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Sunday, May 26, 2024

BCCI accused of changing pitch for India vs New Zealand semifinal

It has now been alleged that the game will be played on pitch No. 6, already been used twice in previous matches.

Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) is being accused of changing the pitch for the India vs New Zealand semi-final without ICC approval. The semi-final, scheduled to take place in Mumbai, was originally planned on a fresh pitch (No 7) that hadn’t been used in the group stage.

However, it has now been alleged that the game will be played on pitch No. 6, already been used twice in previous matches.

The preparation of pitches at ICC events is typically supervised by consultant Andy Atkinson, who collaborates with the host board to determine which strips on the square will be used for each game.

A WhatsApp message reportedly circulated among over 50 officials from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and ICC confirmed the pitch change, citing an unspecified issue with pitch No 7. Atkinson, who oversees pitch preparations, is said to be dissatisfied with this explanation. There are also apprehensions that a similar change might occur for the final in Ahmedabad if India qualifies.

Atkinson has expressed frustration over a lack of clear information regarding the final’s pitch preparation, prompting his visit to Ahmedabad last week. The consultant revealed in an email that the pitch allocations for the three matches following the tournament opener did not adhere to the agreed schedule, and changes were made without proper notice.

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BCCI’s statement further complicated the situation. The board attributed the changes to the Gujarat Cricket Association. Meanwhile, the Gujrat Cricket Association claimed that they took action upon the orders of the BCCI. Also, they had received a request from the management of Indian Cricket team.

In response to the controversy, the BCCI spokesperson mentioned that the ICC’s independent pitch consultant collaborates with the host and venues on pitch allocations throughout the event. However, Atkinson’s concerns raise questions about the fairness of pitch selection and preparation for the crucial matches in the Cricket World Cup.