Kotla Pitch Was Horrible – Just Accept it Delhi!

After the abandonment of the last one day between Sri Lanka and India at Ferozshah Kotla ground in New Delhi, there were many people screaming back and forth (as expected). Especially after the match refree went back and gave the worst possible rating to the pitch, Kotla will lose its chance to host an international match in the next 12 to 24 months, unless BCCI wields its money magic and comes up with one more of its tricks up its sleeve (which I am sure it has many).

I do remember the last time such a issue happened two years ago, when England was playing West Indies and a test match cricket was cancelled because the ground was completely under prepared (especially the run up at one end was just like running on the beach!). That pitch was given a similar rating and has not been used for international cricket ever since.

During this match at Kotla, while the Sri Lankan team was down five wickets, the officials who wanted to defend the quality of the pitch immediately pounced on the opportunity and said Sri Lanka had chickened out, it would not have happened if South Africa was playing Australia, etc etc. I wonder what would have happened if India had opened the batting and the Delhi boys, Shewag and Gambhir were in the middle getting hurt every third delivery due to unpredictable bounce of the pitch. I am sure someone would have gone with a stick towards the curator blaming him for messing up the pitch or towards the bowlers claiming they are bowling bodyline (you never know what excuses some brainless guys are capable of coming up with).

Though BCCI controls the money power in the International Cricket Council, on this one, BCCI should take the hit and accept the fact that we presented a pitch which was definitely not up to the mark.

Both the captains, Sangakkara and Dhoni have also come out and said that the Kotla Track was not up to the mark. What more do we need beyond this to just agree that it was our fault and move on?

When I started thinking more about this topic, having lived in India and outside, I realized that any job in India is always influenced by outsiders who stand to benefitted by it. In this case, the curator of the pitch (of any pitch in India for that matter) would have got at least two or three visits from senior officials asking them to make sure the pitch is well prepared in favour of the local team. It is easy to say that this happens in every country, but I doubt if there is a process missing in place to verify the pitch’s condition before the match using independent assessers.
Additonally, the role of a curator in India is nothing but the role of a groundsman, who is now given a new name. (Just like how in many hospitals in India, the same nurses in hospitals take care of general patients as well as pre mature babies.)

I really wish we learn from this experience and give better respect and control to the curators to come up with pitches of high standard, which will then be assessed by independent assessers so that we do not have such a pathetic situation in the future.

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