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SA, Windies Test venues labelled 'poor'

South Africa's and the Windies' cricket boards could be hit with fines in light of recent Test washouts

Cricket South Africa and the West Indies Cricket Board could each be slapped with fines after the International Cricket Council confirmed the outfields for abandoned Tests in Durban and Port of Spain have been labelled by match referees as “poor”.

South Africa’s first Test of their series against New Zealand at Kingsmead and the West Indies’ fourth Test against India at Queen’s Park Oval saw a combined total of just 121.4 overs played across the two Tests.

Both grounds failed to recover from rainfall early in the Tests and match referees Andy Pycroft and Ranjan Madugalle gave ratings of “poor” for the Durban and Port of Spain outfields respectively.

Their reports have been provided to the CSA and the WICB, which have a fortnight to respond and could each be fined up to US$15,000 in accordance with Clause 4 of the ICC Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Process.

In the Caribbean, just 22 overs were possible in the West Indies-India Test due to a waterlogged outfield, prompting the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board to launch their own investigation.

The ground staff bring on the covers at Queen's Park Oval
The ground staff bring on the covers at Queen's Park Oval // Getty

Four consecutive days were washed out despite long periods of sunshine and the desperate attempts of ground staff to make the surface playable with shovels, pitchforks and leaf blowers.

"As hosts, the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board and QPCC (Queen's Park Cricket Club) regret that limited play was possible in the 4th Test Match between WI and India at the Queen's Park Oval," Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board president Azim Bassarath said in a statement.

"We have jointly launched an investigation to determine what occurred with a view to remedying the situation so that this does not occur in the future," the statement continued.

"Once this has been done it will be presented to the WICB (West Indies Cricket Board)."

Quick Single: Probe after Windies-India Test abandoned

While India won the series 2-0, the draw in the final Test meant Virat Kohli’s men surrendered their No.1 Test ranking to Pakistan.

In Durban, there was no play on days three, four and five of the Test between the Proteas and the Blackcaps, as the soggy outfield was deemed dangerous by umpires.

Steyn fires before rain intervenes

"We were dying to get out there," said South African captain Faf Du Plessis, whose side had the Kiwis 2-15 after scoring 263 in their first innings.

"New Zealand were in a spot of bother on a wicket which was giving a lot of assistance."

Quick Single: Durban Test abandoned as a draw

Du Plessis nonetheless admitted he respected the decision of the umpires.

"There were areas that were muddy and loose underfoot. The message was clear from the umpires that the players' safety was their main concern," he said.

Meanwhile, Wednesday’s match between Australia A and the National Performance Squad in Mackay was also abandoned due to a wet outfield.