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Farcical scenes as Antigua Test abandoned

  • Story Highlights
  • Second Test in Antigua has been abandoned after only 10 deliveries bowled
  • Heavily-sanded outfield made it impossible for bowlers to run up to the crease
  • The match will resume on Sunday at different ground and will be the third Test
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(CNN) -- The second Test match between West Indies and England in Antigua has been abandoned after only 10 deliveries were bowled, with the match to be re-started on Sunday at a different ground on the island under the guise of the third Test.

Umpires Rudi Koertzen and Tony Hill inspect the suspect Antigua outfield amid farcical scenes.

Umpires Rudi Koertzen and Tony Hill inspect the suspect Antigua outfield amid farcical scenes.

Amid scenes of complete chaos, the heavily-sanded outfield played havoc with the bowlers' run-ups and --either side of a brief break for a shower -- the umpires and match referee had no alternative but to call off play for the day.

In the short period of play possible, both West Indies opening bowlers Jerome Taylor and Fidel Edwards struggled to run to the crease.

Match referee Alan Hurst was called into the middle by umpires Rudi Koertzen and Tony Hill and quickly made his decision.

"The bowlers are having problems with their footings," he told Sky Sports. "They were having trouble getting any traction at all. The umpires have agreed with that. It is a health hazard for the players. Play has been abandoned for the day as the ground is unfit."

Much of the pre-match discussions had centered on the state of the ground at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, with Hurst admitting that no-one had tested the run ups. "No-one had bowled on the wicket to test it out," he admitted.

"It would have been jumping the gun to say it was unfit before the start of play. In the long run we have to look at the health and safety of the players."

After much deliberating, officials concluded that the pitch would not be ready in time to resume proceedings on Saturday and made the decision to switch the match to the Antigua Recreation Ground -- leaving groundstaff a race against the clock to prepare the island's traditional international venue, which has not been used for Test cricket since 2006.

England were seven without loss when match officials abandoned play and the tourists will now have to start from scratch at the ARG, where they had been training prior to Friday's debacle.

The opening hour of the contest was reminiscent of the shambles of the 1998 Jamaica Test which was scrapped after just 10.1 overs due to an unsatisfactory pitch.

Dr Julian Hunte, chairman of the West Indies Cricket Board, said: "Let me apologize to everyone on behalf of the board for what is quite rightly called an 'embarrassment'. The ultimate responsibility lies with the board and we are not shirking it."

England are currently 1-0 down in the Test series after falling to an embarrassing innings and 23 run defeat at Jamaica in the first Test last week.

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