And after some time, India and New Zealand are facing each other in the first semi-final of the current World Cup. The debate about the pitch has started before the start of this match. India has been accused of changing the pitch chosen by the ICC. The British media Daily Mail made these allegations in a report.
The Daily Mail says, ‘A separate pitch has been chosen to favor the Indian spinners. The BCCI reached an agreement with ICC pitch consultant Andy Atkinson to provide an unused pitch for the first semi-final at the Wankhede Stadium today. But instead of that pitch, 22 yards, which has already been played in two matches of the current tournament, has been chosen.
The media also claimed that if India won the semi-final and reached the final, ‘they will do the same.’ In other words, if Rohit Sharma’s team reaches the final, the wicket will be changed, according to a report by Lawrence Booth, a famous British sports journalist, writer and editor of Wisden Cricketers’ Almanac. The final of the World Cup will be held at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Sunday (November 19). Three of the four league matches played at this ground have been played on different wickets. Even the Indian board and ICC exchanged messages on WhatsApp regarding the use of pitch number 6 instead of pitch number 7 in Mumbai for today’s match, the media said.
Reports expressed fear that the same may happen in the final due to changing the wickets of the semi-finals. The World Cup final will be held at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Sunday. Three of the four league matches played at this ground have been played on different wickets.
The media also claimed that Atkinson was told by the ICC’s Senior Events Manager at the Narendra Modi Stadium that the India-Pakistan (October 14) match was to be played at wicket number 7 as per the pre-scheduled schedule. But actually the match was played on wicket number 5.
Atkinson wants to know from the BCCI, whose decisions? BCCI points fingers at Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA). Meanwhile, the Gujarat Cricket Association claims that they are doing everything as per BCCI’s words and these requests have come directly from the Indian team management. Some of the mail he sent to the GCA was intercepted by Mail Online.
There, Atkinson cautioned, ‘These actions certainly raise the possibility that this is the first ICC Cricket World Cup final where pitches are specially selected and prepared at the request of the team management or the host nation’s board at a high level. Or will it be the case that (the wicket) will be selected and prepared without any question, completely impartial to either side, because it is the ideal pitch for the occasion (match)?’