The second Test between England and Pakistan has drawn the ire of cricket legends after just 96.2 overs were bowled in four days of the match.
With a huge storm hitting overnight, the fifth day was also looking dire with only Pakistan’s first innings completed with and England 1/7 in their first dig.
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The match is the only international cricket going on currently with England constructing a COVID bubble for international teams.
After completing a series win over the West Indies, the attention turned to Pakistan with the first Test going down to a three wicket thriller.
But England’s untrustworthy weather struck with lengthy rain delays throughout the match.
The drama reached a head on day four on Sunday when the day was called off halfway through the first session before the day was abandoned at tea with groundsmen needing three hours to prepare the field for play.
By 4pm, the sun was out and the social media savaging began.
Former 71-Test veteran for England Mark Butcher offered a solution for the future.
“No problem with earlier start as I said a thousand times yesterday,” Butcher tweeted. “(It) replaces the time added on at the end. What you can’t do is just add on time ad infinitum. None of this helps with bad light stopping play..!”
But after a night of criticism, more cricket legends were willing to offer solutions on day five as the first session was rained out.
Former England captain Nasser Hussain said that it was the first three days that were the major issue, with a storm overnight delaying the start of the fifth day.
“At the end of day three when we’d had very little rain, after a week of record temperatures and suddenly we’d only played 86 overs of cricket and that is just not good enough,” he said on Sky Sports. Only 10.2 overs were bowled on day four before the wash out.
Hussain added that the world was different right now and if you could play cricket, cricket should be played.
“We’ve all played so much cricket, we all occasionally opened our curtains up and thought ’thank god it’s raining, we can put our feet up all day’. We were all offered the light at 5 o’clock and we exhausted and what was the first thing we did? We’ll take the light.
“We can’t do that any more. These are unusual times. Everyone has been in quarantine. Countries have flown over and sacrificed a lot to go into quarantine. People have gone into bubbles for weeks. Jack Leach has been in a bubble for weeks without playing cricket. And when you have the opportunity to play, and the world is watching, do everything you can do to stay on and not have the old mindset of doing everything you can to go off. It is time we changed our mindset as a sport.”
He added that even if the English Cricket Board put every game it has scheduled on, it is set to lose 100 million pounds ($A182m).
Fellow former England captain Michael Atherton said he believes that at some point grounds with floodlights will have a rule that poor light will not apply.
Aussie legend Shane Warne also called for the ICC and ball manufacturers to come up with a pink ball for all matches, as well as lowering the required light level reading levels from where it currently is.
Warne also took aim at the hours that the game is played.
“Remember the other day when play started and we only played for an hour then the players all had to go off for lunch for 40 minutes,” he said.
“I think one of the biggest things that could be changed is the timings, so that we don’t always have to have the lunch break around that right time. Why can’t when we’ve been sitting around all morning for a start and we come out at 12.30, why not take lunch at 3 o’clock.
“When the conditions are right, I think we should be maximising the time of play, I think it’s ridiculous these short little breaks, you’ve been waiting around all day, all morning and then you only go out there for an hour then you’re off for 40 minutes again. I think that’s one of the biggest changes that should be made the conditions and the laws.”
Holding said he thinks there is “too much cricket being played”.
“If there was less cricket and more competitive cricket, you would attract more people to the game,” Holding said. “As far as the game itself is concerns, I think it just needs a little bit of tinkering to ensure you play as much as you can.”