start, but match referee Denavon Hayles told the Jamaica Observer that the umpires Nigel Duguid and Gregory Brathwaite wanted to allow "a number of damp areas" on the pitch "to dry out".

Hayles said the dampness was due to "overnight sweating" beneath the sheets of covers that are intended to protect the entire batting square.

It is reported that there was no rain at the venue either Wednesday night or Thursday morning.

Sabina Park's interim pitch curator Oneil Cruickshank said the severity of the dampness would have been due to seepage through a breach in the lowest protective cover strip.

"I think the small covers could have a hole... and the sweating from the top piece (of protective cover) could have seeped through. Because of the heat (this time of year) there is more sweating... much more sweating now than previously," he explained on Thursday.

He added that the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) and Sabina Park Holdings could benefit from using special protective covers designed to allow sunlight penetration onto the pitch. These covers, he argued, would also lessen the ill effects from overnight moisture.

"I think translucent covers would be good in the Caribbean because they do the work as a cover should, plus you can have the sunlight actually coming through even when it is covered. With these (the ones being used now) sunlight can't get through," he said.

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