The cost of an abandoned Test

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Like a billiard table - beneath a big pile of sandReal, world-class incompetence in the organisation of an international cricket match is pretty funny to a degree. It makes you feel better about those occasions when you can’t quite manage to write a list AND take it to the supermarket with you. However, it being a bit funny is a pretty feeble plus point.

It sounds like Sir Viv Richards was a whisker away from doing a Kamehameha at anyone involved with pitch preparation at the stadium bearing his name – and rightly so. If you’re going to make a balls of something, at least do it in your own name.

The whole sorry episode reminded us of one of the saddest things we’ve ever seen. It was a documentary about two blokes who’d saved up to see a Test in the West Indies. They’d been saving a pound a week for about 20 years or summat. These poor guys had the monumental misfortune to organise their holiday around the Sabina Park Test of 1998 – the first abandoned Test in the history of the game.

Now granted, they probably could have saved more than a quid a week, but that’s partly the point. They’d been looking forward to this once-in-a-lifetime trip for 20 years. They were miners or some similarly masculine profession, but we can still see the tears in their eyes.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


Why risk it when it's so easy to sign up?


  1. The ICC can take something positive from all this – the concept of the Mystery Test. Each tour should have one Mystery Test, where you don’t tell anybody, players, fans, TV people, sponsors, where it is to be played until the morning it’s due to start.

    Or, even better, not even the organisers know where it is to be played until the day before, when a venue is drawn out of a large hat. The draw could be live on Sky, with Bob Willis providing the excitement. The groundstaff will then have 24 hours to shoo off the cows and get a test pitch ready.

  2. Every now and again, presumably for a laugh, Sky gets Bob Willis to do something wholly alien to his curmudgeonly nature, such as presenting “Bob’s Pie” or whatever it’s called. He seems much happier with his “Well… Charles… frankly… the bowling was… awful…” assessments of the day’s play. Forcing him to act as genial host to provide artificial excitement in an obviously staged event would be brilliant. The only thing I can think of that might be better in the whole world would be Bob Willis as host of It’s A Knockout.

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