Wet October casts shadow over Sri Lanka/Windies Tests
Tue, Oct 13, '15
IN October, the northeast monsoon begins to creep in from the Bay of Bengal and turns Sri Lanka into a vast network of closely-spaced puddles. This is excellent for the nation’s paddy farmers, whose fields are made fit for replanting. It is less good for cricketers, whose fields are made fit for marine exploration. Spectators are advised to take umbrellas to any match in Sri Lanka, but going by the history of series scheduled for this time of year, snorkeling gear might not be unwise either.The teams have come to understand they are in for a wet series. In addition to having much of the two most recent weeks indoors, they have also shared a rich and storied history of being holed up in dressing rooms. West Indies’ first-ever Test in Sri Lanka in 1993 was so beset by bad weather it barely entered its third innings. Their most recent Test on the island did not make it past the first.
That 2010 tour saw more hours of rain than cricket.The groundstaff were also fitter than the athletes by the end of it.
Maybe it’s the knowledge that the coming series will probably go the same way that this West Indies side barely turned up for the three-day warm-up match, in which they were comfortably outperformed.
The SLC’s only remaining solution to this recurring issue may be to demand Mother Nature stop scheduling monsoons in cricket season. Even this seems more likely to evince a positive response than asking the ICC for help with adjusting the cricket schedule.
Embattled West Indies head coach Phil Simmons is standing his ground and until he gets answers, he will not meet with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB).
Simmons was suspended by the WICB after he made public comments on the non-inclusion of Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard on the One Day International (ODI) team for Sri Lanka. Simmons said at a press conference that the reason for the continued snub of the T&T duo was due to “outside interference”.
He was immediately suspended and replaced by selector Eldine Baptiste as coach for the current series in Sri Lanka.
The WICB appointed a human resource committee to meet with Simmons to discuss the matter. It is understood that if they find anything that needs to warrant discipline then Simmons would be sent to the disciplinary committee.
Milinda Siriwardana's unbeaten 105 from 149 deliveries was the highlight of the third and final day of the West Indians' warm-up encounter at the SSC. Siriwardana is in line for a Test debut on Wednesday, when the first Test begins at Galle. Sri Lanka Cricket Board President's XI finished their first innings on 455 for 6, at which time the match was called off.
The practice outing was a difficult one for the West Indians, who had earlier been bowled out for 209 in their first innings. They did, however, have tougher conditions to bat in. The pitch had slowed down and flattened out by the second day, when the President's XI began their innings.
"As it is, the contemporary West Indies have fallen so far from their once proud position at the head of Test cricket’s table that Sri Lanka Cricket’s interim committee fears it will take a loss on the schedule."
The latest team arrived in Colombo last weekend, underprepared after four months confined to Caribbean Premier League (CPL) T20s but without any first-class or 50-overs cricket since the two Tests against Australia in June.
Two days before leaving for Colombo, the young, largely inexperienced squad, under 23-year-old Jason Holder as the new captain, was sidetracked by the suspension of head coach Phil Simmons by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and his withdrawal from the tour for his public allegations of “outside interference” in the selection of the ODI team.On arrival they were confronted by the seasonal monsoon rains that kept them indoors for much of their early practice and training. It was not unusual for October; the average rainfall for the month is 369 millimetres, just short of May, the wettest at 382 millimetres.