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West Indies v England

Mark Butcher: The Barbados pitch was ‘just horrendous’

Mark Butcher Barbados
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Former England batter Mark Butcher labelled the surface laid out for the West Indies-England Test in Barbados as “horrendous”.

While England pushed West Indies hard on day five by taking five wickets, the second Test of the series ended in a draw, with opener Kraigg Brathwaite remaining unbeaten on 56 to back up the century he made in his side’s first innings.

Thirty wickets fell over five days, as bowlers across both sides were forced to toil hard. Left-arm spinner Jack Leach had a particularly heavy workload, bowling 94.5 overs in the match, the most an Englishman has bowled in a Test match this century.

Speaking on the Wisden Cricket Weekly Podcast, Butcher didn’t mince his words when describing the surface.

“Just horrendous,” said Butcher when asked about his thoughts on the pitch. “Look the bizarre thing about it is from the beginning of day three – I’ve been out there doing the pitch reports and whatever – and there are bare patches which have turned to dust. There are parts of the pitch, on the main part of the wicket, where the ball has burst through the top. But nothing has happened.

“Even Jack Leach, who’s managed to get some balls to turn really, really sharply, the rest of the time it just goes to sleep. I suppose the one ball that turns sharply doesn’t have the same sort of effect. Because the ball that goes straight on goes straight on at such a slow pace, without any bounce or zip on it, the one that turns big doesn’t then sow any seeds of doubt in the batter’s mind. They just have to hold the line and hope that they miss it. And they’ve missed it pretty much the whole game.”

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