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ICC Confirms Second West Indies – England Test Is Abandoned, New Match To Be Staged At Antigua Recreation Ground Starting On Sunday

Emirates Elite Panel Match Referee Alan Hurst today confirmed the second Test between the West Indies and England at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua would be abandoned.

A new Test match, to be staged at the Antigua Recreation Ground, would begin on Sunday 15 February, he added.

Mr Hurst said: “Following discussions involving the local authorities and the two Boards it was clear we could not proceed with the Test match at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.

“The ground conditions, and especially the bowlers’ run-ups, were unfit and potentially dangerous and we decided it would not be possible to rectify those fundamental issues over the course of a day or so.

“The Antigua Recreation Ground gives us the opportunity to stage a Test match on the same island, something that is a prime consideration given the many supporters who have come here to watch the West Indies and England in action.

“Preparations will now be made to get the ground ready for Sunday.”

Given the short period of time between now and Sunday the ICC has taken the decision that Sunday’s match will take place without the umpire decision review system.

This is because the host broadcaster already has a great deal of work to do to de-rig its equipment at one venue and rig at another and asking it at the same time to ensure the system is ready to go would risk the integrity of the trial.

That trial will resume with the Test match in Barbados which will start on 26 February.

In keeping with the precedent of the abandoned Test match at Sabina Park in Jamaica in 1998, Sunday’s match will become the third Test of what will now be a five-Test series with the records for this Test remaining.

In terms of the immediate future for the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, the venue will now be subject to the start of the ICC Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Process.

That process was introduced in 2006 to ensure international cricket is played in conditions of a suitably high standard.

The first stage of the process is for Mr Hurst to submit a report to the ICC concerning the quality of the playing surface.

Once he does so then the ICC will write to the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), forwarding that report and asking for a written report of its own on the condition of the surface including any extenuating circumstances which may have existed.

Once the WICB’s report is submitted then the ICC’s General Manager – Cricket David Richardson and the ICC’s chief match referee Ranjan Madugalle will consider all the evidence, including studying video footage, before passing judgment.

The ICC has the power to impose a sanction ranging from a warning or a fine up to a suspension of international status for the venue.

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