England vs Australia, Old Trafford Test, Ben Stokes fumes at bad light, umpires, video, cricket news

England captain Ben Stokes was left fuming after being informed that his quicks weren’t allowed to bowl due to poor light on day four of the Old Trafford Ashes Test.

After struggling to unearth swing on Saturday afternoon, England requested that the Dukes be changed in the 58th over, and the umpires obliged.

However, four deliveries later, match officials Joel Wilson and Nitin Menon whipped out their

light meters, informing Stokes that it was too dark for Mark Wood to bowl the next over.

Stokes protested the decision, but the skipper was ultimately forced to throw the ball to spinners Moeen Ali and Joe Root, who completed the final 12 overs of the afternoon session.

“We all thought it was manageable,” England batting coach Marcus Trescothick told BBC Sport at stumps.

“We didn’t think it deteriorated a great bit and looked like we could bowl seamers.

“But that’s their call. They will have a different view, and that was the end of it.”

Sky Sports commentators Michael Atherton and Mark Butcher couldn’t resist pointing out that Wilson was donning a pair of sunglasses as he conversed with an irate Stokes.

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The umpires explain to England's captain Ben Stokes that he needs to use a slower bowler due to the poor light. Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP)
The umpires explain to England’s captain Ben Stokes that he needs to use a slower bowler due to the poor light. Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP)Source: AFP

The switch to spinners ultimately paid dividends for England, with Root dismissing centurion Marnus Labuschagne for 111, caught behind by wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow.

“It sometimes so hard to judge … batting with a red ball under artificial light is so hard,” Labuschagne said at stumps.

“It’s not a call for the players, we just handle it from there.

“We were so close to having a tremendous day there. We only needed 60 more to be within England’s first-innings total. The wicket feels alright, the ball change seems to have more swing and that’ll be a challenge in the morning, if we get play tomorrow. For us, this is about saving this Test match and retaining the Ashes.”

Australia was 5-214 at stumps, still trailing by 61 runs, with Mitchell Marsh (31*) and Cameron Green (3*) unbeaten overnight.

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