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England v West Indies Sunday, 2 July, 2000, 17:12 GMT 18:12 UK
ECB counting the cost
England beat the West Indies at Lord's
A liquid celebration for England at Lord's
The England and Wales Cricket Board are facing a financial headache after the first two Tests against the West Indies failed to last beyond the third day.

They have so far been forced to refund more than 1m to would-be spectators who bought seats for the Sunday and Monday of the games at Edgbaston at Lord's.

A further pay-out was needed earlier in the summer when the first Test against Zimbabwe ended on day four.

Chairman of selectors David Gravaney believes the type of ball used in this country, which has a more pronounced seam, has tilted the game in favour of fast bowlers.

The money could be used for youth cricket initiatives and coaching clinics and Graveney is worried about long-term damage unless action is taken.

Dominic Cork
Cork: Seven wickets in the match
"My main concern is the cost to the game of continually playing three-day matches," he said.

"I believe there is a need for the game to consider having a ball that is universally used throughout the world.

"It doesn't necessarily have to be the same make, but it has to have the same features because the balls we use here make spin bowling virtually non-existent - you just hammer away with three or four seam bowlers."

He acknowledges that inconsistency by England's batsmen has been a factor.

But he added: "Everyone points the finger at our batting and, in some cases, quite justifiably, but in the last 12 months we have blown away New Zealand and West Indies for very low scores, so it's something that needs to be looked at.

"When we go away from home, the balls we use have particular features. For example, in South Africa and Australia you have to make sure you use the new ball well for the first 20 or 30 overs before it becomes frinedly to batsmen."

Gravaney must now confer with fellow selectors Nasser Hussain, Duncan Fletcher and Geoff Miller about possible reinforcements for England's squad for the one-day NatWest Series.

Hussain (broken thumb), Andy Flintoff (back) and Nick Knight (finger) are all rated doubtful for the start of the triangular tournament.

Dominic Cork, Mike Atherton, Matthew Maynard and Marcus Trescothick are among the names likely to be considered.


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England v West IndiesEngland v West Indies
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02 Jul 00 | England v West Indies
01 Jul 00 | England v West Indies
01 Jul 00 | England v West Indies
29 Jun 00 | England v West Indies
01 Jul 00 | England v West Indies
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