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Jacobs speaks on ‘missing ball’ controversy

Reports suggest that the match ball went missing during the tea interval and another ball was unknowingly used in its place for the start of Sunday’s final session.

The original ball was 16-overs old, while the replacement ball was said to have been used for 34 overs.

Jacobs said the ordeal has taken a toll on the players.

“… I just want it to be over with because it’s painful for the players,” he said. “We were in a very good position in terms of winning the game and we knew that we could have won the game and for this to happen it is very painful but what can we do, we lost the game.

“I don’t know if the West Indies Cricket Board takes a stand that it would make a difference in terms of the outcome of the game; I really don’t know what it going to happen from here on. Some of the players were basically crying … because we know what has been happening for the last couple of games where we haven’t been playing good cricket. This was an opportunity for us to win a game and (then) something like that happened,” he added.

Jamaica, whose batsmen struggled against the original ball, entered the break at 42-3 before the older ball was employed for the post-tea session.

In that time, the Jamaicans recovered to close the day on 160-4, just 35 runs shy of the 195 needed for victory.

Jacobs said his players knew from the onset the ball had been changed.

“When the umpires gave the players the ball, the players threw back the ball to the umpires and told them it was not the ball they were playing with. (However, the umpires persisted in giving them the ball so we continued with the ball. After the game, the match referee summoned the captain, manager and the coach to a meeting for both teams and he told us that something happened that has never happened in cricket before,” the coach said.

“He said the reason why the umpires stayed long to come out on the field was because they were looking for the match ball. They saw a ball on the table (and thought) that it was the match ball … he said it was not the match ball but that they had found the match ball in somebody’s bag,” he added.

Asked why the team opted to continue the match, Jacobs said that given the situation, they felt it best to complete the match and then have relevant authorities take up the challenge.

“Because of all these rules and stuff like that, you don’t want to get too much involved because they basically leave it to the management staff after the game. Players were coming off the field saying ‘manager, coach, this is not the ball we started with,’ but we could not do anything at that time,” he said.

“If the umpires (had not said) ‘this ball is not the original ball’, we still would not have done anything because we would have just counted it as a loss and that was it,” he continued.

The umpires were Trinidad & Tobago’s Danesh Ramdhanie, Jamaica’s Christopher Taylor, with Jamaica’s Athol Hamilton performing third-umpire duties.

Leeward Islands suffered their fourth defeat in a row and collected just three points from the match to remain rooted at the bottom of the standings on 10 points.


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