India v Sri Lanka, 5th ODI, Delhi December 28, 2009

ICC November inspection slammed pitch

54

Among the several alerts, official and otherwise, raised about the condition of the Kotla pitch is one from the very highest level: An ICC team inspecting the stadium in connection with the 2011 World Cup passed a scathing indictment of the pitch and said "a considerable improvement of the pitch block" would be required to "make the pitch more acceptable" for Sunday's game.

The chief executive of the ICC Haroon Lorgat, speaking in New Delhi on Monday, did not comment on whether this report would have any bearing on the investigation of Sunday's fiasco but said it would be taken into consideration.

"There is an ODI at this venue on 27th December 2009 and considerable improvement of the pitch block will be required by then to make the pitch provided more acceptable" said the report, a copy of which is with Cricinfo. The inspection was carried out on November 4, three days after third ODI of the India-Australia series.

That game, and earlier games during the Champions League Twenty20 where batsmen struggled to counter the low and slow nature of the various pitches on the square, was noted in the November report. "During the Champions League and the India vs Australia ODI series, it was well documented that the performance and condition of the pitches at the stadium were a cause of concern for the players," the report said.

The problem with the Kotla pitch - which has already been relaid four times in the last five years under four different curators - stems from the decision, taken immediately after the second IPL was shifted to South Africa, to relay the entire square. During the Champions League Daljit Singh, till Sunday the head of the BCCI's grounds and wickets committee, said it would take about a year for the re-laid pitches to get seasoned. That point of view seems to have been overlooked with the Indian board deciding to stage at Kotla first the Australia ODI and, within two months, the game against Sri Lanka.

The ICC's inspectors, though, were never in doubt about the quality of the surface and their report offered some prescriptions for the longer term. "The pitch block was reconstructed recently and it is clear to see that there are some important issues with the present condition of the pitch surface that it is essential to address prior to CWC 2011."

As a remedial measure it suggested that the surface level across the entire square needed to be "readjusted in several areas" to help in growing the grass. The DDCA ground authorities, working with Daljit, had been experimenting with the grass, which resulted in the tufts of green spread across the pitch on which Sri Lanka batted.

There has been much talk of differences between local and centralized pitch officials and this was clear to the ICC inspection team. "It was apparent when speaking with the local officials that they are reluctant to openly discuss the problems they are having with the pitch and that they are to some extent in variance with the BCCI Pitch Consultant (Daljit Singh) regarding how they are to move forward to resolve the problems with this surface."

According to the ICC team the DDCA were adamant on replanting the pitches with local grass, which they felt would take care of the problem. But that idea was fraught with dangers. "To simply replant without this major renovation of the surface would be a major miscalculation, and would result in inadequate pitches at a later date," the report said.

"The dead and the decaying grass and roots left in the soil profile will break down into organic matter and will contribute to the dilution of the clay content of the soil and contribute to the pitches produced in the future being slow in pace, spongy in texture, and would tend to generate slow and inconsistent bounce from the pitches in the future."

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • doctordeath on January 1, 2010, 5:52 GMT

    Chetan Chauhan has issues!! It comes down to that ! A decent thing to do would have just been to admit their mistake and get on with it! I wonder what he would have said had India batted first and come to the same conclusion -- after their players were subject to that sorta pitch! When the great Sunil Gav. himself declared an unsatisfactory pitch, Chetan Chauhan ought to know better than to flare biased remarks at the Lankans... No spirit of sportsmanship from him! Not even an atom of it!

  • blackerthanyourhate on December 30, 2009, 14:04 GMT

    The overall series against sri lanka has been very boring keeping in mind where only batsman has flourished throughout the series...thanks to the batsman friendly slow pitches which made it possible...As far as poor pitches goes well BCCI is never worried about it as long as it gets all the cash to sail its ship on it

  • Murtaza83 on December 30, 2009, 9:38 GMT

    This is quite unfortunate, Chetan Chauhan has openly questioned the integrity of the SriLankan team and its' captain. I sincerely hope there is a reaction to this by the ICC.

