sport

Broad blasts 'average' umpires

England Twenty20 captain Stuart Broad has criticised umpires Aleem Dar and Paul Reiffel after rain scuppered their hopes of starting the ICC World Twenty20 campaign with a win.

England came out on the wrong side of the Duckworth-Lewis calculations after New Zealand had reached 51-1 after 5.2 overs in pursuit of the 173 target Broad's men had set in Chittagong.

Heavy rain forced players off the field at that point, and, with New Zealand nine runs ahead of the required D/L total and the players unable to resume before the cut-off time, England suffered a frustrating defeat.

Speaking afterwards, Broad criticised the umpire's decision to keep the players out on the field after lightning had struck in the fifth over, before any result would have been possible.

Average

Broad said: "I think it would have been good game had it been the full 40 overs. Both sides were in a similar position coming towards the end of the powerplays and 170 was a competitive total.

"We're disappointed that we lost but you can't do anything about the weather. We should have definitely come off earlier for lightning which would've saved us from losing. I thought the decision-making was distinctly average on the umpires' part.

"I asked the umpires for a bit of clarity on the decision-making at the end of the game and they said they didn't see the lightning and didn't think it was a threat; you can guarantee from our team we felt like it was a threat. With a batsman pulling away from a delivery after 4.2 overs I think the batsman saw it as well.

"At the end of the day it's a game of cricket so I wouldn't be putting the crowd and players' safety under threat.

"There are some questions that need asking to the ICC for clarity. It's all very well wanting to finish a game so you can tick a box but players' health and safety and crowd safety is very important and that to me felt like very threatening lightning."

New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum was also frustrated with how the game finished, although an opening win meant he was hardly complaining.

McCullum's unbeaten 16 from six balls ensured that his side snuck ahead of the par score on Duckworth-Lewis when the rain set in.

"The game was set up nicely - 170 was a tough total," said McCullum, who at one point had to pull away from the crease as the lightning struck.

"The game was evenly poised. It is frustrating for all parties that the game finished like that.

"I think both teams will walk away please with the performance. For us it is nice to walk away with the win."