Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Flower defends match abandonment

Andy Flower believes it would not have been possible to play the washed-out Twenty20 with Australia in altered conditions.

Umpires abandoned the match at Old Trafford without a ball being bowled after heavy rain had caused problems with the run-ups at the Brian Statham End.

With 19,500 paying customers leaving the ground unhappy, a variety of alternatives were mooted by commentators - with spin-only bowling from one end or bowling every over from the unaffected side of the pitch among the most popular - but the idea has gained little traction among the key players.

Both captains, England's Paul Collingwood and Australia's Michael Clarke, recoiled when asked about such options and Flower has followed suit.

He told Sky Sports News: "The terms and conditions for the match last night were for an international cricket match which is played at high pace and high intensity.
"The umpires didn't think conditions were there for that intensity. If people had wanted an exhibition it would have to be different terms agreed by the two boards.
"Under the terms of engagement it wasn't able to go ahead."

Flower also believes any criticism directed at the captains or players for not forcing the issue with the match officials is unjustified.

"I can't speak for the players because they speak for themselves," said the Zimbabwean.

"But there's no point in pointing fingers at players, they do what umpires tell them to.

"They are there to make decisions. They are experienced in these matters and they are responsible for these decisions."

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