Match referee Srinath's call robs Sri Lanka of series win in Australia
By PTI | January 21, 2013
Miffed at Indian match referee Javagal Srinath's decision to call off the fourth ODI against Australia due to a wet outfield, Sri Lanka on Sunday said that they would ask the ICC about "inconsistencies" in rulings regarding rain-affected matches.
Rain halted play in the fourth over of the Sri Lankan run-chase after Mahela Jayawardene's side had scored 14 for no loss, needing 209 more runs off 46.4 overs, with all their wickets intact.
The match was later called off, and Srinath explained that play did not resume because he and umpires Paul Reiffel and Marais Erasmus felt conditions were "unfair".
Srinath's call robbed Sri Lanka of an ideal chance to finish off the five-match series, having already taken a 2-1 lead, and Jayawardene expressed frustration that a ground as rich in history and facilities as the SCG could not get the game restarted.
Jayawardene said that matches have been played in far worse conditions, and cited as an example his side's ODI against New Zealand in Pallekele only three months ago.
"We played New Zealand three months ago, and the interpretation we got in that series was quite different to what we got today," Jayawardene said.
"We played in Pallekele with a lot of rain, and during the World Cup as well.
"I think we need to find a bit more consistency. That's something we'll probably write and put across to them [ICC] and see how we can go about it."
"At the SCG, I would assume that a ground of this magnitude you should be able to get a game in," he added.
"Maybe they should do what we do back home and cover the entire ground.
"I think we can write to the match referee because the interpretation we got three months ago in the New Zealand series was something totally different. It was deemed that we'd only stop play if it was dangerous, not unfair, but today the interpretation was different.
"I accept that, it comes from the match referee and the umpires, so I'm happy to take that on board, but it was two interpretations we got within a three-month period."
Australian captain Michael Clarke also expressed surprise at the game not resuming, saying that he had seen matches played at the SCG where far more rain had drenched the ground.
"I think this ground is known for its drainage. I've played a number of games here, where it's held a lot more water than that, and we've managed to get back on and play games of cricket," Clarke said.
"I think the hardest thing was the water didn't really sink in — it sat on top, there was no sun around and no wind.
"Sri Lanka would've loved to get back on there, as the game got shorter. It was probably going to suit them a lot more. But we certainly wanted to play as well to give ourselves a chance to win the series.
"Unfortunately, we can't win the series now, we can only level it."
According to SCG curator Tom Parker, the unusual problem was that the rain was so light that it sat on top of the grass like heavy dew, and did not sink into the soil.
"There was no wind or sun to dry the surface, despite ground staff using wide ranging measures to dry the grass," Parker said.
"The high humidity also continued to produce heavy dew."
The fifth and final ODI takes place on January 23 in Hobart.
© Press Trust of India