Coach believes team was affected by shortened day

Friday, January 11, 2019

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Trinidad and Tobago Red Force Head Coach Kelvin Williams felt his team was disadvantaged by the decision of match officials to suspend play in the match against Jamaica Scorpions at Sabina Park after the visitors had already lost two wickets.

The Red Force were 23-2 after losing the toss when umpires Christopher Taylor and Deighton Butler deemed it unsafe for play after some balls pitched on a good length were bouncing steeply at the batsmen.

When play resumed in the afternoon — with the bounce appearing even and predictable — the Red Force progressed to 135-7 at the close.

During the 20 minutes of play in the morning, both openers Kyle Hope and left-hander Jeremy Solozano were dismissed by tall fast bowler Oshane Thomas.

There was no play between 10:20 am and 2:45 pm with a likely 52 overs lost as the match officials allowed sunshine to dry damp areas on the batting pitch.

Ground staff carried out work on the surface before the light roller was used to compact it just before the restart.

Williams said that the match officials should have picked up on the excess moisture in the pitch before play had begun.

“I thought the umpires missed a trick in allowing play to start without inspecting the pitch. I went out there and I could put thumb into the pitch and it was going through,” a frustrated Williams told the Jamaica Observer at close of play.

He argued that they made a second mistake in not having a fresh start to the pitch after the situation was believed to have been rectified.

“To suspend the game and to actually go and repair the pitch, and then roll the pitch I thought was another blunder. [Instead] the game should have started all over. I wouldn't have minded the game starting all over and we batted again because the two batsmen who lost their wickets in the middle of the fiasco — I thought we were hard done by that,” he added.

The previous cricket match at Sabina Park — between the Scorpions and Windward Islands Volcanoes — ended on Monday, with no complaint about dangerous bounce on that pitch.

However, the ground staff had only Tuesday and Wednesday to finalise preparation on an adjacent strip being used for the current match.

— Sanjay Myers

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