Cricket fans have expressed their disgust after 30.3 overs of Ashes action at Blundstone Arena were lost due to light drizzle.
Test cricket knows how to shoot itself in the foot.
The first day of the historic Ash Pink Ball Test in Hobart ended in ‘pathetic’ circumstances, with a light shower of rain robbing Tasmania cricket fans of 30.3 overs of action.
Light rain began to fall in the early evening at Blundstone Arena, and referees Rod Tucker and Paul Wilson decided to suspend play after brief consultation.
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Blankets were dragged onto the pitch and players returned to hangars, much to the frustration of fans and broadcasters.
But in the wacky scenes, the test match did not resume despite the rain fading into what can only be described as a light drizzle.
Spectators on the hill didn’t bother to seek shelter, with only one umbrella raised in the entire hall – that of fourth referee Donovan Koch.
Even the rain radar was dry, with only a few small spots visible on the map. CBD and Hobart Airport weather stations recorded a grand total of 0.0mm of rain on Friday evening.
Needless to say, the cricketing community was unimpressed.
Cricket journalist George Dobell tweeted: “Pathetic. You can barely feel it. Might as well punch the spectators in the face and be done with it. You know, sometimes I’m not sure Test cricket deserves to survive. Match officials – truly the only people on the ground to use an umbrella – bring the game into disrepute here. We are fools to put up with it.
Triple M commentator and former Middlesex captain Isabelle Westbury said: “The only umbrella on the ground is the fourth referee out in the middle. It’s not exaggerated, I don’t see a single other. Cricket does not help itself.
Former Australian paceman Dirk Nannes tweeted: “Another example of cricket shooting itself in the foot. The game shouldn’t stop for this drizzle, if it can even be called that. The gutters are still dry. This could be the first rain delay when not a single drop of water goes down the gutters.
Journalist Ebony Abblitt wrote: “Just got out of my home in Hobart…if there’s enough rain to delay the game then we’ve been completely ripped off during primary school game time.
Cricket broadcaster Adam Collins tweeted: “There have been some frustrating rain delays over this series but that takes the cake. I don’t understand how they came to the conclusion that it was heavy enough to remove them.
Of course, player safety is paramount – Marnus Labuschagne, Stuart Broad and Mark Wood had each slipped onto the Hobart pitch on opening day.
Last week’s New Year’s Test in Sydney also suffered weather problems, with several rain delays disrupting the first two days of action at the SCG.
Seven overs were lost on day five due to a rain break after the lunch break, which ultimately proved critical – England were drawn after Australian bowlers could only manage nine wickets in the fourth inning.
Australia were 6/241 at stumps on day one of the Hobart Test, with wicketkeeper Alex Carey unbeaten on 10 and Mitchell Starc yet to score at the other end.