Damage control: ICC top-dresses NY pitches and suppresses extra grass veins - Cricket News | Cricket Updates | Match Report

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Thursday, June 6, 2024

Damage control: ICC top-dresses NY pitches and suppresses extra grass veins

 The first two games at Nassau County Stadium saw the first-innings totals of less than 100 runs

The first two games at Nassau County Stadium saw the first-innings totals of less than 100 runs © Getty

The International Cricket Council (ICC) is taking steps to address the widespread criticism and outrage regarding the drop-in pitches in New York for the ongoing T20 World Cup. While the ICC officially states that it will address the issue, the officials privately reject the notion that these pitches are dangerous. It is, however, planning some measures to ensure that the surface for the highly anticipated India-Pakistan game at Nassau County Ground on June 9 is even and fair - for that matter, for the all remaining six games in New York.

The managers and cricket operations team of the world body seem to believe that the inconsistent bounce is due to green veins on the pitch. Cricbuzz can confirm that to address the issue and correct the veins, the ICC has already started top-dressing the surface levels of the four drop-in pitches installed at the Eisenhower Park in Long Island. The belief is that after pressing and pushing these grass veins, the wickets will turn into more consistent surfaces.

The ICC's decision follows criticism after the first two games at Nassau County Stadium, where both matches - Sri Lanka versus South Africa and India versus Ireland - saw the first-innings totals of less than 100 runs. Besides, there were apprehensions that the India-Pakistan match will be reduced to a low-scoring farce with the team winning the toss and electing to bat having a considerable advantage.

For the record, the ICC said it is sensitive to the concerns. "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 world-class grounds team have been working hard since the conclusion of yesterday's game to remedy the situation and deliver the best possible surfaces for the remaining matches."

The statement apart, the ICC officials believe that there would have been a different narrative to the whole pitch saga if India batted first. The perception is that they would have scored over 180, something the Indian batters had done against Bangladesh in a warm-up game on June 1 here.

"Difficult, yes, because it was inconsistent but it (the pitch) was not dangerous. I think it might have been a different story had India batted first like they did on the same pitch a couple of days earlier," said an ICC insider.

For the record, India have refused to comment on the pitches, stating that they are equal to all teams.

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