Till a long time even after the rains had passed on Sunday, there was no consensus as to whether further play would be possible in the 2nd T20I in Florida between India and West Indies. There were differing views on the state of the outfield from the two opposing captains Carlos Brathwaite and MS Dhoni, but it was eventually decided that the match would be called off without result and they shook hands and went their ways. The series went towards West Indies 1-0, courtesy Saturday’s 1-run victory.
Brathwaite felt that certain sections in the outfield of the Central Broward Regional Park were ‘unsafe’, but Dhoni’s opinion was that he had played in worse conditions before. Brathwaite pointed to an area behind the bowler’s run up on the pavilion end and another section close to the 30-yard circle to the west of the pitch as two areas where puddles had collected.
The West Indies captain said, “Looking from the pavilion, the run-ups on that side and just beside the sponsor's [painted ad on field] plus probably mid-on and then there was a little patch on the [west] side looking from the pavilion again.
“So, in my opinion, it was unsafe, and even if the run-ups were good and a guy hits a ball in the outfield in a fast-paced T20 game and he chases behind it and pulls something, that could be the end of a guy's career. So not only will we want to play, we want the facilities and the atmosphere to be as safe for everyone's career as possible. In my opinion, I don't think it was and the umpires also made that decision as well."
Have played under worse conditions: Dhoni
However, Dhoni’s take on the situation was slightly different in the press conference that followed the match. He pointed towards the 2011 England series as having being played in rain all the time. He seemed to disagree with the officials’ decisions but also seemed ready to accept it.
“What the umpires told us, there was not adequate equipment over here and the condition of it was quite bad, so because the conditions wouldn't improve we won't be able to play a game," Dhoni said. "That's a call that the match officials have to make and as far as I've played close to 10 years of international cricket and frankly I've played under worse off conditions.
“If I remember in 2011, the whole ODI series that we played in England, it was literally playing under the rain. I feel definitely the conditions (pause), ultimately the umpires decide so they decide you play, we play. If they say okay it was unfit for play, it was unfit for play.(shrug of shoulders)”
“It was on this [west] side where me and Bravo were standing but it was far away from all the run-ups of the bowlers. There is no Shoaib Akhtar in their team so I don't think it was a big concern."
Dhoni stopped short of protesting the officials’ decision to call play off, but it was evident that he was displeased at such an easy opportunity to level the series being taken away so frustratingly.Published 29 Aug 2016, 10:16 IST