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January 14, 2010
Reportedly, the Maharashtra Under-19 team, who were playing Punjab in the Under-19 Cooch Behar Trophy semi-final, staged a walkout on the second day after claiming the wicket tended to by him was "underprepared and poor".
The visitors protested against playing in such conditions, and complained of poor light as well as high-handedness by the match officials, after umpires sent a player off the field for disciplinary reasons. The match was eventually awarded to Punjab.
Ajay Shirke, the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) president and former BCCI vice-president said the association would file a written complaint to the Indian board. "Five batsmen got seriously hurt, they were hit on their elbow, groin, stomach," Shirke told the Indian Express. "It's documented on video. It was a poor, underprepared wicket and it's pitiable that the semi-final of such a prestigious tournament for juniors was held in such conditions.
"The wicket was not covered before the start and the match started only at 12:45 pm because of a damp wicket and poor light. It was then called off at 3:47 pm again. Within two-and-a-half hours, we lost eight wickets. Until this match, the boys have scored more than 300 runs in every innings, including 477 against this very side in the league phase."
However, GS Walia, the Punjab Cricket Association joint secretary, defended the Mohali pitch and dismissed Shirke's claims. "The pitch was prepared according to the domestic standards with utmost professionalism," Walia said. "It is just an excuse to get away from their irrational behaviour on the field. Neither the Maharashtra captain nor the manager during, or right after, the match complained about the pitch."
The India-Sri Lanka ODI on December 27 last year was called off after 23.3 overs, during which Sri Lankan players received body blows more than once. Daljit, who was the curator, was sacked as chairman of the BCCI's grounds and pitches committee soon after.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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