New York Retains T20 Matches, Pitch Concerns Not a Dealbreaker

New York’s untested drop-in pitches, favoring bowlers, face scrutiny after Sri Lanka was bowled out for 77 by South Africa and India dismissed Ireland for 9…reports Asian Lite News

Despite growing fears over the nature of pitches at New York for the T20 World Cup, there have been no such plans over shifting the remaining matches out of the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium.

The untested drop-in pitches at New York, which has favoured bowlers excessively, have come under heavy scrutiny after Sri Lanka were bowled out for 77 by South Africa, followed by India bundling out Ireland for 96.

A report from BBC has said “India have privately voiced their unhappiness with the unpredictable bounce and two-paced nature of the strips amid worries over the safety of their batters.” India are scheduled to play Pakistan in their second Group A game at New York on Sunday.

“The International Cricket Council (ICC) is believed to be analysing data from previously abandoned games to establish how to react should it need to act. However, ICC officials have maintained there are no contingency plans in place to switch any of the New York games to venues in Florida or Texas, both of which have natural turf strips.

“It is understood an unused pitch has been designated for the India v Pakistan showdown, although there is flexibility to alter that decision depending on how other pitches play before that encounter,” said the report from BBC.

The pop-up venue at New York, built for the T20 World Cup, has a total of 10 Tahoma grass pitches, which were grown in Australia and shipped to Florida before being transported via trucks to New York and installed a few weeks in a drop-in arrangement before the tournament began.

Australian curator Damien Hough, who knows the art and science of drop-in pitches due to heading the facility at the Adelaide Oval, was roped in by the ICC for the preparation of pitches at New York.

The outfield is made of Kentucky bluegrass, which were grown at a farm in New Jersey, on top of sand. In India’s game against Ireland on Wednesday, there was uneven bounce – which meant balls either bounced at ankle height or took off sharply towards the wicketkeeper.

Players like Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Paul Stirling, Rohit Sharma and Rishabh Pant took blows on themselves, with Rohit retiring hurt for 52 after taking a blow on his elbow. Other problems with the venue at New York include slow outfield, due to its sand-based nature, and difference of 10m in square boundaries on either sides.

“A clear diagnosis for the problems has not yet been identified. India fans were even cheering runs for Ireland at one point during their eight-wicket win, hoping the length of the game would be extended so they could see more of their team batting in the second innings,” added the report.

It also claimed that concerns have also been raised about the six drop-in pitches laid at the practice facility in nearby Cantiague Park, adding that South Africa’s batters opted for throw downs as opposed to facing their own bowlers, and local net bowlers, because of injury concerns.

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