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‘A sad day for cricket’ – The Hundred criticised over handling of Oval delay


The Hundred was on the receiving end of criticism on a day that left spectators frustrated at The Oval.

The women’s competition clash between Oval Invincibles and Trent Rockets was called off without a ball bowled, and the men’s game between the same two teams didn’t start until 80 minutes after the scheduled start time despite minimal rainfall in South London on the day.

The lack of action despite bright sunshine even drew criticism from Gary Lineker, who queried the danger involved in playing on a damp surface. There had been no rain for hours prior to the planned start time of the men’s game. Lineker, an ardent fan of the game, tweeted:

Why is a damp outfield dangerous to cricketers? The only sport that considers this to be the case. Too slippy?

— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) August 8, 2021

After rain delays why do the umpires announce a time for an inspection of the pitch? Do they need time to finish their cuppa and Victoria sponge before they wander out to the crease? It’s stopped raining, get out there. #TheHundred

— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) August 8, 2021

Former England coach and current Sky Sports commentator David Lloyd also commented on the lack of urgency to get the men’s game on.

Sorry , don’t get it …. #Hundred Get on with it

— David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd (@BumbleCricket) August 8, 2021

Just think that teams should just say ..”let’s play …” it’s The Hundred … it’s fun … get on with it … fellas… just put a show on https://t.co/Se9T3wl9ju

— David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd (@BumbleCricket) August 8, 2021

Australian spinner Chris Green said on 5 Live Sports Extra: “It’s a sad day for cricket. It’s a sad day for The Hundred.” Test Match Special’s Twitter account retweeted some of the criticism directed at the officials, including Lineker’s.

They also retweeted a post from commentator Charles Dagnall who said that he’d spoken to a player who confirmed that the outfield was “pretty wet”.

Apparently speaking to one player it is pretty wet in places out there… player safety does have to be taken into account no matter how frustrating.

— Charles Dagnall (@CharlesDagnall) August 8, 2021

There was further criticism over the lack of communication about the prolonged delays at The Oval. Several journalists took to Twitter to highlight that the justification for the delay – potential danger to players due to the wet outfield – was not communicated regularly enough and was not explained to what was potentially a new audience.

A lot of what the Hundred has done re communicating cricket’s complexities has been good. But the scenes at The Oval are coming across as a nonsense. It rains in England, how can a format so over-thought-out fail to find a way to keep its spectators informed during delays? pic.twitter.com/GU7FKwR0f0

— Andrew Miller (@miller_cricket) August 8, 2021

A 65-ball-a-side game eventually commenced at 8.20pm, 80 minutes after the original start time. The Hundred’s Twitter account confirmed that spectators would receive a 50 per cent refund due to the cancellation of the women’s fixture.

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The post ‘A sad day for cricket’ – The Hundred criticised over handling of Oval delay appeared first on Wisden.

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