T20 World Cup: New York's 'dangerous' pitch shocked everyone, batsmen are getting injured, former cricketers called it a 'joke'

Orhan Wadia
Orhan Wadia - Editor
8 Min Read

New Delhi. The reason for the growing popularity of T20 matches is that fans get to see a lot of fours and sixes in them. It is a common complaint that this format is becoming completely under the control of the batsmen, which is also justified to a large extent. In most T20 matches, due to batting-friendly pitches and rules, bowlers are beaten a lot and batsmen are entertained a lot. It has been raised from time to time that the pitch and rules should be such that they are equally 'helpful' for both batsmen and bowlers. It is okay to make bowler-friendly wickets in cricket, but the fate of the batsmen at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York in the T20 World Cup 2024 is completely unacceptable.

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It would be better to put this uneven bounce pitch in the category of 'dangerous' rather than 'bowler-friendly', on which there is a serious risk of batsmen getting injured. This happened during Team India's match against Ireland (India Vs Ireland). During the match, the ball bounced dangerously a few times and hit the batsmen's helmets, due to which many batsmen of both the teams got injured. The irregular nature of the pitch was such that some balls were going so high above the batsman's head that the wicketkeeper had to jump and collect them, while many were staying so low that they were reaching the keeper only after bouncing. Former cricketers have termed this pitch as poor and have raised questions on the ICC.

In an important tournament like the T20 World Cup, this poor pitch has spoiled the 'taste' of cricket lovers. The situation is such that till June 5, two matches have been played in New York and in none of them, any team has been able to cross the 100 run mark. In the first match of the tournament played between Sri Lanka and South Africa in New York, the Sri Lankan team was all out for just 77 runs. The quality of the pitch was such that South Africa had to play 16.2 overs to achieve the target of 78 runs. The highest score in both innings was 20 runs which was made by Quinton de Kock.

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The story of the match played between India and Ireland on Wednesday was no different. Batting first, Ireland's team collapsed for 96 runs in 16 overs and with the help of Rohit Sharma's 52 and Rishabh Pant's unbeaten 36 runs, India achieved the target by losing two wickets. Rohit and Pant definitely played good innings but during this time both of them got injured due to the pitch. Rohit had to retire hurt after Josh Little's ball hit his shoulder. Pant also got injured more than once, once he had to seek doctor's help due to an elbow injury.

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Both matches were played on different pitches but still…
Earlier, a similar scene was seen during Ireland's innings. Irish batsman Harry Tucker's fingers were hit by the ball more than once. The ball of Bumrah on which he was out hit his gloves and then his helmet and he returned to the pavilion groaning in pain. The batsman was seen struggling with the uneven bounce of the pitch throughout. In a big tournament like the World Cup, such a pitch is also raising serious questions on the ICC, which earns a lot from cricket. It is not that both the matches held in New York were played on the same pitch. The first match was played on pitch number 1 while the India-Ireland match was played on pitch number 4. The low score and uneven bounce of both the matches raise questions on the quality of the pitch. Let us tell you, for the T20 World Cup, four main pitches and six drop-in surfaces have been prepared in Florida and brought to New York.

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The New York pitch is proving to be a 'tough job' for the batsmen and the slow outfield has created the rest of the problem. This is the reason why only 8 fours were hit during Ireland's innings and only 7 fours during the Indian innings. Despite the powerful shots of the batsmen, the ball slowly slid towards the boundary, sometimes it could not reach the boundary at all. Bad pitch and slow outfield have given a 'double blow' to the fans' enjoyment of the game.

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Former cricketers expressed their displeasure over the pitch

Both the matches played in New York under the T20 World Cup have been disappointing for fans and former cricketers. Many former cricketers/critics have termed the pitch as shameful. Former England captain Michael Vaughan wrote on X, 'It is a good thing to try to promote the game in America but it is unacceptable for the players to play on this bad surface in New York. You work very hard to reach the World Cup, then you have to play on such a pitch.' Earlier in another post, Vaughan had described the pitch as 'shocking'. Former coach Mickey Arthur considered the New York pitch to be very bad while cricket expert Paul Newman called the pitch shameful for the ICC. During commentary, Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri also seemed surprised by the nature of the pitch. 'Sunny' said, 'Look at the bounce of the pitch, the ball is going much above the stumps.

tag: ICC T20 World Cup, Rohit Sharma, T20 Cricket, T20 World Cup, Team India

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