‘Absolute mockery’: Ashes pic infuriates fans

Cricket fans have voiced their disgust after 30.3 overs of Ashes action at Blundstone Arena was lost due to a light drizzle.

Test cricket sure knows how to shoot itself in the foot.

Day one of the historic pink-ball Ashes Test in Hobart ended in “pathetic” circumstances, with a light sprinkle of rain robbing Tasmanian cricket fans of 30.3 overs of action.

Light rain started falling early the evening session at Blundstone Arena, and umpires Rod Tucker and Paul Wilson decided to pause play after a brief consultation.

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The covers were dragged onto the pitch and players returned to the sheds, much to the frustration of fans and broadcasters.

But in farcical scenes, the Test match did not resume despite the rain dimming to what can only be described as light drizzle.

Spectators on the hill did not bother searching for cover, with only one umbrella raised in the entire venue – that of fourth umpire Donovan Koch.

Even the rain radar was bone dry, with only a couple of small blotches visible on the map. Weather stations in the Hobart CBD and airport registered a grand total of 0.0 mm of rain on Friday evening.

Needless to say, the cricket community was unimpressed.

Cricket reporter George Dobell tweeted: “Pathetic. You can hardly feel it. Might as well just punch spectators in the face and have done with it. You know, sometimes I‘m not sure Test cricket deserves to survive. The match officials – genuinely the only people at the ground using an umbrella – are bringing the game into disrepute here. We’re fools to put up with it.”

Triple M commentator and former Middlesex captain Isabelle Westbury posted: “The only umbrella up around the ground is the fourth umpire‘s out in the middle. This isn‘t an exaggeration, I actually can’t see a single other one. Cricket doesn’t help itself.”

Former Australian paceman Dirk Nannes tweeted: “Another example of cricket shooting itself in the foot. The game should not be off for this drizzle, if we can even call it that. The gutters are still dry. It could be the first rain delay when not a single drop of water goes down the gutters.”

Journalist Ebony Abblitt posted: “Just stepped outside my house in Hobart… if that’s enough rain for a game delay then we were absolutely ripped off in play time at primary school.”

Cricket broadcaster Adam Collins tweeted: “There have been some frustrating rain delays during this series but this takes the cake. Can‘t understand how they arrived at the conclusion that it was heavy enough to take them off.”

Of course, safety of the players is paramount – Marnus Labuschagne, Stuart Broad and Mark Wood had each slipped onto the Hobart pitch on the opening day.

Last week’s New Year’s Test in Sydney also experienced weather problems, with several rain delays disrupting the opening two days of action at the SCG.

Seven overs were lost on day five due to a rain interruption after the lunch break, which ultimately proved critical – England secured a gritty draw after Australia’s bowlers could only manage nine wickets in the fourth innings.

Australia was 6/241 at stumps on day one of the Hobart Test, with wicketkeeper Alex Carey unbeaten on 10 and Mitchell Starc yet to score at the other end.

Originally published as ‘Pathetic’: Day one of historic Hobart Ashes Test cut short by light drizzle

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