  • TwitterJitter on December 29, 2009, 7:33 GMT

    Geez, people here don't need much fuel for a fight... A one day was abandoned. So who cares? As for Delhi losing international games for 12-18 months, who cares? Delhi might not be in line to host another game for one year anyway. They can host IPL games in the mean time. They better improve the pitch before next IPL or else some Delhi players might be injured. Did anyone notice that another meaningless tri-nation tournament is coming up less than a week? That too involving India and SL, the same teams that just finished their bilaterals.

  • used_to_be_a_player on December 29, 2009, 7:16 GMT

    I wonder if BCCI and/or ICC officials are reading the comments from this site. If not, I would strongly urge them to read these. In any business, customer/consumer is the boss and they need to be heard and listened to. If we all strongly feel that BCCI/ICC need to be setting the pitch-standards to facilitate a competitive and safe match, they ought to do that. Alas, what good is a match without any spectators and what good is a team without its fans/followers. Bureaucracy needs to give way to consumers needs!

  • luks on December 29, 2009, 7:15 GMT

    By the way, if Chetan has seen worse pitches then so has Sunny who was his more accomplished opening batting partner. And Sunny objected to the pitch at the toss and before the match was suspended. End of story.

  • wildbill85 on December 29, 2009, 6:56 GMT

    The saddest thing about all this is that pitch was supposed to host a World cup game, now it seems unlikey.

  • randikaayya on December 29, 2009, 6:40 GMT

    Such a shame this superbly contested had to finish off with an anti-climax controversy. The pitch was unsuitable for international cricket as been assessed by many authorities and experts before and during the game, end of story! Lets move on and preserve the goodwill between the teams and fans of the two sides! India came up worthy victors in the series and SL though down showed commendable effort and skill that many other sides in the world wouldn't have afforded in India! cheers!

  • Shen_Mark on December 29, 2009, 6:13 GMT

    Chetan Chauhan says he had played in worse pitches, i wonder what he means by worse, maybe India being bowled out for below 100? eh?? Any idiotic Indian fan saying SL chickened out should be provided with an oppurtunity to see India struggling on this pitch, or maybe they should be put into the middle with a bat, provided they know which end to hold it from atleast. And please don't compare Viv Richards and other greats of old age with contemporary legends. If anyone needs convincing, consider our daily lives and the lives that our ancestors led. My great grandfather had once walked 50 miles in the space of a day(with plenty of time to spare as well). It wasn't anything amazing, atleast at those times. But just think a bit, how many of us would be willing or even so manage to walk 10 miles by foot if required, when we have been brought up in a world where everything is simplified and everyone is one click away from anything!

  • Noman_Yousuf_Dandore on December 29, 2009, 5:46 GMT

    I think many Indians on this blog are going overboard to defend an unacceptable situation (though I must mention that there are many wise heads as well). First I must mention that I'm sick and tired of teams scoring 300+ runs EASILY in ODIs. I want a balacned battle between bat and ball and don't want bowlers to turn into bowling machines (I grew up in the 90s, fed on 2 Ws, Walsh and Ambrose etc. so I actually root for bowlers more). So you guys who're defending that pitch, there is nothing wrong in a seaming/bouncy track but there were 2 things which made the Delhi wicket too dangerous to play: 1) The ball was shooting off and keeping low from virtually the same spot ( It wasn't a combination of extra bounce and normal bouce or low bounce and normal bounce, which would have been acceptable).

    2) And much more importantly, the fact which many have ignored, it was shooting from the good length, which makes it very dangerous; protection or no protection. Cheers!

  • doctordeath on January 1, 2010, 5:52 GMT

    Chetan Chauhan has issues!! It comes down to that ! A decent thing to do would have just been to admit their mistake and get on with it! I wonder what he would have said had India batted first and come to the same conclusion -- after their players were subject to that sorta pitch! When the great Sunil Gav. himself declared an unsatisfactory pitch, Chetan Chauhan ought to know better than to flare biased remarks at the Lankans... No spirit of sportsmanship from him! Not even an atom of it!

  • blackerthanyourhate on December 30, 2009, 14:04 GMT

    The overall series against sri lanka has been very boring keeping in mind where only batsman has flourished throughout the series...thanks to the batsman friendly slow pitches which made it possible...As far as poor pitches goes well BCCI is never worried about it as long as it gets all the cash to sail its ship on it

  • Murtaza83 on December 30, 2009, 9:38 GMT

    This is quite unfortunate, Chetan Chauhan has openly questioned the integrity of the SriLankan team and its' captain. I sincerely hope there is a reaction to this by the ICC.

