Wednesday, April 13th, 2016

Umpire Richard Illingworth Explains Reasons For Abandoned Encounter

Umpire Richard Illingworth has explained why the Specsavers County Championship match between Worcestershire and Kent at New Road was abandoned without a ball being bowled.

Illingworth and fellow umpire Ian Gould called off the match at 12.30 on the final day – the first complete wash-out at New Road since the match with Lancashire in 2007.

Question: Can you explain please Richard why the game is off?

Richard Illingworth: "We've had issues with the outfield over the four days. Obviously the water table has been really high. We had standing water yesterday.

"The reason we didn't start on the first day was because the outfield towards the New Road side was moving around underfoot so you are not allowing free movement for the players which then becomes dangerous especially if you have to move very quickly.

"The pitch and the square is very hard. But it's just been the outfield which has been the issue throughout the four days."

Question: Were the bowlers run-ups a problem as well?

Richard Illingworth: "There have been issues. I think the water got under (the covers) on the second day with the bowlers run-ups but ultimately it has been the outfield which has been the main course of concern throughout the four days."

Question: The frustration of course is it is a bright sunny day today?

Richard Illingworth: "The last two days have been very nice as well. I think the ground needs a few more days like this to get it into a starting position really.

"Both Ian Gould and myself turned up on the first day. We didn't think there was going to be any issues.

"We got ready for the start of play and when we went out at 9.30am that's when we realised the ground was not fit for purpose really.

"It is very frustrating, the first game of the season, everyone has been waiting six months for this to start.

"What can you say, cricket is a frustrating game at times and the fact we've now got beautiful sunshine and are still unable to get on the park makes it even more frustrating."