Cricket greats slam Wanderers track

2018-01-27 08:06
Kepler Wessels (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Former international greats in the SuperSport television commentary box have hit out at the unacceptable Wanderers wicket in use for the ongoing Proteas v India Test.

READ: Pollock, Gavaskar criticise Wanderers pitch

The Wanderers pitch has come in for fierce criticism from all corners with a series of batsmen taking blows to the body over the course of the first three days.

Matters came to a head - literally - late on Friday afternoon when Proteas opener Dean Elgar took a ball to the helmet which resulted in umpires Aleem Dar and Ian Gould, in consultation with match referee Andy Pycroft, leading the players from the field some 20 minutes before the scheduled close.

“It’s almost an accident waiting to happen,” said former South African captain Kepler Wessels.

Ex-West Indies fast bowler Michael Holding recalled the infamous 1998 Test between the West Indies and England in Jamaica which was abandoned because of a dangerous pitch. 

“That was a total fiasco, this isn’t far off,” he said.

Despite the International Cricket Council's (ICC) confirmation that the Test would go ahead on Saturday's Day 4, Wessels and Holding were at pains to convey their views that the pitch would not improve on days 4 and 5, with Holding adding he wouldn't even wish to bowl, let alone bat, on such a track, with the risk of having to live with the notion he'd done bodily harm to a batsman.

No doubt the death of Australian Test opener Phillip Hughes who was hit on the head by a bouncer at the Sydney Cricket Ground in late 2014 is still fresh in the minds of many.

Should play continue on Saturday, but be found to be too dangerous, the Wanderers Test risks becoming only the third in the 2 293 completed to date to be abandoned.


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