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Rediff News  All News  » Sports » Antigua Test halted due to 'unfit' outfield

Antigua Test halted due to 'unfit' outfield

Last updated on: February 13, 2009 22:15 IST

The first day's play in the second Test match between West Indies and England was abandoned on Friday because of an 'unfit and dangerous' outfield, match referee Alan Hurst said.

West Indies bowlers were struggling to complete their run-ups because of sand on the ground used to plug holes in the outfield. England were seven for no wicket when play was halted.

"They will abandon play for the day as the ground is unfit and dangerous for the bowlers," Hurst told Sky Sports.

"We will look at relocating the game, but the game is abandoned for today and we'll look into it and make further announcement later on today.

"The bowlers have deemed the run-ups to be a safety hazard."

West Indies pace bowler Fidel Edwards was struggling for his footing in the middle of his first over with sand kicking up as he ran in on the loose surface.

Sand patches were visible around the outfield and organisers had brought in the boundary rope before the game to try and eliminate some of the worst of the conditions.

"This is not a shot in the foot for West Indies cricket, this is an arrow right through the heart," West Indies great Viv Richards, after whom the ground is named, told BBC radio.

"This is a huge pill to swallow, I know there are a lot of folks around these parts who love their cricket."

With the match being halted after just 1.4 overs of action, former England all-rounder Ian Botham added: This is shambolic, it's a joke and it is a beach. Why the players agreed to play here is beyond me.

"They (the officials) need to act, they need to act quickly and they need to let the public know."

Hundreds of perplexed travelling England supporters remained in the ground after no announcement was made about the day's abandonment.

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