Light was so bad that players were put at risk, says Bess
England spinner Dom Bess claimed conditions were “dangerous” by the end of the third day at the Ageas Bowl.
Play was abandoned for the day shortly after three catches were dropped in 10 balls from James Anderson, with Bess suggesting England had struggled to pick up the ball. He said play should have been called off for bad light earlier.
“I think it’s a bit of common sense,” Bess said. “Playing in those conditions we have to be really switched on with it and actually we got to start thinking a little bit about the players’ well-being because you’ve got 10, 11 there having to face up to someone like Jofra [Archer] as well in those conditions – it is seriously dangerous.
“We all want to be playing cricket, but there’s got to be a little more common sense. You take [Mohammad] Abbas and the No11 [Naseem Shah], you don’t want to see them getting hit or anything like that.
“We are trying to get cricket played, but from just my perspective, imagine if someone gets hit there and it is really serious? Say the No 10 or 11 gets hit by Jofra because we are out there – what happens then?
“I guess it’s just calling out for a bit of common sense in terms of when it is too dark we’ve got to go. And when it’s not, we try to play.”
The match officials at the Ageas Bowl have seemed intent on doing everything possible to maximise play, following fierce criticism for the amount of time lost to bad light during the second Test. Bess said that the murky conditions were a big factor in the flurry of dropped chances towards the end of the day.
“I don’t know what it looks like on TV, it might look a little bit brighter, but certainly out here it was gloomy,” Bess said. “With the brand new ball, which is obviously shiny as well, it is hard. I don’t think it is any excuse for dropping these catches. But also you’ve got to take into account what it was like.”
After his 29th five-wicket haul, Anderson now needs just two more wickets to become the first quick bowler to 600 Test wickets.
“We’re in a great position,” Bess said. “We talk about our blueprint as a team, which is scoring plenty of runs. We got the option to enforce the follow-on, which we have, and now we have two days to bowl them out.
“There’s a little bit of weather around, but you’d like to think with the bowling attack we have that we can produce the goods.”