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'Trent Bridge outfield was like a skating rink'

June 13, 2019 22:03 IST

Trent Bridge pitch after rain

IMAGE: Groundstaff toil to get the Trent Bridge pitch, in Nottingham, ready after rain for the India-New Zealand World Cup match. Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Reuters

New Zealand coach Gary Stead termed World Cup game wash-out against India as "unfortunate and frustrating", but agreed with the International Cricket Council’s assertion that reserve days will be a "logistical nightmare".

 

His opinion was virtually seconded by India's fielding coach R Sridhar, who compared the Trent Bridge outfield to a slippery "skating rink" where it remains a risk to players getting injured.

"Yeah, it would have been lovely to play India. It's always tough mentally, I think, on a day like this when you come down prepared to play and it doesn't happen. But it's out of our control. We can't really do much about it, so we've got to move on quickly for South Africa," Stead said, after the match was called off without a ball being bowled.

He, however, agreed with ICC CEO Dave Richardson's view that reserve days are not an option despite inclement weather and unlikely downpour in the month of June.

"Reserve days, I think, is going to be a logistical nightmare. The ICC, I think, have made that fairly well-known. Unfortunately, it's a bit of an anomaly already. When you look at the amount of days we've lost already, I think it's the biggest sort of amount of days lost in a World Cup ever," he said.

"So, we can't do much about that. We just have to, I guess, push on with what the schedule is," added Stead.

Inclement English weather claimed yet another World Cup match after India's group game against 2015 finalists New Zealand was called off without a ball being bowled at Trent Bridge on Thursday.

This is the fourth match to be either called off or abandoned in the rain-hit tournament with many questioning the absence of reserve days for group matches.

Sridhar also agreed that it's frustrating but nothing can be done at the moment.

"Oh, there's a big technical committee from the ICC on that. It depends on the format, the time available. We don't have any days off in this tournament. Every day there is a game. So there is hardly an opportunity to have a reserve day. I don't know the technical aspect of it. The ICC will decide that. It's not for me to take that call," India’s fielding coach said.

As much as India would have loved a tough game before the clash against Pakistan on Sunday, Sridhar does not want to harp too much on the "uncontrollable".

"It's uncontrollable; isn't it? You really can't control the weather, so we have had two good games. We came here looking forward to third good one, but unfortunately, we can't control the weather," he said.

"I went on the ground. It was almost like a skating rink. So it would put too much risk on the players to play on there, especially at the early phase of the tournament."

For Stead, with a gap of six days, he would love his players to relax for a couple of days and have some down time with families.

"To be honest, the first thing we're going to do is have a couple of days off. We don't play again for about six days now, and I think it's important that you manage your breaks. It's quite ironic though. I think our last four trainings have all been indoors. Look, it would have been lovely to play for two points, if possible," he said, trying to hide his frustration.

Asked whether the World Cup at this time of the year should have been scheduled somewhere else and not the UK, New Zealand’s coach gave a humorous reply, a depiction of helplessness more than anything else.

"I don't think so. If you took the UK summer from last year, then I am not sure it did rain at all from the sound of things. It's a bit of bad luck really. It can rain anywhere in the world. My first tour was in Dubai, and it rained there in the desert, and I never thought it was going to rain there either. So I don't think we can really help that."

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