Cricket: Kent blown out in bowl-out complaint

Click to follow
The Independent Online
THE farcical end to Kent's Benson and Hedges quarter- final with Warwickshire had a bitter aftermath yesterday as the sides bickered about responsibility for the tie having to be settled on a bowl- out, writes Glenn Moore.

Warwickshire, who won a semi-final trip to Surrey in yesterday's draw while Hampshire travel to Worcestershire in the other game, claimed that Kent had refused to play the tie elsewhere. But Kent denied this, arguing that the captains had agreed not to switch.

Dennis Amiss, Warwickshire's chief executive, said: 'We were all ready to leave at 12 on Wednesday and go to Derby to get a 40-over game in at two o'clock. It was Kent who said they did not want to go, not us.' But Daryl Foster, Kent's coach, said: 'It is not true that it was only Kent who objected, both teams agreed they did not want to go to Derby. Rain was on the way, it was too much of a risk.'

The TCCB yesterday pointed out the match could have been played virtually anywhere, even on an artifical school wicket, and 10-overs-a- side would have sufficed.

Kent yesterday wrote a protest to the Test and County Cricket Board concerning the state of the pitch at Edgbaston, which was too wet for play after Warwickshire failed to use the 'Brumbrella' cover during the weekend deluge.

The covers were left off to treat a fungal growth on the Test wicket in preparation for the one-day international at Edgbaston on 27 August. Foster said: 'It is very disappointing when you get a side saying they have a game against South Africa in August and don't want the square mucked up. This was one of the most important games of the season. It is not acceptable.'

Tim Lamb, the TCCB's cricket secretary, said Kent's letter was well reasoned, but he offered them no hope. 'We are still awaiting reports from the umpires and the ground authority, but there is no question of agreeing to a replay.'

The only one of the four semi-finalists not to have lifted the trophy, Warwickshire will naturally look to Brian Lara to rectify matters but against him on 7 June will be Cameron Cuffy, Surrey's Windward Islands bowler, who removed Lara for his two lowest Red Stripe Cup scores this season.

BENSON AND HEDGES CUP Semi-final draw: Surrey v Warwickshire; Worcestershire v Hampshire.

To be played on Tuesday 7 June.