Caddick Wants More Of Pitch Battle

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Former England paceman Andrew Caddick has criticised the England and Wales Cricket Board for aiding touring sides by instructing groundsmen to produce batsman-friendly pitches.

Caddick was speaking after South Africa amassed 455 for three against Somerset on a flat wicket at Taunton.

The 39-year-old, who took 234 Test wickets, was the only bowler to trouble the Proteas - including Jacques Kallis who was struck on the elbow and forced to retire after scoring 160.

Caddick said: "I know there is an ECB directive which comes down which says we must produce flat wickets for the opposition in tour games. I think that is a load of rubbish.

"These guys want to come here and prepare themselves for Test cricket. But they should be playing on wickets that are bowler friendly to make sure they don't get the advantages prior to Test match cricket.

"As far as I am concerned. you should be working them over hard.

"I can assure you, if we go back to South Africa and play, there will be green seaming wickets to greet us which will make sure the English batters never get a run.

"I don't see why that isn't happening here. It dumbfounds me as to what the ECB are doing as far as these wickets are concerned.

"South Africa are a damn good side and, if you can get on top of them, not only in the Tests but with the counties against them prior to them playing, that is a benefit to the English cricket team."

Caddick had little sympathy for Kallis after forcing him to leave the field with his elbow bruised, although the Proteas insist there is no serious damage.

"To be leaving the field, he must be in a fair bit of pain. But I'm the opposition and, if he is in pain, it is good for me," he said.

"It is one of those funny places around the shoulder area. You get nerves and a lot of muscle reaction. I am sure he will be all right. He is a strong lad but, as far as I was concerned, I was happy he had left the field."

Hashim Amla top-scored with 172 for South Africa in what was his first competitive innings in England, although he has scored three Test hundreds against New Zealand and one against India.

He said: "It could have got better, I could have got 200! But I'm very happy. It is the first time I've played a competitive game in the UK and I'm glad it is a good one.

"It was a very good toss to win. It is a much slower than I expected and, when I first came in, it takes a little time to adjust and get used to it.

"Before any Test you want to be playing against quality opposition. The guys bowled pretty well, although the scoreboard doesn't suggest it."

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