The Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad and Tobago could be sanctioned by the International Cricket Council (ICC) after its outfield was given a “poor’ rating by match referees.
The ICC made the announcement in a release on Thursday, Aug. 25 after the fourth and final Test between West Indies and India finished in a farcical draw on the final day on Monday.
Questions about the historic ground’s drainage system and mopping up operations have been raised after rain halted play just before launch last Thursday’s opening day and the action never resumed despite the abundance of sunshine.
The ICC release also announced that South Africa’s Kingsmead ground has also received a “poor” rating after the first Test between South Africa and New Zealand ended in a damp draw on Tuesday without a ball being bowled over the final three and a half days due to a soggy outfield.
The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), like Cricket South Africa, has 14 days to respond to the match referees’ report.
The ICC regulations state that the maximum punishment for a venue which incurs the “poor” rating for the first time is a US$15,000 fine, along with a warning and a directive for appropriate corrective action.
West Indies and India were able to play only one session across five days at the Queen’s Park Oval while 11 sessions out of 15 were lost to a soggy outfield at Kingsmead.
Meanwhile, legendary former West Indies captain Sir Vivian Richards has called for a probe into the abandonment of the fourth and final Test of the four-match series between West Indies and India due to poor drainage at the Queen’s Park Oval, Trinidad.
Only 22 overs were bowled on the first day of the match, when West Indies had scored 62 for two wickets after that there was no play for the rest of the match (four and a half day).
Although there was brilliant sunshine for at least three days, the umpires ruled that there could be no play because of a soggy surface.
India which won the four-match series 2-0 to take the trophy, after taking the first Test in Antigua and the third in St. Lucia. The second Test in Jamaica ended in a draw.
India offspinner / batsman Ravichandran Ashwin was named Man-of-the Series.
The draw allowed Pakistan to climb to the top, following their recent 2-2 drawn series against England.
Sir Viv said it was embarrassing for West Indies cricket to see the primitive ways how the grounds men were trying to mop up the ground.
“Imagine the guys using a pitch fork and digging up the ground to help it dry out,” he said.
Sir Viv said an investigation must be done and people must be held responsible for this situation.
The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) is also calling for an investigation why there was no play since the first day.
WICB CEO Michael Muirhead wants answers from the Queen’s Park Cricket Club, which is responsible for the grounds at the Oval.
India was playing in Trinidad for the first time in 14 years and several cricket fans from the region and North America flew in for the four-day Test were left disappointed.