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It was ridiculous – Zimbabwe coach critical of decision to play on in Hobart

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By Reuters


AUSTRALIA: Zimbabwe coach Dave Houghton criticised the umpires’ decision to continue their T20 World Cup match against South Africa despite heavy rain on Monday, with one of his bowlers left nursing an ankle injury after slipping in the wet outfield.

South Africa were on the verge of victory at the Bellerive Oval when the Super 12 contest, which had already been truncated following several rain interruptions, was called off due to the weather.

Zimbabwe’s players had complained about wet conditions in the outfield and fast bowler Richard Ngarava left the field injured after he slipped.

Houghton told a news conference that Ngarava’s injury had been treated with ice and he would be assessed later.

“Obviously we’re not too happy about the fact he’s not in a great space for bowling at the moment. We’ll have to assess it in the next day or so,” he added.

“I thought the rain had got so heavy it was ridiculous.

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“Most of the evening or nighttime, it was misty. But it got to the stage where we could actually hear it thumping on the rooftop in the dugout. To me, that’s no longer drizzle; that’s time to get off the field.”

Conditions were difficult right from the start and only got worse, the former Zimbabwe captain said.

“I understand the need to try and get these games on for the public and for TV,” he said.

“I understand the need to try and play in slightly inclement weather to try and get a result. But we overstepped that mark in this game.”

South Africa coach Mark Boucher said they too had to bowl in difficult conditions.

“We bowled with a ball that was quite wet as well,” he said. “We were in a very good position. You walk away from this game thinking we were hard done by.

“We are not there to make the calls, that’s what officials do and officials made the call and we’ve got to live with their decisions.”