Lumb Backs Broad In
Lightning Debate

Featured News | 24th March 2014

Nottinghamshire’s Michael Lumb has backed captain Stuart Broad after he moved to criticise umpires after a thunderstorm washed out England’s ICC World Twenty20 opener against New Zealand, handing the Kiwis a nine-run victory by virtue of the Duckworth-Lewis method.

A deluge ended the match after 5.2 overs, just long enough to for a result to be obtained, New Zealand benefitting from canny batting from captain Brendon McCullum.

Well behind in after four overs, McCullum, quickly went on the offensive in the fifth, his thunderous boundaries met with a backdrop of lightning.

Broad, however, cited safety concerns in his post-match comments aimed at umpires Aleem Dar and Paul Reiffel that have since seen him fined by the ICC. 

Lumb is no stranger to the effects of lightning, his upbringing in South Africa punctuated by tragic tales courtesy of one of nature’s most destructive forces.

"I grew up in Jo'burg, so I'm a bit scared of lightning, so I wasn't too happy about it," he said.

"When I was at school, the girls school went on a camp, and five of them died. A tree got hit and they were camping under the tree.

“At my primary school the tennis courts got hit, everyone on the field got knocked out, their shoes got burnt, the top of their heads got burned.

“At the local Bryanston Country Club, a father and son walking back from the driving range, it wasn't even raining, they got hit. They died.

“It's a regular thing over there. You just don't play with it. It's dangerous, it takes lives."

ICC regulations state that any decision to suspend play due to adverse weather conditions lies solely with the umpire, though the ECB have requested an overview into the regulations – pushing for play to be suspended at the first signs of lightning.

This is an especially prevalent issue in Bangladesh, where there are more fatalities because of lightning than any other country in the world. 

"You just don't play with it. It's dangerous, it takes lives." Michael Lumb

"I was at deep square leg, I heard the rumble,” said Lumb. 

“I thought it was an aeroplane at first. Then the rumble got closer, and I thought 'oh, that's thunder'. Then there were a couple of flashes, and it got really close. 

"I don't know the rules and regs, but from a safety point of view, you should have been off the field.”

"It was a dangerous place to be. That's the long and the short of it.

You wouldn't be out there on a golf course. It's the reason they have those sirens, because it's dangerous.

“If this was a golf course, we wouldn't have been on the course. The siren would have gone off and we would have been sat in the clubhouse.”

England return to Trent Bridge this summer to face India in the first Investec Test Match. With tickets moving quickly, don't miss the chance to see international cricket return to Nottinghamshire and secure your seats now.

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