Clarke: Cricket in bad light
England chairman Giles Clarke has hit out at the International Cricket Council
after bad light caused a farcical end to the fifth Ashes Test.
England needed just 21 runs from 24 balls to make history against Australia and wrap up a 4-0 home series success when - amid a cacaophony of boos from an increasingly febrile Oval crowd - the players were taken off by umpires Aleem Dar and Kumar Dharmasena because of bad light.
Clarke said: "It's totally unsatisfactory the way the game ended - the rules are clearly unacceptable and I expect [ICC chief executive] David Richardson to change it at the next ICC chief executives' meeting.
"It's a great moment though, the country should appreciate these players. I'm so proud of our team and had the privilege of giving some of them Ashes medals for the second time."
England captain Alastair Cook was disappointed not to have given the crowd the thrilling denouement that they craved - but acknowledged that the umpires' hands were tied.
"Of course you understand the frustration, but you can also understand the
other side...you understand the rules and regs," said Cook.
"Unfortunately the officials sometimes have to take emotion out of the game
and do their job of being consistently fair to both sides.
"Of course it is disappointing to be sitting here when we felt we could have
taken those runs off the last four overs, but I understand the umpires' decision
and why it happened.
"If it was the third day no-one would be moaning about it. If the boot was on
the other foot we'd probably be asking the same questions (as Australia).
"It's a shame for the amazing crowd we've had here but there are certain
guidelines and that's the way cricket has gone."