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‘Changes to planned pitches routine’: ICC dismisses claims of ‘pitch swap’ in India-New Zealand World Cup semi-final

ICC spokesperson stated in a statement, "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 independent pitch consultant was apprised of the change and has no reason to believe the pitch won't play well."

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has been accused of pressuring a last-minute pitch adjustment ahead of India vs. New Zealand’s Cricket World Cup semi-final at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium. Now, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has replied to these claims and clarified that adjustments to the scheduled pitch are normal and were made at the venue curator’s request.

ICC spokesperson stated in a statement, “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 independent pitch consultant was apprised of the change and has no reason to believe the pitch won’t play well.” The BCCI has further explained that the new pitch that was scheduled to be used for the semifinal was replaced because of a technical problem.

There were rumours circulating hours before the crucial match between New Zealand and India that the surface would be somewhat slower. According to one such report from Daily Mail, the BCCI allegedly changed the pitches at the last minute without the ICC’s consent. It further stated that an old surface was chosen for the match rather than a new pitch that was designated for the knockout stages.

The article also alleged that Andy Atkinson, the independent pitch expert for the ICC overseeing the pitches for the World Cup, was unaware of the modifications that had been done. It seems that this was done throughout the tournament, not only during the semifinals. This was reportedly carried out throughout the tournament and not only during the semifinals.

Mumbai has been a high-scoring ground throughout the World Cup and bowlers who are new to the game have benefited greatly from playing under lights. The pitch was altered prior to the crucial semifinal because, according to reports, the Indian team management had desired a slower pitch.

However, the ICC refuted the allegations and asserted that they chose which pitch to use after consulting with the hosts. They added that Atkinson was informed of the modifications. The unexpected news shocked both the world body and the BCCI. The ICC noted that there are no such restrictions in the ICC playing criteria.

India, who have dominated the league stages with nine wins in as many games, are two games away from claiming the first ICC trophy they have been waiting for in ten years.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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