In a surprising turn of events, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has come under scrutiny as allegations surface about a last-minute pitch switch for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 semifinal clash between India and New Zealand at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
“The ICC independent pitch consultant works with the host and venues on their proposed pitch allocations, and this process is ongoing throughout an event of this length and nature,” clarified a spokesperson for the BCCI in response to the accusations.
Originally, Pitch No. 7, a fresh surface, was designated for the crucial semifinal encounter. However, reports suggest that, unexpectedly, Pitch No. 6, already used twice in the ongoing World Cup, will be the battleground for the high-stakes match.
“We have been told that there is some unspecified problem with pitch No. 7,” stated Andy Atkinson, the ICC’s independent pitch consultant, expressing his reservations about the sudden change.
The BCCI, in response to the allegations, has emphasized that the pitch allocation process involves collaboration with the ICC’s independent pitch consultant, Andy Atkinson. According to a BCCI spokesperson, this ongoing process ensures the optimal selection of pitches for matches throughout the tournament.
“At the last instance, it has been decided that pitch No. 6 will be used,” revealed sources, adding to the controversy surrounding the unexpected switch.
The controversy extends to concerns about the pitch selected for the final at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
“As a result of these actions, one must speculate if this will be the first-ever ICC CWC final to have a pitch specifically chosen at the request of the team management or home board hierarchy,” warned Atkinson in an email expressing his reservations.
As cricket enthusiasts worldwide gear up for the semifinal spectacle, the controversy surrounding the pitch switch adds an unexpected layer of intrigue to an already highly anticipated encounter. The cricketing community awaits further developments and clarification on the pitch selection process as the countdown to the crucial semifinal continues.