ARG to stage third Test
England and the West Indies will play a hastily arranged third Test at the Antigua Recreation Ground, starting on Sunday.
Last Updated: 13/02/09 6:55pm
England and the West Indies will now play a hastily arranged third Test at the Antigua Recreation Ground, with the match getting underway on Sunday.
The move comes after the second Test was abandoned after just 10 balls because of an unfit outfield at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.
With the conditions unlikely to improve in the near future, officials from the two countries' boards, as well as representatives from the International Cricket Council, decided to scrap the contest.
Instead, the ARG at St John's will be used to stage the third match of the series, despite the fact that it has not staged Test cricket since 2006.
England captain Andrew Strauss had earlier admitted he would be happy for the switch in locations. The tourists had used the ARG for practice sessions.
"It's not in a great state but in terms of potential injuries it is fit," Strauss told Sky Sports.
"We don't know what state the wicket is in there, but it's fit for bowlers to run in on, batsmen to play on and fielders to field the ball. From a cricketing point of view it is fit.
"The reality is we just want to play the game - when you're 1-0 down in a four-Test series you don't want it to be three Tests all of a sudden.
"It's tough. We have to deal with these things and if we have to get used to different conditions all of a sudden then we have to do it."
England and Wales Cricket Board Giles Clarke had proposed the move to his West Indies counterparts after the North Sound venue had been deemed unfit for action.
Hugh Morris, managing director of the England team, had raised concerns over the sand-based outfield in a letter to ICC match referee Alan Hurst.
"I wrote a letter to the ICC match referee that was delivered last evening because we were clearly concerned with what we saw," he said.
"To have a day of the Test match abandoned clearly isn't good enough. It doesn't do the image of cricket any good around the world."