Weather, Bad light, Rain
Owner: P Freeman

The most depressing message, for players and spectators alike, is rain stopped play, but it is a fact that cricket is more at the mercy of the elements than most outdoor sports

The umpires are the final judges on whether the pitch and the ground are fit to play on, whether the weather is fit to play in, and whether the light is fit to see by!

There is a world of difference between conditions being merely unsuitable for play and them being unreasonable or dangerous. It is the latter two that will attract the attention of the umpires. The umpires have what is known legally as a 'duty of care' towards the players and if they consider that there is an obvious and foreseeable risk of someone being injured, they must suspend play immediately

This judgement is one that umpires will take very seriously. If they believe that there is a real chance of the bowler slipping in the footholds, or the batsmen being unable to hit the ball properly or run safely, then there clearly is that obvious and foreseeable risk of injury. If the umpires do decide to suspend play, that decision is final. Spectators may not appreciate the fact that there is still no play some time after the rain has ceased, but they are not the ones taking the risk of slipping over while bowling or batting and possibly sustaining a career-threatening injury

A sharp shower, leaving the ball wet and the grass a bit slippery may result in unsuitable conditions for the fielding side but hardly unreasonable or dangerous ones. If either or both umpires decide conditions are unsuitable, players will be instructed to leave the field. Umpires are often blamed for 'bringing the players off' when all they have done is decided that conditions are unsuitable

Umpires are usually anxious to re-start play as soon as safely possible, and are instructed, under the Laws, to make unaccompanied inspections at frequent intervals to check on conditions and when both umpires agree that it is fit to re-start, they inform the players