Cricket World Cup: File image of Shubman Gill© Twitter
Ahead of the India vs New Zealand Cricket World Cup semi-final, there were reports that the pitch for the game at the Wankhede Stadium was changed at the last moment. The reports alleged that though a fresh strip was prepared for the Cricket World Cup semi-final, the match finally took place on an ‘used surface’. After Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer and Mohammed Shami guided India to the Cricket World Cup 2023 final with a win over New Zealand, legendary India batter Sunil Gavaskar fumed over the rumours and rubbished any such suggestions. The International Cricket Council (ICC) issued a statement regarding the entire incident.
“Changes to planned pitch rotations are common towards the end of an event of this length, and have already happened a couple of times. This change was made on the recommendation of the venue curator in conjunction with our host,” the ICC said in a statement.
After the Cricket World Cup semi-final, Shubman Gill was asked about the incident and his response was quite funny. “Mujhe toh abhi pata laga pitch ke upar koi controversy hui thhi. Aapne hi bataya abhi. Kya controversy hui thi (I just got to know from you that there was some controversy over the pitch. What was the controversy”)?, Gill said in the post match press conference.
Shubman Gill pic.twitter.com/Pv4D0ftuNr
— Sahil (@vkrightarmquick) November 15, 2023
Regarding the incident, the ICC also said Atkinson, its independent pitch consultant, was aware of the change.
“The ICC independent pitch consultant was apprised of the change and has no reason to believe the pitch won’t play well,” said the ICC.
As per the ICC’s Playing Conditions for the World Cup, the host association is “responsible for the selection and preparation of the pitch” and there is no requirement that a knockout match must be played on fresh pitches.
With PTI inputs
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