Australia v New Zealand, 1st Test, Brisbane, 2nd day December 2, 2011

Sutherland questions bad light call


James Sutherland, the Cricket Australia chief executive, has questioned the bad light call that ended day two of the first Test against New Zealand at 4.38pm local time with blue sky still visible above the Gabba.

A crowd of 11,103 and a far larger television audience was staggered when the umpires Aleem Dar and Asad Rauf led the players from the field, ostensibly because their light meters were showing the same reading that had called play off early on day one minutes before a storm engulfed the ground.

Rauf told ABC radio that "it looks brighter than yesterday but we have to follow the light meter", but Sutherland was as miffed as many other observers and said the decision had shown little regard for spectators, who seem less likely to support Test cricket the more often such decisions are made. Sutherland said: "Cricket needs to be looking after fans as our first priority, we need to work harder to give them more, not less".

A CA spokesman said Sutherland also intended to take the matter further.

"James Sutherland intends to take up the 'bad light' issue with the ICC, and will argue that cricket needs to take better care of putting fans first," the spokesman said. "Sutherland has spoken to the match referee [Andy Pycroft] tonight to understand bad light decision, respects their decision but wants ICC review."

Nathan Lyon, the Australian offspinner, said there was frustration among the players as well as spectators under current regulations that take the matter of bad light out of the hands of the two teams and entirely at the discretion of the umpires.

"It's certainly frustrating that's for sure," he said. "But saying that it is difficult to pick the ball up, especially when it is overcast and it is dark and I know it's frustrating for all the players. But it comes down to players' safety and at the end of the day it is only cricket, but certainly frustrating."

New Zealand's spinner Daniel Vettori reckoned there would always be complaints about bad light, irrespective of who had the power to decide on continuing play.

"When it was the other way people complained about that, now it's this way people complain about this, it's just the way it is," he said. "They set a number for the game yesterday and it reached that, so they have to be consistent. It is different when you're fielding to when you're batting, so yesterday it got really dark and it got tough to see, if the light was exactly the same as that it would've been tough to see."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on December 3, 2011, 6:52 GMT

    There must be continuity in the decisions by the umpires; taking last day's call into play the umpires have done the correct thing!

  • Dummy4 on December 3, 2011, 6:16 GMT

    Sutherland should have the rules changed rather taking his anger on two most outstanding umpires in Cricket. Aleem Dar, Simon Teufel, Asad Rauf make Cricket fair and exciting. Sutherland's irritation is certainly misplaced. He should learn some manners to respect people and rules.

  • Bryn on December 3, 2011, 5:45 GMT

    the call was a joke. i blame the umpires, its their decision. shocking stuff. common sense is not all that common they say, and it aint.

  • Abdul Rehman on December 3, 2011, 2:49 GMT

    Rules are framed to be followed as have been done by both the empires to safeguard the larger intersts of the game instead of pondering over the desires of the croud. Croud don't want a player to be given out at 99 but law dictatates he is out as per laws of cricket. In this situation should we regard the wishes of people or the law of cricket set by the cricketing governing body??? instead of blaming empires, Chief CA better go to ICC for review of law.

  • Daniel on December 2, 2011, 23:20 GMT

    At the very least, if the umpires make the call that it is too dark this should be able to be overturned by the agreement of the fielding captain and the batsmen at the crease.

  • disco on December 2, 2011, 21:56 GMT

    If matches were started earlier then we'd be able to go off for bad light around 2 in the afternoon, thus leaving time to head down to the beach.

  • Dummy4 on December 2, 2011, 21:42 GMT

    Ridiculous. We should have had day-night tests 4 years ago -- this is what's killing cricket.

  • Nitin on December 2, 2011, 18:56 GMT

    If they can have a day/night ODI then they should be able to play a full day using available daylight and flood lights. I'm not blaming the umps in this case but I'm suggesting use of artificial lights when natural light is not available for a whole working day. Why should the spectators or the leading team be short changed!

  • Rakesh on December 2, 2011, 14:54 GMT

    @Copernicus - if the law say nothing about the light meters then surely the umpires are to be blamed. isnt it? as it was their decision.

  • kan on December 2, 2011, 14:30 GMT

    against a weaker NZ bowling attack, Ponting might score runs, but it will be illusion to think he is back in form. rather it is his best chance to walk away on the high.

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