Bermuda July 5, 2007

Import soil or lose your ODI status

Andy Atkinson, the ICC's pitch consultant, has slammed those who argue against importing soil to try to improve the poor quality of the pitches at the National Sports Centre.

Andy Atkinson, the ICC's pitch consultant, has slammed those who argue against importing soil to try to improve the poor quality of the pitches at the National Sports Centre.

Atkinson is of the opinion that the only way the surface can be raised to a standard to allow full ODIs to be played is for soil to be brought in from overseas, but that idea has been attacked by the United Bermuda Party and local farmers, who maintain the government would be recklessly endangering the environment if they allowed such a plan.

"If you want pitches that last longer than a day and are capable of hosting international games in the future, then importing high-quality soil is the only answer and all the controversy being stirred up at the moment seems like a bunch of political claptrap to me," Atkinson, who has been reviewing the square at the venue since 2004, told The Royal Gazette.

"The square at the Sports Centre is good enough for club cricket, but when you're talking about ODIs or longer games then I'm afraid it's a no-go."

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Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa

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