February 13, 2009 / 6:47 PM / 9 years ago

Cricket-Antigua farce an arrow through the heart, says Richards

ST JOHN‘S, Antigua, Feb 13 (Reuters) - The second test between West Indies and England was abandoned on Friday because of what officials described as an “unfit and dangerous” outfield at the Sir Vivian Richards stadium.

Following is a selection of what players, officials and former players said.

West Indies great Viv Richards: “This is not a shot in the foot for West Indies cricket, this is an arrow right through the heart. This is a huge pill to swallow ... there are a lot of folks around these parts who love their cricket.”

Match referee Alan Hurst: “The bowlers are having trouble getting their footing, they were digging down in the sand and the turf was giving way. The umpires decided it was very dangerous and, after talking to the captains, decided it was unfit for play.”

West Indies captain Chris Gayle: ”It’s very disappointing and embarrassing. It wasn’t up to standard and I have to apologise to the spectators. There was a huge turnout and everyone wanted to see us play England.

“Both captains wanted to play cricket but our bowlers weren’t comfortable ... we didn’t want to risk any injuries.”

England captain Andrew Strauss: “It’s not right test matches have to be abandoned like this, lessons definitely need to be learned. The game of cricket doesn’t need this.”

International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive Haroon Lorgat: “They (West Indies Cricket Board) must take responsibility for it ... (it was) clearly their responsibility to make sure it is fit to play. It is not good enough.”

Former England all-rounder Ian Botham: “This is shambolic, it is a joke and it (the ground) is a beach. Why on earth anybody thought this would be okay to play on is beyond me.”

Former West Indies fast bowler Michael Holding: ”These are not playing conditions for first class cricket or even club cricket.

“People have travelled all this way and especially in this economic climate people don’t waste a dime or a penny these days. You have got to make sure these people in some way are satisfied and they can get to see some cricket.”

Former England captain Nasser Hussain: “This is literally like running through a beach.”

Former England opener Geoff Boycott: “This should be a huge embarrassment to the WICB (West Indies Cricket Board) and they should be moving fast to sort it out.”

Writing by Pritha Sarkar in London, editing by Tony Jimenez

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