New York pitch under fire, ICC vows better surface for World Cup matches

The Report Desk

Published: June 7, 2024, 12:56 PM

New York pitch under fire, ICC vows better surface for World Cup matches

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The International Cricket Council (ICC) has promised to deliver a better wicket for the remaining matches at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York.

The venue, which hosted two matches of the ongoing T20 World Cup, has been criticised for its slow, unpredictable surface.

The New York pitch, a drop-in surface, has failed to produce the high-scoring T20 matches expected. No team has managed to reach 100 runs in the two matches played so far, with the outfield also drawing criticism for its slowness.

In the first match, Sri Lanka was bowled out for just 77 runs against South Africa‍‍`s quality attack. In reply, South Africa needed until the 17th over to seal the match, losing only four wickets.

The match saw a staggering 127 dot balls, a record for a Men‍‍`s T20 World Cup match, highlighting the difficulty for batters to score runs. Both teams combined for only three fours and three sixes.

The bowlers delivered a total of 214 balls in that match. Of those, 127 were dot balls, with the batters unable to score a run.

Batters from both teams struggled to time their shots, with each team hitting only three fours and three sixes. Following the match, South African captain Aiden Markram acknowledged the tough conditions but expressed satisfaction with his team‍‍`s victory. Sri Lankan captain Wanindu Hasaranga admitted that they had hoped to score around 160 to 170 runs batting first but realized the pitch was only suitable for a score of 120 or so.

The issues continued in the India-Ireland match. Indian batting coach Vikram Rathour described the pitch as challenging for the batters, while Ireland coach Heinrich Malan stated that the wicket “has not lived up to the expectation” of a T20 match.

The pitch‍‍`s inconsistency was further highlighted when a delivery from Indian pacer Arshdeep Singh bounced twice before reaching the wicketkeeper. Indian captain Rohit Sharma was also hit on his arm by a delivery that soared unexpectedly.

The pitch‍‍`s unpredictable nature, which has seen deliveries bounce inconsistently and forced batters to struggle, has drawn widespread criticism. This prompted the ICC to intervene and promise a better surface for the remaining matches.

“T20 Inc and the ICC recognise that the pitches used so far at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium have not played as consistently as we would have all wanted,” the ICC said in a statement.

“The world-class grounds team have been working hard since the conclusion of yesterday‍‍`s game to remedy the situation and deliver the best possible surfaces for the remaining matches,” the statement added.

The ICC‍‍`s statement comes ahead of the high-profile clash between arch-rivals India and Pakistan on June 9th at the same venue. Of their four matches in the World Cup‍‍`s first phase, India will play three in New York, while Pakistan will play two. After the India-Pakistan match, Bangladesh will face South Africa at the same venue.

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