Northants clash at Derbyshire heading for complete wash-out as day three is abandoned

It has been a frustrating four days in Chesterfield for Northants coach David Ripley and his players
It has been a frustrating four days in Chesterfield for Northants coach David Ripley and his players
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Derbyshire are facing their first complete wash-out in the County Championship in 35 years after no play was possible for the third day running against Northants at Chesterfield.

Play was abandoned after umpires Neil Mallender and Ian Blackwell decided the bowler’s run-ups were still unsafe and the prospects for the fourth day are not encouraging.

If the game does not start tomorrow, it will be the first time Derbyshire have lost an entire championship match since 1981 when the game against Nottinghamshire at Derby was called off without a ball bowled.

Northants skipper Alex Wakely took to Twitter to voice his frustration, and said: “Bizarre few days. Off for the day again with an inspection at 3pm to assess conditions for tomorrow.”

The frustration for everyone involved is that no rain has fallen during playing hours but Derbyshire captain Billy Godleman explained why there has been no play.

“Unfortunately the run-ups have hardly improved since the first morning and it’s still unfit and dangerous for the bowlers,” he said.

“It’s predominately at the far end but I still think it’s touch and go at both ends. The guys went out for a practice bowl this morning in spikes with the umpires watching and they were tearing up the turf after three or four balls so three or four overs of that and it would have been unacceptable and dangerous.

“The second point is when the bowlers were landing, and bear in mind they were only running in 50 per cent , the turf was moving side to side which makes it very dangerous for guys bowling at full speed.

“The safety of the players has to be first and foremost and if anyone sustained a career-threaening injury after the information we’ve got I think a lot of people would find it hard to rest at night.

“I saw some photos of the ground 10 days ago and one-third of the whole playing area looked like a river.

“I feel a great deal of sympathy for the supporters because it’s been glorious weather, they want to see cricket as much as we want to play and from their view they can’t see the damage to the bowler’s run-ups so I totally see it from their perspective and we are as disappointed as they are.”