POINCIANA/ORLANDO – USA: It was a situation of same result different day in the minor league clash between the Florida Beamers and the Orlando Galaxy as their Toyota Minor League clash was called off due to a dangerous pitch.
On Saturday, both teams were carded to play at Silverstars ground and after nine balls the astro-turf came off which led to the game being called off. Officials off the minor league then decided to instruct local officials to find a new venue as Silverstars would not have been ready in time for the game on Sunday.
After locals visited the alternate venue at Poinciana they decided to play the match there and Florida Beamers and Orlando Galaxy decided to move one hour South to play the match.
After a short period of rolling the pitch, the toss was taken and Beamers won the toss and decided to bat first. It was horrors from early on as batsman Danny Leslie played back to a half tracker and was bowled as the ball crept along the ground. Left-handed batsman Sarnam Patel then had the worst to deal with as a well pitched up delivery reared at his head and he defended with his hand before being caught. His left thumb was left swollen as he walked off the ground in pain. The final straw for the Beamers came when batsman Prince Patel was facing Abdullah Sheik. The ball nearly took off his head and flew over the wicketkeeper down into the boundary for four.
The batsmen then left the field fearing for their safety with the score at 18/4. At this point the umpires spoke to them and they refused to re-enter the arena.
Coach of the team, the former USA player Nasir Javed said the conditions were appalling. “I had two batsmen out there fighting on this dangerous pitch. We were looking at the situation from outside and it was not nice. Every batsman who came out complained of the pitch. I even had players sitting in the dugout who refused to pad up after seeing what was happening out there.
“We came to this ground in good faith, hoping to play a game of cricket because we want the Minor League to succeed. However, we are feeling let down by this current situation as we are being given sub-standard pitches that does not meet the standard for Minor league. I have played cricket all over the world and let me tell you, pitches like this cannot help cricket to develop. We have to be more professional and Minor league must have experience people moving around and approving these pitches.”
Captain of the team, Zishawn Qureshi who batted a bit over five overs also had a tale to tell. “I got some lashes but was willing to stay out there and fight to have a game. I spent enough time out there to tell you that the conditions were unplayable. We have to do better than this because people’s safety is a concern. We have the US national player Monank Patel on our team and this went out looking uncomfortable because there is an important assignment coming up for the USA team in Oman and pitches like this can put our national players in serious jeopardy.”