Windies turned down Australia run chase offer


West Indies turned down an offer to make a match of their rain-ravaged third Test against Australia, it has been revealed.

The weather robbed players and fans of two whole days in an encounter that was eventually drawn, but Australia captain Steve Smith had been keen to try and orchestrate a scenario that would have seen the tourists defending 370 runs off 70 overs on the final day in Sydney.

"We want to try and win every game we play and today was a perfect opportunity to set the game up for a good chase and for the fans that stayed out this afternoon," Smith is quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

"For us that would have potentially been me bowling with three slips and two gullies and leaving every man up for them to try and hit as many as they can to try and make sure they left 370 off 70 as promised to them. Whatever you have to do to get that on the board was going to happen.

"No-one really wants to see a draw, they want to see a good, exciting cricket and teams winning.

"We were willing to give them 70 overs on a day-five wicket and we were going to go after the runs. 370 off 70 overs is quite a lot of runs, I think that is fair game for both teams. It was just disappointing that they weren't willing to come to the party."

Windies skipper Jason Holder felt the offer was not what his side needed.

"He [Smith] came to us and made an offer, I just went back to the team and we thought at this stage of our development it wasn't the best thing for us," Holder said.

"We had [Denesh] Ramdin who was scoring well and looking well, so just give him the encouragement to go out there and build an innings and build some confidence.

"We set out at the beginning of the series to bat 90 overs each time we batted and get past the 300 mark. That was one of the things that we wanted to achieve today and we achieved that.

"It was a team vote, team decision. At that stage of our development and the phase we're at we thought it was the best thing for the team."

Smith also confirmed careful attention had been paid to the rules ahead of making the offer, adding:  "I spoke to Boof [coach Darren Lehmann] who read through the rules, which said you're allowed to do that kind of thing.

"That was on our cards today and as I said unfortunately they didn't come to the party."