Port of Spain (AFP): The fourth and final Test of the series between the West Indies and India was abandoned as a draw because of a waterlogged outfield on the scheduled fifth morning in Trinidad on Monday.
No play was possible for the fourth consecutive day at the Queen’s Park Oval, after only 22 overs were bowled at the start of the match with the West Indies reaching 62 for two before lunch on day one.
A torrential shower at the lunch interval prevented play for the remainder of the day and also left the playing area unfit for action over the remaining four days despite the desperate efforts of local authorities to have the ground dried out in continuing sunshine.
India win the series 2-0 but surrender the top spot in the Test rankings to Pakistan as they needed to defeat the West Indies 3-0 to prevent their arch-rivals from supplanting them at the top, following a 2-2 series draw in England.
This match goes down in the 139 years of Test cricket as the third-shortest match ever and officials of the West Indies Cricket Board, the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board and the Queen’s Park Cricket Club have faced severe criticism over their management of a situation that was always likely to unfold given that August is one of the rainiest months of the year in Trinidad.
No Test match had ever been scheduled after the month of June in the 86 years that the venue has been hosting international cricket.
West Indies cricket now holds the unenviable record of hosting the three shortest Test matches for reasons related to pitch and playing conditions.
In 1998, the first Test of the series against England at Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica lasted less than an hour before the umpires determined that the pitch was too dangerous for the English batsmen to face genuine fast bowling.
And in 2009, also against England, the scheduled second Test of the series survived less than two overs when the officials determined that the heavily-sanded outfield, which included the bowlers run-ups, made proper movement without the risk of injury for the fielding team almost impossible.