IPL 2012 April 13, 2012

Late Wankhede pitch change cost Rajasthan - Goswami

Nagraj Gollapudi and Tariq Engineer

Sreevats Goswami, the wicketkeeper who plays for Rajasthan Royals, has claimed that the pitch for their match on Wednesday against Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium was switched at the last minute without their knowledge, upsetting their plans for the match and resulting in their defeat. No formal complaint is known to have been lodged, however, and IPL officials say the pitch is handled by the curator and not the franchises.

Rahul Dravid had decided to field first after winning the toss, but that's because he thought another surface was to be used, Sreevats told reporters on Thursday. "We expected some turn but it turned out to be a different wicket. They were rolling another track when we were practising… We got to know that they had changed the wicket later on, without informing us."

Kieron Pollard blasted 64 from 33 balls to help Mumbai Indians post 197. Royals were then bowled out for 170, resulting in their first loss of the season.

A report in the Indian Express said Mumbai Indians asked curator Sudhir Naik to prepare a different pitch for the match. However, IPL chief executive Sundar Raman told ESPNcricinfo in an email that "no franchise has a say on the wickets. It is the decision of the curator".

Another BCCI official explained that the curator prepares three tracks for every game and that only he has the right to choose which pitch will be used. "Rajasthan had come to practice a couple of hours before the toss. So they already knew which pitch they were playing on," the official said. "For them to now say that 'we picked the team based on the pitched we were told we would play on' is ridiculous."

According to a franchise official, the IPL made it clear at the start of the season that only the curator and the relevant state association has a say in the preparation and use of the pitches. Franchises will have no right to influence the nature and preparation of the playing surfaces.

Last season, the then Royals captain Shane Warne was fined US$50,000 by the BCCI for a public spat with the then Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) secretary Sanjay Dixit over the changing of pitches in Jaipur during the IPL. At the time, the BCCI said in a statement that "neither of the playing teams has a choice of the wicket on which to play the game. It is the curator, in consultation with the [pitch] committee chairman, who prepares the wickets."

Subsequently, Ray Jennings, the Royal Challengers Bangalore coach, said that the home teams should be able to prepare pitches to their liking but there should be limits to how far they can go.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on April 15, 2012, 4:53 GMT

    Mistake RR had done was they choose both hogg nd botha as 2 international players..thats cost them..they should include extra foriegn batsman instead of 2 bowlers..they have batsmen like chandimal in de squad..give him a chance he wl prove his potential..

  • Dummy4 on April 14, 2012, 15:24 GMT

    @bmoizuddin You hate MI, it is obvious. Sanga was OUT. only the behaviour was wrong from Mumbai players. don't create stories.

  • Dummy4 on April 14, 2012, 15:21 GMT

    @johnathonjosephs WOW, that dew was far lesser than the 96WC final.

  • Johnathon on April 13, 2012, 23:22 GMT

    There is quite a bit of dew factor at the Wankhede. Most famously shown when Sri Lanka lost to India in the WC Finals. The dew factor was hard to bowl and India managed to win in the last 10 overs

  • Baba on April 13, 2012, 19:07 GMT

    hey comon all teams if u play against MI u can expect the worst from officials, teams and supporting staff and now even groundsmen... MI just want to win at any cost regardless of prestige, pledge, sportsmanship blah blah blah.... i just want to see MI not being qualified i know thats a big and bluder wish but im hopeful it will happen that they will not qualify this year...

  • Dummy4 on April 13, 2012, 17:38 GMT

    What is he talking? Dravid said at the toss time itself that pitch was changed, but he knew for the fact that it did change. So he could have changed what ever he wanted to . Giving such excuses is shameful.

  • Dummy4 on April 13, 2012, 15:36 GMT

    Rajasthan were in it for 15 overs of the chase. They won many people's hearts. Why are they spoiling their own image? Even Bangladesh made that appeal for 5 runs in the Asia cup final and lost some brownie points. The truth is that Rajasthan was not affected much by this 'change' if there was any. They could have won the game but as Shah himself admitted, he made a mistake and perhaps that's what had a bigger impact on the outcome.

  • Deep on April 13, 2012, 14:08 GMT

    Mumbai's revenge for what happened last year! No wonder Hogg was playing.

  • Ish on April 13, 2012, 13:52 GMT

    "ALAS RAHUL MISJUDGED THE PITCH BE PRACTICAL AHEAD" I completely agree....lolzzzz...

  • Sakthivel on April 13, 2012, 13:23 GMT

    Losers' song..It wouldn't have come out if RR had own the match. These things should be handled internally and should not be shared outside. These things affects interest level of following the matches and spirit of a sport is damned.

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