Dangerous Lincoln pitch ends NZ A match
Embarrassment as India v NZ match abandonedGREG FORD
Christchurch-based New Zealand Cricket officials were left red-faced after a one-day match between New Zealand A and India A was abandoned because of a dangerous pitch at Lincoln today.
The match, the first of the season at Bert Sutcliffe Oval, only lasted half an hour and eight overs before the captains and umpires Phil Jones and Wayne Knights conferred and canned the scheduled 50-over contest.
New Zealand was eight for two with openers Hamish Rutherford and George Worker being dismissed for ducks caught behind the wicket, Rutherford from the game's first ball.
With the ball rearing at times unpredictably from a length and some other deliveries keeping low it was decided to abort the game.
Canterbury cricketer Dean Brownlie was batting when the match was called off and was struck on the shoulder by a delivery that climbed.
''There were a few indentations in the pitch and some took off. It was probably the best thing to do under the circumstances,'' Brownlie said of the decision.
While reluctant to say he feared for his safety, Brownlie said conditions in the middle were obviously trying for batsmen.
It is the first time such an event has occurred at the ground which is traditionally known for its true surface and high scoring matches.
Head of operations Lindsay Crocker said having to call the match off was an embarrassment.
''But we are unsure why it happened. We played a T20 match across the opposite side of the wicket at the weekend and plenty of runs were scored. We expected this wicket to be the same.''
Core samples are being taken from the pitch to try and source of the problem.
While the game was called off it will be rescheduled on another wicket tomorrow. All three one-day games in the series will still be played with the days being changed to Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.
The tourists, while not happy with the situation, agreed it was best to put the programme back a day.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Is cricket still NZ's top summer sport?Related story: Rain can't save Black Caps from big defeat