Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene has said that he will write to the match referee Javagal Srinath for an explanation as to why today’s fourth One-Day International at the SCG was abandoned after a relatively short rain delay. The light rain lasted for only around an hour, with Jayawardene arguing that there was then ample time for the ground to dry and play to resume.
Sri Lanka had restricted Australia to 222 for nine after they had opted to bat and had just begun their run chase when the rain arrived. Umpires Marais Erasmus and Paul Reiffel then deemed the ground unfit for play to resume.
Tom Parker, curator at the SCG, explained the situation, saying that the light rain didn’t penetrate into the topsoil and thus the drainage system at the ground was not able to carry the water away. It was therefore just light a very heavy dew.
"There was no wind or sun to dry the surface despite ground staff using wide ranging measures to dry the grass," he said. "The high humidity also continued to produce heavy dew."
Jayawardene’s problem doesn’t appear to be with the groundstaff, but rather with the interpretation of the rules regarding unfit play by the officials on duty at the match. Srinath and the umpires called the match off today because conditions were "unfair", whereas in a previous series against New Zealand the then match referee, Andy Pycroft, had said he would only suspend play if he deemed them “unsafe”.
"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, so that's something we'll probably write and put across to them [the 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. 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."
© Cricket World 2013
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