The Electronic Telegraph carries daily news and opinion from the UK and around the world.

What they said

Electronic Telegraph

30 January 1998

Michael Atherton: ``It was clear before the game that the pitch was uneven and corrugated and it was only going to get worse. The umpires took the decision to call it off and I think it was the right decision. ``The pitch was dangerous. The safety of the players was paramount. The senior umpire was in constant touch with the match referee. I was called out and had a chat with Brian Lara, and the officials. Both captains said that conditions were unfit for Test cricket. I don't want to get into worst pitches, but I repeat it was dangerous. That's why the decision was taken.''

Alec Stewart: ``When you were batting there were balls doing more than they should have done. You knew you were going to take hits. It was just a case of when and how many.''

Ian Botham: ``The pitch is not worthy of international cricket. It's a disgrace. Someone is going to get seriously hurt.''

Bob Bennett (England tour manager): ``We'll be talking to the West Indies Board over the next few days and I'm optimistic that we'll be able to reschedule the Test. It's important that we have a five-Test series.''

Wayne Morton (England physio, who had to come on six times in the hour's play to treat injuries): ``There was a bit of war out there and you always fear for a batsman's safety. You don't often see too many apologies from West Indian fast bowlers but they seemed pretty embarrassed by it. It was a very busy morning, possibly the busiest I've ever known. ``You always fear for batsmen's faces, particularly on a wicket behaving like it seemed to be doing this morning. There are medals for bravery to be taken, but at the end of the day we want to play on a level playing field. I'm not too keen on losing players with fractured digits or serious injuries every morning.''

Brian Lara: ``Cricket has to be played on a fair surface.''

Clive Lloyd (West Indies manager): ``Cricket never fails to surprise me.''

Michael Holding (former West Indies fast bowler): ``I've never seen a pitch as dangerous as that. The people responsible should be brought to task. ``This pitch isn't fit for Test cricket or even club cricket for that matter. It's completely substandard. Our fast bowlers don't want to seriously injure anyone at all. It's an embarrassment.

Pat Rousseau (president of West Indies Board): ``The pitch is unfit and dangerous to the players.''

Barry Jarman (match referee): ``Venkat [umpire] got in touch with me and said, 'What do you think?' I said, 'I think it's horrific.' I told him, 'You do what you want to do and you'll get support from me.' ``I spoke to Mike and Brian and they said, 'We both agree it's too dangerous and someone's going to get seriously hurt'. The pitch is just nowhere near up to standard.'' ``People have come from England just to watch this match and my heart goes out to them. I'd like to see them reschedule the Test. That's the best thing that could happen.''

Source: The Electronic Telegraph
Editorial comments can be sent to The Electronic Telegraph at
Contributed by CricInfo Management
Date-stamped : 25 Feb1998 - 19:07