The claimant claimed damages for an injury suffered during a cricket match that he alleged should have been called off due to the pitch being unsafe following heavy rainfall.
Umpires inspected the pitch before the match and concluded that it was not dangerous or unreasonably safe for play to take place.
The claimant during the match carried out a ‘sliding stop’ and in doing so suffered a soft tissue injury to his knee, requiring him to be in braces for eight weeks.
The court found that the umpires did owe the players a duty of care to ensure that the inherent dangers of any injury were kept to a minimum. By carrying out a full inspection in accordance with the rules the umpires had reached an informed decision. The fact that the grass in a cricket ground was wet and slippery did not mean that the conditions were dangerous. The ground was not so wet or slippery as to deprive the fielders of the power to move freely around the pitch. The umpires had therefore not acted in breach of their duty.
The court also examined the manner in which the claimant had carried out the ‘sliding stop’ and found that this had been carried out incorrectly, in that the claimant had led with the wrong leg. The cause of the injury was therefore not the condition of the ground but the claimant’s incorrect technique.