West Indies v England, 2nd Test, Antigua February 20, 2009

ICC to probe Antigua fiasco

Cricinfo staff


The ICC has blamed the West Indies board for the fiasco at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium © Getty Images
 

The ICC will address the fiasco of last week's abandoned Test at the Sir Viv Richards Stadium when its chief executives meet in South Africa next week.

"A week ago we were all downcast after that disastrous abandonment which brought a great deal of unwanted negative publicity to the game," ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat. "We never want a repeat of that situation and next week we will start the process of seeing what lessons we can learn from it when the matter will be discussed in Johannesburg.

"The two teams and the playing control team showed willingness to get on and play at a venue which hadn't staged a Test match in three years while local officials, including Andy Roberts and ARG curator Keith Frederick, plus countless volunteers made the ground fit for play inside 48 hours. The match was another example of why Test cricket continues to endure. For sustained tension and excitement there is nothing like it."

The West Indies Cricket Board will also conduct an independent one-man inquiry and a full announcement by its president Julian Hunte is expected in the coming week.

"We are going to appoint a one-person inquiry into the matter. I'm sure the government of Antigua will also be doing so," Donald Peters, the WICB chief executive, told the Trinidad and Tobago Express.

That will not be of consolation to the thousands of England fans who had arranged to be in Antigua for the match. While most were able to see the re-arranged game, many missed the last couple of days as they had return flights booked based on the dates of the original game.

The embarrassment of the mess at the new stadium has been compounded by reluctance of anyone to accept responsibility. The West Indies board have blamed the local organisations but the Antigua Cricket Association and the Leeward Islands Cricket Association are as adamant it was not down to them.

Some also point the finger at the ICC for what they argue was pressure put on the WICB to build a new, and unloved, venue in Antigua.

However, Lorgat was in no doubt where the buck stopped. "It's clearly the WICB's [responsibility]," he said, hinting that the future of international cricket at the Sir Viv Richards Stadium was in doubt.

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