Ground ripe for field of injuries

PUBLISHED : Monday, 14 February, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 14 February, 1994, 12:00am

SO what are cricket conditions like in Kenya? Well, the first difference that hits you when you arrive at a ground is the state of the outfield.

They are a lot bumpier than any I have witnessed anywhere in the world.

With a recent dry spell, the outfields are also extremely fast. Fielding can therefore be a hazardous experience.

Seeing a fielder pick up the ball cleanly is a rare sight and players are forever taking blows to the body.

The first casualty to the outfields in the Hong Kong squad has been bowler Tim Davies. A bad bounce has caused a fracture to his ring finger. Fortunately, it is not his bowling hand.

It is, however, only a matter of time before another injury occurs.

In the two practice games, the wickets were very dry and slow. The ball turned appreciably on the used wicket versus Malaysia and at times stayed alarmingly low.

The officials appear to be saving the better wickets in the middle of the square for the Trophy matches.

Due to the ball travelling further and faster at altitude, the playing areas are very large with 70-metre boundaries.

Stewart Brew has already hit a 100-yard six and started a round of golf with a 350-yard drive.

If the sky is cloudless, high catching is more difficult than normal. It is impossible to gauge the distance of the ball as it drops from the air.

At times in practice, catches are not only dropped, but occasionally players make no contact with the ball at all.

The boys have, however, caught very well in both games and it was the Malaysians who struggled badly.

A sudden storm affected the first round of matches, with only Holland managing to win on the first day.

Let's hope the rain has slowed down the outfields - and that the downpour stays away for the remainder of the tournament.

Dermot Reeve is Hong Kong's coach in Kenya


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Ground ripe for field of injuries

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