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06/06/24 | 5:26 pm

“Bordering on dangerous”: Andy Flower on undercooked drop-in pitches in New York

Former England coach Andy Flower has expressed concern about the drop-in pitches in New York for the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup, saying that they are “bordering on dangerous” and unsuitable for international cricket.

The outfield and pitch met with criticism after low-scoring contests between South Africa and Sri Lanka on June 3 and, later, India against Ireland on Wednesday. The islanders were bundled out for just 77 runs in 19.1 overs. Proteas made the winning target in 16.2 overs, and the batters struggled to play on such a slow surface. Six fours and six sixes were hit by both teams during the course of the match.

In the India-Ireland game, the Irish side struggled with bounce and movement on the surface and could score only 96 runs in 16 overs before being bundled out. India chased down the target of 97 runs in 12.2 overs with eight wickets in hand.

The stadium is using a drop-in pitch, which is prepared away from the venue and then installed into the ground for the match.

The Nassau County Stadium is hosting eight games in this tournament, including three of India’s home matches against Ireland (June 5), Pakistan (June 9), and the USA (June 12).

Speaking to ESPNCricinfo as quoted by Wisden, Flower said, “I have to say that it is not a good surface to play an international match on. It is bordering on dangerous. You saw the ball bouncing from a length both ways, skidding low occasionally, but mostly bouncing unusually high and causing difficulty for batsmen by hitting them on the thumb, gloves, and helmet. It proved to be very tricky batting conditions for any side, especially for a smaller cricketing nation like Ireland facing the giants of India.”

Former Indian cricketer and commentator, Sanjay Manjrekar, said that while international cricket has seen such dangerous pitches before, the preparation of this pitch has gone wrong, indicating that “either the pitch has been under-prepared or there are factors beyond their control.”

“But I mentioned that a couple of days ago as well, what can they do to improve the pitch? I’m sure it’s not due to lack of effort. At most, they can continue rolling the drop-in pitch. However, they face a problem. There seems to be something inherently wrong with the pace of the surface,” Manjrekar said.

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Last Updated: 15th Jun 2024