Playing test cricket in August in the Southern Hemisphere was always going to be a risk. But the authorities in Durban have conspired to make sure it would be a complete disaster. The official name for this game was the first Sunfoil test which in retrospect has a sense of irony about it.
A test match that didn’t even last for 100 overs. No play at all on the last three days, even though it had stopped raining on the morning of the third.
Cricinfo’s Firdose Moonda outlines the list of shortcomings in this excellent piece. Playing on a recently re-laid pitch, no use of sawdust, no use of drying equipment being the most glaring issues. This is meant to be one of South Africa’s leading test cricket grounds.
Well it is for now anyway. They have already lost the Boxing Day tests to Port Elizabeth, which is pretty embarrassing.
This is 2016. The era of day/night test matches, drop-in pitches, third umpire ball-tracking software and drones. But, this week, not even tea towels were used in an attempt to dry a damp outfield.
The ICC has encouraged this new venture, in order to open up new windows for test cricket given the encroachment of T20 leagues into more traditional times of the year. It’s tough enough as it is for test cricket.
Hopefully they will realise this is a very bad look, and actually do something about it other than just issuing a statement. We can only live in hope.
The thing it will, or should, hope is that the August tests idea is scrapped on the back of this level of apathy, incompetence and stubbornness.