Working to remedy the situation: ICC after recognising issues with New York pitch

The pitch that India and Ireland played, used only for the second time, was uneven.
India's Rishabh Pant plays a reverse shot for six runs to seal the victory by 8 wickets against Ireland during an ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in Westbury, New York
India's Rishabh Pant plays a reverse shot for six runs to seal the victory by 8 wickets against Ireland during an ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in Westbury, New YorkAP

CHENNAI: In less than 24 hours after the pitch at the Nassau County Cricket Stadium in New York came under scrutiny for the way it played out during the India-Ireland match, the global body has come out and acknowledged the issue in a statement.

“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, adding that they are “working hard since the conclusion of yesterday’s game to remedy the situation” and deliver the best possible surfaces for the remaining matches.

The pitch that India and Ireland played, used only for the second time, was uneven. There were balls lifting off good lengths and then there were deliveries that kept low, almost at knee-level. But it was the rising balls that troubled the batters more. Not one but three batters — Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant and Harry Tector — got hit and the Indian captain even retired himself out. While Rohit’s injury was not serious, the concerns about the surface remained.

Up until Wednesday, the New York venue has hosted three games including a warm-up and nothing else. Prepared in Adelaide, grown in Florida to avoid New York winter before being installed at the temporary venue, the surface did not have any game time on it. And the lack of preparedness of the surface was visible in both the games played so far. So much so that more than the results and the execution of the players’ skills, conversation has been around the pitches. And it isn’t going to end any time soon. With two of the four pitches in the square used so far, the focus shifts to see how the other will play out. Or whether the used wickets will get any better. It will not take too long to have an idea. Ireland, who bore the brunt against India, will once again take field on Friday, this time against Canada. South Africa will play Netherlands on Saturday and then there is India and Pakistan on Sunday. While the ICC are trying to remedy the situation, how much will it help, only time will tell.

What the ICC would not want is to have a bunch of one-sided contests with batters getting hit when they are trying to put on a show at the most popular city in the world. Not when the entire globe will have its eyes on the India-Pakistan clash on Sunday.

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