'Bloody bonkers': Cricket world erupts over 'crazy' controversy

Riley Morgan
·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
Umpire Richard Kettleborough signals that play is abandoned (pictured left) Pakistan's Azhar Ali leaves the field.
Fans, including former players Michael Vaughan and Mark Taylor, were furious the umpires (pictured left) called the day off between England and Pakistan (pictured right) because of bad light.

Aussie legend Mark Taylor has joined the chorus condemning the ‘bonkers’ decision to call the first day of the England and Pakistan clash off early due to bad light.

Captain Azhar Ali was out for a duck as Pakistan limped to 2-53 under floodlights at lunch on day one of the first Test against England.

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But the visitors well and truly recovered and Pakistan finished the day 2-139 with opener Shan Masood scoring 46 and Babar Azam 69.

However, umpires Richard Kettleborough and Richard Illingworth called the days play with two spinners, Dom Bess and Joe Root, bowling in tandem in an attempt to keep the game going.

Taylor, an Aussie test legend and former ICC committee member, took aim at the decision, which was costly for the game.

"In my time on these various panels the umpires were encouraged to stay on the field, pretty much at all costs," Taylor told the Wide World of Sports.

Former Australian cricket captain Mark Taylor talks to reporters.
Former Australian cricket captain Mark Taylor. (REUTERS/Tim Wimborne)

"I just don't understand it, if you've got two spinners bowling and no-one looks like getting hurt, I can't see why you'd go off.

"It's crazy, I don't understand it at times. Sometimes in cricket we don't help ourselves. The goal should always be to maximise the amount of play.

Former England captain Vaughan stunned

The decision was also blasted by former England captain Michael Vaughan who said Test cricket can be ‘bloody bonkers’.

Social media agreed with Taylor’s call that the game of Test cricket was doing no favours for itself.

England have named an unchanged side from the one that defeated West Indies by 269 runs last week, though key allrounder Ben Stokes is unlikely to be used much with the ball due to a quad injury.

Pakistan have gone with three seam bowlers, including young firebrands Shaheen Afridi, 20, and 17-year-old Naseem Shah, who are likely to play a key role in the series with their pace and movement.

They have also selected the leg-spin duo of Shadab Khan and Yasir Shah, and with the wicket already showing some sign of wear, they could be crucial in the fourth innings if Pakistan can get enough runs.

The tourists last won a test series in England in 1996, though three of the five since have been drawn, including their past two visits in 2016 and 2018.