Sri Lanka’s relationship with bad light continued in the ongoing ODI series against South Africa as islander’s attempts to cut costs by not using the flood lights in day matches has affected their team’s performance in the first ODI, as a result Sri Lanka lost wickets trying to chase Duckworth-Lewis equation after light faded unexpectedly during the second innings.The Sri Lankan team‘s relation with bad light started early in the year after they tried to waste time allowing the bad light against Pakistan to make the Test end in draw which eventually failed.
Sri Lankan Captain, Angelo Mathews taking on the decreasing light at the Premadasa Stadium had took a change in his team’s game plan, as they need 305. However, he had not been consulted before SLC and Cricket South Africa signing on the agreement of understanding about preventing the lights being switched on when conditions became too dark for comfort.
According to the ICC’s playing conditions, they don’t make the use of floodlights compulsory for day matches, even if the light drains below what is need for the play to be continued. SLC’s CEO Ashley de Silva confirmed about the financial savings which was the primary cause behind SLC’s decision to exercise this decision.
“No board wants to have that back-up system for day games. That happened to us even in England.“, de Silva said. “Actually, when the MOU was drafted and being discussed, this light issue never even cropped up, so both boards were in agreement.“, CEO of SLC said.
The one-day hiring of an electricity generator which capable of lighting up stadium floodlights is around LKR 19 million (approx. USD $146,000). SLC is saving the same amount twice in this series, with no floodlights available for match at Hambantota on Saturday. Playing two day matches among three is also in part of cost-cutting.
Mathews faced blamed for dropping two catches and poor shot selections for the defeat, later explained saying that darkness had also played a part in it.
“We had a good game in our hands at one point. Unfortunately, the situation changes and we’ve got to go with the situation. In the end we had to change our approach a little because of the light, but we also didn’t play well.“, said Mathews.
Mathews also said that they went to referee over the lights issue but he couldn’t do anything.
“If we can use the lights, it will be good because it gets a bit dark in the evening. I’m not really sure why, but we were told at the match referee’s meeting we won’t be able to use it.“, said Sri Lankan Captain.
Mathews said that D/L rule is also played a crucial role in they blowdown.
“When we hit the 34-over mark, it was getting dark and we needed to be on top of the Duckworth-Lewis. Unfortunately, we couldn’t use the lights, so we had to stay on top of the D/L. We lost a couple of wickets and then it was all over for us.” said Disappointed Mathews.
AB de Villiers, the South Africa captain backed up the Sri Lanka’s change of track in the 34th over, suggesting the hosts’ aggression could even had took the game away from South Africa. But he was also said that the inability to use the floodlights in the stadium cursed them.
“I didn’t think we should be playing when it was dark like that. We would like to use the lights. I would like us to play under lights when that happens again.“