The 22 yard strip which is being used for the game is considered as a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of match. Sometime they be bowler friendly and sometimes they turn out to be flat aiding the batsmen. Not only the pitch but also the outfield has to be good to make it less dangerous for the fielders and the bowlers. In the past, there were some matches in which wither the pitch or the outfield was not in good condition resulting for an early call-off. Here are the instances which had the worst playing conditions in the sport.
The first day’s pitch at the Sabina Park, Kingston during England’s tour of West Indies in 1998, had the first ball climbing to the batsmen and the next one skid down to the ankle of the batsmen. West Indian threatening new ball pair of Courtney Walsh and Curtly Ambrose looked even more deadly at the pitch hurting the English batsmen too often. It prompted the visiting captain Michael Atherton to call back his batsmen citing their own safety. Only fifty six minutes were possible in the match before it was called off by the umpires because of the worse behaviour of the pitch.
West Indies vs England, Antigua, 2009
Once again, the opponents were same but the venue was different. This time, the North Sound in Antigua hosted the second test between West Indies and England. Even before the match begun, both the captains raised some concerns about the conditions of the ground. Inspite of the warning, the officials went ahead with the match just to see it getting called off in just 10.1 overs. The field looked like a sand pit and the bowlers were facing some difficulties with their run-up. This test ended in the history books as the shortest match in the history of the test cricket.
Just months after the abandoned Antigua Test, the 5th ODI between India and Sri Lanka got called off after 23 overs because of a dangerous pitch. The pitch offered extremely variable bounce as even Sunil Gavaskar during the pitch report described the pitch as a bald head with hair transplant referring to the grass sprinkles on the pitch. After hitting the deck, the ball bounced sharply striking the elbows and shoulders of the batsmen. It was the only instance where the Indians fans could see their bowlers bouncing the ball high in home conditions.
The strip used at the WACA for the Shieffield Shield match between New South Wales and Western Australia is considered as the worst ever in the history of the sport. There were cracks in the good length areas in the pitch and when the bowlers hit the area, the ball either kept low or moved sideways and deviated to the slip fielders or flew past the batsmen. Here is how the wicket behaved in that match:
Australia vs England, Perth, 2013
In the 2012-13 Ashes series, Mitchell ran havoc against the English batsmen with his raw pace and the bounce he generated. He even threatened to break the arms of the English batsmen as well. In the third test at Perth where the pitch is traditionally expected to have pace and bounce, English batsmen were set for a nightmare in the final day as the pitch tore down and the cracks were developed at one end of the wicket. The cracks started to develop from the second day itself and made life hell for the batsmen game moved on and in the final day the condition got worse and Australia hardly dropped their sweat in making a little work for England.