Umpires cleared of any blame for lack of play on day three by Derbyshire and Gloucestershire officals

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Derbyshire’s ground staff were cleared of any blame after the third day of the LV County Championship Division Two match between Derbyshire and Gloucestershire was abandoned without a ball bowled.

High winds on Monday night had torn a section of the covers allowing water to saturate a small area where the bowlers feet land and make it too dangerous for the game to resume.

Umpires Tim Robinson and Steve Garrett hoped the area would dry out in the sun and wind but after a fourth inspection at 3.15pm, they decided it was still unfit for play

Both Derbyshire and Gloucestershire backed the decision to call the game off for the day and the teams will now hope for decent weather on Wednesday to try and force a result.

Derbyshire’s Elite Performance Director Graeme Welch said: “There was a severe weather warning issued for overnight on Monday and when we got to the ground this morning, it wasn’t fit for play.

“We had a similar problem at Cardiff earlier in the season and that was on a smaller area. This one is where the bowlers feet are landing and, put it this way, if my bowlers had been due to run in I wouldn’t have wanted them to bowl on that, it’s quite dangerous.”

Gloucestershire Head Coach Richard Dawson agreed with Welch’s assessment. “It’s one of those situations where it’s no one’s fault, there was howling wind and rain and you can’t do anything about it. The covers had got blown about with the power of the wind and the footholds were just mud.

“There was nothing the ground staff could have done, they tried their best today so hats off to them but that’s the English weather, who would have thought it was June!”

Gloucestershire were in a good position to put Derbyshire under pressure and Dawson added: “It’s frustrating because I think we’ve bowled well and it would have been interesting if we could have got a full day in but we will have a crack and see if we can get a victory tomorrow.“

The match situation is that Derbyshire are still 252 runs behind on 77 for 2 in reply to Gloucestershire’s first innings 329.