Dean Elgar's ball-to-the-helmet prompted the match to be suspended on Friday. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

JOHANNESBURG - The International Cricket Council said on Friday night that the on-field umpires, in the third Test between the Proteas and India, abandoned play 20 minutes before scheduled close of play, so that they could consult the match referee “regarding the condition of the pitch,” at the Wanderers.

Tweeting on their official media account, the ICC said umpires Ian Gould and Aleem Dar and match referee Andy Pycroft, had decided, following consultation with the Indian captain Virat Kohli and his South African counterpart Faf du Plessis, that the Test would continue on Saturday morning. 

“The on-field umpires will continue to monitor the pitch, and consult the match referee should the pitch deteriorate further,” the ICC tweeted. “The welfare of the players is paramount and two of the most experienced match officials are in charge of the game and will take appropriate decisions.”

South African opener Dean Elgar was struck on the head by a bouncer bowled by Indian speedster Jasprit Bumrah, leading the two umpires to call Pycroft onto the field. 

The match referee did not however look at the pitch, instead engaging in meetings with the captains, the team managers, and various officials from the Gauteng Cricket Board and Cricket SA as well as groundsman Bethuel Buthelezi. 

Play is set to resume at 10am on Saturday.  

IOL Sport

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