By Ezra Stuart | Mon, January 28, 2013 - 12:05 AM
The last national cricket trial was cleaned bowled because of an under-prepared outfield at Foursquare Oval in St Philip yesterday.
The match was the final chance for cricketers to impress the selectors before the selection of the teams for the Regional Super50 and four-day competitions. But it had to be abandoned without a ball being bowled by Barbados team manager Hartley Reid.
“The BCA [Barbados Cricket Association] contracted Pickwick club and they agreed to give us conditions suitable for the playing of a trial match but on arrival, the machines (lawn mowers) were still on the field cutting the field,” Reid told NATIONSPORT shortly after the match was called off around 10:30 a.m.
“A determination was taken 45 minutes after the scheduled start of play (9:30 a.m.), with the conditions still not in any way near ideal conditions for play. The grass was too tall and in any case, having finished the cutting, they still had to rake the field,” he said.
“The determination had to be made because there is no way by 11 o’clock, they could have finished raking the field, cut it, and present it for play,” he added.
“I consulted with the umpires and the captains and the coaches and the determination was taken. I took the ultimate decision to call off the match. There is nothing wrong with the pitch but the outfield is no way near [suitable] to play cricket.”
Last year, there was a similar situation for the first trial match at the same venue when the opening day’s play was delayed because the outfield wasn’t properly cut.
Reid said that since Foursquare Oval was a recognized first-class venue, conditions must be better.
“We were unable to receive ideal conditions on this day but Foursquare is an accepted first-class ground, so they must be able to give us conditions that are ideal to play cricket on a bright, sunny, dry day,” he said.
“It is no great set back but if we are going to have a game, it must be in conditions either close to or similar to the conditions that you are going to have in international cricket.”
However, ground official Wayne Yarde was adamant the match could have been played with an adjustment to the starting time.
“We are very disappointed. We had many guys from the club who came and actually worked on the outfield to get it to a certain stage to play the game,” he said.
“My contention is that it is a whole day of cricket [and] if the manager of the Barbados team felt that more could’ve been done, he could’ve come and say, ‘well, we spent another half-hour or so doing what you have to do and let’s play a 40-over game.
“In my opinion, the outfield is not bad enough that you can’t play cricket. We have seen way worse than this and talking to some of the players who are at trials, a lot of them are very disappointed because they felt that the game could’ve played,” he maintained.
Yarde said Pickwick was given short notice to get the ground ready for the trial match after Queen’s Park was the preferred choice for earlier trial matches.
“We were told on Thursday evening that we were going to host a game on Sunday, so we accepted it.
“We actually had Friday to work on the outfield as we had a Masters game on Saturday and I think we have done creditably enough to get it to the stage it is at.
“The wicket was fine but I must admit, there are one or two areas which might have more grass than some but not that cricket can’t be played,” Yarde said.
However, Reid countered by saying if that was the case, Pickwick should’ve informed the BCA management that they would find “it difficult, if not impossible, to be ready.”
“But if they accept to give us conditions ideal for play, well, when you get here, you should have these conditions,” he added.
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