Lumb: Don't mess with lightning

The Bolton News: Michael Lumb, pictured, echoed Stuart Broad's concerns about playing in lightning (AP) Michael Lumb, pictured, echoed Stuart Broad's concerns about playing in lightning (AP)

England batsman Michael Lumb has backed captain Stuart Broad's claim that players were put in danger as lightning struck close to the ground in Saturday's nine-run defeat by New Zealand.

A thunderstorm ended the game after 5.2 overs of the Black Caps' pursuit of 173, giving New Zealand victory on Duckworth/Lewis, but several flashes of lightning had already been seen uncomfortably close to the ZACS Stadium.

Broad said in his post-match press conference that umpires Paul Reiffel and Aleem Dar had been guilty of "distinctly average decision making" and put both sides at risk.

Those comments are understood to be under review by International Cricket Council officials, who will then decide if a code of conduct charge is appropriate.

But Lumb, who grew up in Johannesburg where he learned a healthy fear of lightning, echoed his skipper's thoughts.

"I think Stuart covered it in detail but, from a personal point of view, you don't mess around with lightning," the opener said.

"There are lives at stake. It was literally right above us and it was pretty scary.

"It would have been a different story if we were waking up this morning talking about guys who were struck by lightning.

"If we were on a golf course, we'd probably have been taken off.

"It's a serious thing and it's not to be messed with. I'd have been quite happy to go off the field (earlier)."

Had play been abandoned before the fifth over had been completed, the game would have gone down as a no result, with each side taking a point.

The England and Wales Cricket Board has not made any formal representations to the ICC as yet, but Lumb feels the situation exposed a gap in the current regulations.

"It's something we need to look at and address," he said.

"You do play in certain parts of the world where there will be lightning. It's a big factor and something has to be done."

England did not train on Sunday, but Lumb joined the rest of his colleagues - players and staff - in running a mile around the stadium in support of Sport Relief.

There was no race, though that appeared to pass assistant coach Paul Collingwood by as he made a late sprint for the line and pipped Ravi Bopara.

Spirits appeared high despite defeat leaving England realistically needing to win their next three matches to reach the semi-finals.

"We've had a run for a good cause and everyone is pretty upbeat," Lumb added. "It was disappointing to have lost on D/L, but there are still a few games to go to kick on.

"We're still looking to win all three - that's the aim."

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