Mahendra Singh Dhoni was not a very happy man at the end of the second T20 International against West Indies at Ford Lauderdale. His side had bowled out World T20 champions West Indies for 143 and had a good chance of chasing it down and levelling the series, after losing the first one by just a run.
However, a delayed start and lack of a super-sopper meant that a 20-minute downpour ended any hopes of a re-start and the series was lost.
The outfield at the Central Broward Regional Park, the venue for the two T20 matches had been battered and hence ‘unsafe’, especially the bowlers’ run-ups towards the pavilion, according to West Indies skipper Carlos Brathwaite. Try telling that to his Indian counterpart though. He was having none of it.Brathwaite was also concerned about another wet patch on the 30-yard circle west off the pitch. “Looking from the pavilion, the run-ups on that side and areas beside the sponsor’s logo painted on the field and towards mid-on looked unsafe,” reckoned Brathwaite.
“Even if the run-ups were good and a guy hits a ball in the outfield in a fast-paced T20 game and he chases behind it and pulls something, that could be the end of a guy’s career. So not only will we want to play, we want the facilities and the atmosphere to be as safe for everyone’s career as possible. I don’t think it was and the umpires also made that decision as well.”
Dhoni though didn’t agree with the big West Indian and felt the outfield was good enough to play. “What the umpires told us, there was not adequate equipment over here and the condition of it was quite bad, so because the conditions wouldn’t improve we won’t be able to play a game,” Dhoni stated. “That’s a call that the match officials have to make and as far as I’ve played close to10 years of international cricket and frankly I’ve played under worse off conditions.”
He cited the example of the ODI series in England in 2011 when Indians played all games in steady rain and on wet outfields. “If I remember in 2011, the whole ODI series that we played in England, it was literally playing under the rain. Ultimately the umpires decide so they decide you play, we play.”