BCCI responds to allegations of a ‘pitch swap’ at Wankhede. India take on New Zealand at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
When India and New Zealand meet in the ODI World Cup 2023 semi-finals on Wednesday, November 15 at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, the stakes will be at an all-time high.
However, a major accusation has rocked the cricket world only days before the crucial match. The BCCI is under fire when it reveal that the originally scheduled semi-final pitch was modified before the game.
“The ICC independent pitch consultant works with the host and venues on their proposed pitch allocations, and this process is ongoing throughout an event of this length and nature.” A BCCI representative told The Daily Mail.
Andy Atkinson, the governing body’s consultant, oversees the preparation of pitches during ICC competitions. He and the home board agree on which of the numbered pitches on the field will be utilized for each game. However, according to a Mail Sport story, the surface on which the semi-final would be played has been changed.
Pitch No. 7 expect to be utilize for the crucial match
It was a novel pitch. However, pitch No. 6, which has already hosted two matches in the current ODI World Cup 2023, will be used in the last instance. Pitch No. 6 hosted the games between England and South Africa, as well as India and Sri Lanka.
Atkinson is said to have been told that pitch No. 7 has an unexplained problem, which he does not agree with. Concerns have also been raise about the ground that will hold the finals on November 19 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. Atkinson suggested playing the summit clash on pitch No. 5, which has only been utilize once in the event. He did, however, hear last week that pitch No. 6, which already been use twice, may be chosen at the last minute.
When Atkinson inquired as to who approved the alterations, the BCCI blamed the Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA), while the GCA stated that they had received orders from India’s cricket governing body, with the demands coming straight from the Indian team management.
“As a result of these actions, one must speculate whether this will be the first ICC CWC [cricket World Cup] final to have a pitch specifically chosen and prepared to their specifications at the request of the team management and/or the hierarchy of the home nation board.” Or will it be chosen or prepared without regard for either of the teams playing in the match, and certainly because it is the typical pitch for the occasion?’ In an email, Atkinson issued a warning.