Sunil Gavaskar, Michael Vaughan react to Wankhede pitch-change controversy
Prior to the India versus New Zealand ODI World Cup semi-final clash at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Wednesday, November 15, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) landed in hot water for allegedly changing the pitch that was supposed to be used.
Instead of a ‘fresh pitch’ approved by the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) pitch consultant, Andy Atkinson, BCCI opted to use a used pitch for the big-ticket clash as per a report from Daily Mail. Former international captains – Sunil Gavaskar and Michael Vaughan gave their opinions on the matter.
“The pitch is there for all the teams, so I don’t think there should be too much discussion on what this pitch will do or not do. I do believe that this Indian team is perfectly capable of handling any kind of surface. Having you seen that in the tournament so far. And if it’s a drier pitch, which is likely to be the case simply because the rains have gone. So there will be there is no hint of any moisture. Yes, there will be one which there might be just a little bit of spin, no question about it. But the Mumbai pitch is generally very good for bating, so I don’t think there should be too much of an issue,” said Gavaskar on India Today.
“With the kind of bowling that we have, bowlers who have bowled superbly, whether they are bowling first or second, I don’t think the pitch would be too much of an issue at all. I think this is typically, you know, on the eve of the match when you have nothing to write about and then, you know, you try to say something because you want to fill in your columns, you want to talk about pitches and stuff like that. To me, it doesn’t make a difference. If the pitch changes after the toss, they certainly have a conversation. But if the pitch is the same before the toss, I don’t think any noise should be made at all,” the 74-year-old added.
Vaughan took to his official ‘X’ (formerly known as Twitter) handle and said that the semi-final should be played on a fresh pitch.
“A World Cup semi should be played on a fresh pitch .. It’s as simple as that ..” posted the former England captain on X.
It has to be said that this controversy has taken a substantial bit of the limelight from the mouth-watering semi-final clash between two of the top teams in world cricket.
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