Zimbabwe coach slams umpires for not halting play despite wet outfield

HOBART: Zimbabwe coach Dave Houghton has slammed the umpires’ decision to continue with his team’s game against South Africa on Monday despite the heavy amount of rain in Hobart.

Rain played a spoiler in yesterday’s match on multiple instances before it was finally abandoned with South Africa close to sealing a victory. The Proteas required just 13 runs in 24 balls and had 10 wickets in hands but since the innings had not reached the mandatory cut-off mark of five overs, the game ended with no result.

Zimbabwe’s bowlers and fielders frequently voiced their displeasure about the damp outfield during the chase as the rain gradually grew heavier. However, the umpires kept the players in the game even after fast bowler Richard Ngarava slipped and had to be taken off the field injured.

“I don’t think we should have even bowled a ball, to be fair,” said Houghton in a post-match press conference.

“But the umpires are the guys making those decisions out in the middle and they seemed to think it was fit to play. I disagree with them, but there’s not much I can do off the field.”

Talking about Ngarva’s condition, Houghton said: “He’s lying in the changing room with a bunch of ice strapped to his ankle. Obviously we’re not too happy about the fact he’s not in a great space for bowling at the moment.

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

Furthermore, he added that the field was wet when Zimbabwe started and when South Africa fielded and the conditions had been difficult conditions for both sides but it just got more and more wet as they bowled.

“When your keeper’s sliding trying to move down the leg side standing up to the spinners, it’s too wet. I don’t think the conditions were right to carry on playing,” he concluded.

READ: SA vs ZIM: Quinton de Kock’s heroics in vain as rain washes out play