Ottis Gibson admitted he was “bitterly disappointed” following the abandonment of Yorkshire’s LV= Insurance County Championship match against Gloucestershire at the Seat Unique Stadium in Bristol.
Both sides gain five points apiece for the draw from a fixture which has seen not a ball bowled following recent wet weather in the South West.
With the safety of players in mind, umpires Paul Pollard and Billy Taylor called the match off following a 9am inspection. Gloucestershire performance director Steve Snell said the club’s ground staff faced an “impossible task”.
“I’m bitterly disappointed,” said Yorkshire coach Gibson.
“There’s been a lot of weather down here, even before we got here, and we knew that. But, especially today when the sun’s out and it’s cricket weather, to call the game off is very disappointing.
“On Wednesday, it looked like we might struggle for a couple of days. I thought today and tomorrow, we might get some cricket. But the rain yesterday didn’t help the groundsman at all.
“The outfield’s quite sodden in places, and there’s an issue at the top end (Ashley Down Road End) where there’s a drain going across – so where the bowlers would most likely take off from. That’s very wet.
“The umpires feel that, since Wednesday, it has not dried up. If anything, it’s got worse.
“They don’t feel that even with dry weather today and tomorrow, it would be fit for a first-class game. That’s why it’s been called off.
“It’s the early part of the season, the second game, and you don’t want to risk injury to a player.
“We have a lot more cricket to play, and whilst we’re disappointed with this we’ll just look forward to what’s to come rather than dwelling too much on this.”
Yorkshire’s players didn’t arrive at the ground until late morning or lunch-time on each day of the game, training in the gym and in the indoors nets.
“The lads have hit a lot of balls in the indoor nets,” said Gibson.
“We’ve done all sorts of other things. The lads have played some padel tennis, and yesterday some of them went to an escape room. I need to get the feedback on how that went!
“We’ve done all the normal things that cricket teams do when the rain falls. That’s one of the things you get a lot of experience of in England.
“But to have the whole game washed out, I can’t ever remember being involved in one like this.
“This one might be a first for me.”
Yorkshire are next in action against Sussex in Hove for their third round Division Two fixture next week, starting on Thursday. Their practice programme ahead of that game is now likely to be brought forwards a day.
“If we’d have gone to Sunday here, we’d have had Monday off, train Tuesday and travel Wednesday,” said Gibson.
“Now we will likely have optional training on Monday for those who feel like they need it, then regular practice Tuesday and off to Hove on Wednesday.”
New overseas signing Saud Shakeel could play the early stages of Yorkshire’s second-team Championship match against Leicestershire at Kibworth, starting on Monday, where Jonny Bairstow could also step up his recovery from the broken leg and dislocated ankle he suffered last August.
“What I’m told is that Jonny will be available for the Glamorgan Championship game at Headingley (May 4-7),” said Gibson. “That’s his intention. He wants to be fit to play in that fixture.
“I think he might make an appearance in a second-team fixture next week just to see how he goes.”
And on new signing Matt Milnes’ omission from this week’s squad in Bristol, the coach added: “Matt at the end of last year had a stress fracture.
“When he came to us, he did some unbelievable work to get himself fit to play, and he was fit to play in the first game.
“The high workload on a pretty flat surface, at the end of the game he felt some stiffness in his back.
“The intention was always to rest him for this game.
“I’ve said on record before that we’ve got such a lovely group of fast bowlers now, there would always be rotation.
“The intention was to play him, rest him, get him going again and bring him back and so on. We just took the chance to give him a break and see how he goes.
“We’ll get some feedback from the medical team on how he is and see where we are going forwards.”