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Stuart Broad jumps to the defence of under-fire umpires as bad light halts play

‘It was dangerous out there’: Stuart Broad jumps to the defence of under-fire umpires as bad light halts play in frustrating second day of second Test

  • Stuart Broad has jumped to the defence of the umpires after a controversial call 
  • The second day of the second Test was halted due to bad light in Southampton 
  • The England bowler said that it would be dangerous to continue playing
  • Pakistan ended Day 2 on 223-9, with England yet to bat at the Ageas Bowl

Stuart Broad jumped to the defence of the under-fire umpires on Friday night after bad light controversially reduced play to just 40.2 overs on a frustrating second day of the second Test.

Even though there was little rain in Southampton after the delayed start, English officials Richard Kettleborough and Michael Gough decided the light was not good enough after tea, despite floodlights shining down brightly on the Ageas Bowl.

Mohammad Rizwan dominated what play there was, hitting an unbeaten 60 as Pakistan progressed to 223 for nine and putting on 39 for the ninth wicket with Mohammad Abbas.

Stuart Broad (left) has defended the controversial call to halt play in the second Test

Richard Kettleborough and Michael Gough called bad light in Southampton on Friday

Richard Kettleborough and Michael Gough called bad light in Southampton on Friday

‘It’s a tricky one because player safety is very important,’ said Broad, who took the key wicket of Babar Azam and continued his purple patch with figures of three for 56 by the premature close. 

‘If bowlers are operating at 85mph-plus and it’s gloomy out there, it can be dangerous. The officials were right to bring us off because it had fallen below the darkness we came off in earlier in the day,’ Broad told the BBC.

‘All our players came off saying, “I wouldn’t want to be batting in this”, because it was quite dark.

‘There are times we’ve come off and there’s been a crowd in and we thought we could still be out there, but today it was on that dark side of being suitable.’

The decision was disputed, with floodlights on at the Ageas Bowl for the players

The decision was disputed, with floodlights on at the Ageas Bowl for the players

Broad has continued his purple patch into the second Test, with figures of three for 56 runs

Broad has continued his purple patch into the second Test, with figures of three for 56 runs

Broad’s strike partner Jimmy Anderson, who took his record-breaking tally to 593 victims with the wicket of Yasir Shah, agreed saying: ‘The light has been gloomy all day and we’ve done well to get the play we have. It did feel like the lights were pretty prominent.’

But Anderson believes the umpires could be more wary of taking light readings that set the template for the whole Test. ‘Maybe there should be a bit more leeway with the light,’ he said. ‘But we can only go off the umpires’ readings.’

Anderson, who admitted he became emotional and frustrated after a poor display in the first Test, has been much more like himself so far in Southampton and said: ‘I’ve felt a lot better, both mentally and with the ball.

‘I had some good chats with some of the players and did some work on my technique as well. I came in with more confidence and the wickets help. It’s enjoyable when you get it right. I just tried to have a bit of a smile on my face.’ England are confident they still have time to force a result with three days left and believe the pitch will be best for batting today.

‘We’re a little frustrated we didn’t get the chance to finish them off,’ added Anderson. ‘But we’re pretty pleased with where we’re at.’



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