Thunder captain Alex Hartley has labelled the pitch used in today’s Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy match against Central Sparks “not good enough”, after several players from both sides came close to serious injury during the game.
Thunder opener Emma Lamb was fortunate not to sustain any broken bones after an innocuous delivery from Izzy Wong, the first ball bowled in the second innings, reared up from nowhere and hit her in the forearm.
Sparks captain Eve Jones, who hit an unbeaten hundred, had earlier been hit on the upper arm in the very first over of the day.
Thunder’s wicketkeeper Ellie Threlkeld was almost hit in the face twice standing back from the stumps, with the ball behaving unpredictably due to pre-existing footholes.
The pitch had already been used for a four-day Worcestershire CCC Championship game, and continued to deteriorate as the match progressed.
The Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy was widely praised last year due to being played on quality, first-class pitches. The resulting uptick in batting performances allowed Southern Vipers’ Georgia Adams to amass 500 runs in the inaugural competition, and the hope was that this trend would continue in the competition’s second year.
“It was a very old wicket,” Hartley said. “It’s not the standard of wicket we want at this competition.”
“We had a few flying out of the footholes for four and it’s just not good enough.”