Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua & Barbuda: The 2nd Digicel Test between the West Indies and England was under threat here Friday after the first day was abandoned because of dangerous conditions on the outfield.
England had reached seven without loss, either side of a short rain delay, off 1.4 overs.
The outfield, relaid last October to correct drainage issues, provided many problems for the West Indies opening bowlers who struggled to find their footing.
“It seems a safety and health hazard for the players,” said ICC Match Referee Alan Hurst. “The decision has been that they will abandon play for the day as the ground seems to be unfit.”
There was a strong likelihood that the match would be called off outright and become the second such incident in the Caribbean following 1998’s infamous Sabina Park abandonment because of a dangerous pitch, also with England as the tourists.
Match and WICB officials were exploring the possibility of moving the match to the previous test venue in Antigua, the Recreation Ground in St. John’s: “I’m not sure where we go from here. But rather than say the game is abandoned we’re saying they have abandoned play for the day and we’ll look into it and make some further announcements as soon as we can,” Hurst added.
ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat, who flew in to Antigua on Thursday night said that the ARG switch was a possibility: “The West Indies have enlisted the help of some experts and they’re looking at every possibility, including the other venue in Antigua and they are doing everything possible to get this test match back under way.”
Both teams practiced at the former Test venue, the ARG, on the eve of Friday’s match at the new venue.