Concerns raised over state of Queen’s Park Oval after farcical end to Test

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(CMC) — There were more questions than answers left hanging after the fourth and final Test between West Indies and India finished in a farcical draw in Trinidad and Tobago on the final day yesterday.

For the fourth straight day, play was abandoned without a ball bowled because of a wet outfield at Queen’s Park Oval, despite an abundance of sunshine at the ground in recent days.

The Queen's Park ground staff attempt to dry the outfield (Getty Images)
The Queen’s Park ground staff attempt to dry the outfield (Getty Images)

Umpires made the call around 9:30 am when it became apparent, following an early inspection of the ground, that the outfield would not be fit for play.

Rain halted play just before lunch on last Thursday’s opening day and the action never resumed, raising huge questions about the historic ground’s drainage system and mopping up operations.

West Indies Head Coach Phil Simmons, a Trinidadian, said he had been surprised by the inability of the outfield to recover.

“[I am] extremely surprised. As far as I know in my years here, this has never been a ground like that,” he told reporters yesterday after the game was called off.

“I don’t know what is the position over on the other side, but after two days of sun, when I saw it (outfield) yesterday (Sunday) morning, I couldn’t believe how bad it was.

“I don’t know what the position is and what caused that, but I’m surprised because I never expected that here.”

All told, only 1-3/4 hours play was possible in the game — in the morning session of the opening day — before rain forced the abandonment of the last two sessions.

West Indies had reached 62 for two after winning the toss and choosing to bat first, with opener Kraigg Brathwaite unbeaten on 34 and partnered by Marlon Samuels on four.

The two batsmen to fall were opener Leon Johnson for nine and fellow left-hander Darren Bravo, who made 10.

On Sunday, play was abandoned at 10:25 am and umpires had ruled out any possibility of play on Saturday’s third day at midday.

Several inspections were made on the second day before play was abandoned at 2:25 pm.

India captain Virat Kohli said what transpired over the last few days had been beyond his side’s control.

“Here we didn’t have a game and we couldn’t control the result. The other two games we played, we won convincingly and that pleased the whole squad,” Kohli said.

West Indies lost the opening Test in Antigua by an innings and 92 runs and drew the second in Jamaica, before slumping to a 237-run defeat in the third Test in St Lucia.

All-rounder Ravi Ashwin was voted Man of the Series for his two centuries at an average of 57, and 17 wickets.

 

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