India v England, 5th ODI, Guwahati April 9, 2006

Strauss sympathetic to fans' anger

Cricinfo staff



A helicopter was used to dry the outfield, but the ground was saturated © AFP
Following the riots and anger from supporters at Guwahati, the England batsman Andrew Strauss has sympathised with the fans' frustration after the match was called off.

Although it appeared from the stands that the outfield had dried sufficiently - aided by a helicopter to blow-dry the rain away - the bowlers' run-ups were sodden and the pitch was unsuitable to play on. With the sun shining, the fans couldn't understand why the umpires - Rudi Koertzen and AV Jayaprakash - didn't allow the match to start, and an outbreak of anger ensued. Strauss, though sympathetic to their concerns, did not condone the violence.

"No-one likes to see things get out of hand like that," he told BBC Sport. "It was obvious even as we left there were portions of the crowd who were pretty frustrated that there wasn't any cricket being played.

"You can understand [the frustration] because they had been there for a long time and it wasn't raining," he added. From the outside it looked like the conditions were right for cricket.

"It's a real shame for the spectators but obviously the players have got to take their own safety into account," he said. "The bowlers' run ups were very wet with the potential for bowlers to do themselves damage. It only takes one slip and you can damage yourself pretty badly.

"It just wasn't fit enough to play a one-day international which was a shame. It robbed everyone of a good game of cricket."

The sixth one-dayer gets underway at Jamshedpur on April 12.