London, Sep 2 (ANI): Lancashire has slammed the decision to abandon the second Twenty20 international between England and Australia without a ball being bowled at Old Trafford after the umpires and captains agreed that the outfield was unfit for play.
England captain Paul Collingwood and his Australia counterpart Michael Clarke were forced to go on the defensive due to the bad condition of the ground.
Boos rang out when the cancellation was announced just before 8 p.m. on Tuesday to a capacity 19,500 crowd, most of whom had been in the stadium for well over an hour after paying at least 50 pounds for their tickets, The Guardian reports.
Lancashire's chief executive Jim Cumbes shared their fury, disagreeing vehemently with the contention of the captains and the umpires that the ground was unfit because of a muddy patch in the bowlers' take-off area at the Statham End.
"I'm angry and bitterly disappointed. I don't think it was unsafe. There's dampness there for sure and it's soft, of course it is, (but) there's no water. If that had been Lancashire against Yorkshire on a Friday night in front of 16,000 people, we'd have been playing," said Cumbes.
"I know the umpires have tough decisions to make and player safety is important. But there comes a time when you've got to think about the people who have paid to come into this ground. Sometimes I think we'd rather play in front of empty stadiums," he said.
But Collingwood praised the umpires for making a brave call.
"It is entertainment but you've got to have the surface in the right condition to play an international game," the paper quoted England's Twenty20 captain, as saying. (ANI)