T20 World Cup: 'Dangerous' pitch has connection with Australia, ICC in damage control mode before IND-PAK match

Orhan Wadia
Orhan Wadia - Editor
7 Min Read

New Delhi. The T20 World Cup 2024, being jointly hosted by the US and West Indies, is in the news for reasons other than the results of the matches. The low scores in most of the dozen matches of the tournament so far and the 'uneven bounce' of the New York wicket have shifted the focus from the performance of the teams/players to the 'nature' of the pitch. Talking about the pitch of New York's Nassau County International Stadium, it would be appropriate to put it in the category of 'dangerous' rather than 'sportsmanlike'. Out of the three matches played here so far, two have not only been low-scoring, but during this time the ball has bounced dangerously and has hit the helmets of the batsmen many times. Some batsmen also got injured. Many experts are targeting the ICC, considering this pitch unfit to host an international match, let alone the T20 World Cup. Former cricketers have also considered the New York wicket 'shameful'.

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T20 cricket is considered a batsman's game, but this was not seen in New York. It would have been fine if the wicket had helped the bowlers, but the irregular bounce of the ball has increased the chances of batsmen getting injured. During the India vs Ireland match, some batsmen from both the teams got injured and Rohit Sharma had to retire after a ball from Josh Little hit his shoulder. The pitch at other venues was not dangerous, but felt 'slow' and 'double paced'. In such a situation, fans expecting a 'run feast' have been disappointed so far. Perhaps this is why the atmosphere for the T20 World Cup has not been fully created so far. So far, no match of the tournament has been able to score 200+. Not only this, the number of matches with scores of 150+ is also less.

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Australian curator prepared the pitches of New York

Amidst the struggle of the batsmen and the 'drought' of runs in the tournament, the New York pitch has proved to be 'disappointing'. Let us tell you, the pitch of Nassau County International Stadium has been prepared recently under the supervision of well-known Australian curator Damien Hoff. There is also an allegation that it is being used for the T20 World Cup without properly checking its quality. After the embarrassment caused by this pitch, the ICC has instructed Adelaide Oval curator Hogg to improve the pitch. Let us tell you, under the supervision of Hogg, four main pitches and six drop-in surfaces for the T20 World Cup have been prepared in Florida and brought to New York.

New York is to host the 'great match' between India and Pakistan on June 9 in the T20 World Cup. Tickets worth lakhs of rupees have been sold for this high-voltage match and the stadium will be full of houses. The ICC is worried that if the condition of the wicket remains the same in this 'high-voltage' match and the batsmen get injured, then its image will be tarnished.

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'The grounds team is working hard to provide a better surface'

The apex cricket body ICC has acknowledged the criticism and concern over the quality of the pitch and directed the ground staff led by Hogg to 'improve'. The statement said, 'The T20 fraternity and the ICC believe that the pitches used so far at the Nassau County Stadium have not performed as we wanted. The world-class ground team is working hard to improve the situation and provide a better surface in the remaining matches.' Interestingly, Adelaide Oval curator Hogg had expressed happiness about the project (pitch condition) last month. He had said, 'Everything is going according to plan and they (pitches) are in good condition. All our benchmarks and efforts are as expected. Batsmen will be able to play shots on all sides of this ground.'

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Slow outfield… the ball is hardly reaching the boundary
The New York pitch is proving to be a 'tough job' for the batsmen and the slow outfield has made a difference. This is the reason why the spectators have seen very few fours in the matches being played here. Despite the powerful shots of the batsmen, the ball is reaching the boundary at a slow speed, sometimes it stops before the boundary. The bad pitch and slow outfield have given a 'double blow' to the enjoyment of the game for the fans.

In the US, matches are being held in Florida, Dallas and New York
T20 World Cup matches in the US are being held in Florida, Dallas and New York. Florida has hosted international matches before, but this is the first time international cricket is being held in Dallas and New York. Drop-in surfaces have been prepared in Florida for the New York stadium and brought to New York under the supervision of Hogg. Drop-in surfaces are surfaces (pitches) that are prepared elsewhere and then transported to the venue. Such pitches are commonly used in Australia. These pitches are 'laid' in the stadium after being prepared at another venue.

tag: ICC T20 World Cup, india vs pakistan, india vs pakistan, International Cricket, T20 World Cup, Team India

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