  • TwitterJitter on December 29, 2009, 7:33 GMT

    Geez, people here don't need much fuel for a fight... A one day was abandoned. So who cares? As for Delhi losing international games for 12-18 months, who cares? Delhi might not be in line to host another game for one year anyway. They can host IPL games in the mean time. They better improve the pitch before next IPL or else some Delhi players might be injured. Did anyone notice that another meaningless tri-nation tournament is coming up less than a week? That too involving India and SL, the same teams that just finished their bilaterals.

  • used_to_be_a_player on December 29, 2009, 7:16 GMT

    I wonder if BCCI and/or ICC officials are reading the comments from this site. If not, I would strongly urge them to read these. In any business, customer/consumer is the boss and they need to be heard and listened to. If we all strongly feel that BCCI/ICC need to be setting the pitch-standards to facilitate a competitive and safe match, they ought to do that. Alas, what good is a match without any spectators and what good is a team without its fans/followers. Bureaucracy needs to give way to consumers needs!

  • luks on December 29, 2009, 7:15 GMT

    By the way, if Chetan has seen worse pitches then so has Sunny who was his more accomplished opening batting partner. And Sunny objected to the pitch at the toss and before the match was suspended. End of story.

  • wildbill85 on December 29, 2009, 6:56 GMT

    The saddest thing about all this is that pitch was supposed to host a World cup game, now it seems unlikey.

  • randikaayya on December 29, 2009, 6:40 GMT

    Such a shame this superbly contested had to finish off with an anti-climax controversy. The pitch was unsuitable for international cricket as been assessed by many authorities and experts before and during the game, end of story! Lets move on and preserve the goodwill between the teams and fans of the two sides! India came up worthy victors in the series and SL though down showed commendable effort and skill that many other sides in the world wouldn't have afforded in India! cheers!

  • Shen_Mark on December 29, 2009, 6:13 GMT

    Chetan Chauhan says he had played in worse pitches, i wonder what he means by worse, maybe India being bowled out for below 100? eh?? Any idiotic Indian fan saying SL chickened out should be provided with an oppurtunity to see India struggling on this pitch, or maybe they should be put into the middle with a bat, provided they know which end to hold it from atleast. And please don't compare Viv Richards and other greats of old age with contemporary legends. If anyone needs convincing, consider our daily lives and the lives that our ancestors led. My great grandfather had once walked 50 miles in the space of a day(with plenty of time to spare as well). It wasn't anything amazing, atleast at those times. But just think a bit, how many of us would be willing or even so manage to walk 10 miles by foot if required, when we have been brought up in a world where everything is simplified and everyone is one click away from anything!

  • Noman_Yousuf_Dandore on December 29, 2009, 5:46 GMT

    I think many Indians on this blog are going overboard to defend an unacceptable situation (though I must mention that there are many wise heads as well). First I must mention that I'm sick and tired of teams scoring 300+ runs EASILY in ODIs. I want a balacned battle between bat and ball and don't want bowlers to turn into bowling machines (I grew up in the 90s, fed on 2 Ws, Walsh and Ambrose etc. so I actually root for bowlers more). So you guys who're defending that pitch, there is nothing wrong in a seaming/bouncy track but there were 2 things which made the Delhi wicket too dangerous to play: 1) The ball was shooting off and keeping low from virtually the same spot ( It wasn't a combination of extra bounce and normal bouce or low bounce and normal bounce, which would have been acceptable).

    2) And much more importantly, the fact which many have ignored, it was shooting from the good length, which makes it very dangerous; protection or no protection. Cheers!

  • 9ST9 on December 29, 2009, 5:04 GMT

    Typically Indian of chauhan to criticize the SL team to take the attention away from their mistake. BCCI thinks of world domination but they have hosted 2 games abandoned due to pitch conditions ( indore 1997) same goes for WI in tests 1998-sabina park, and recently at north-sound. As for those Desktop-Cricket experts, who would piss themselves if they had to bat to a tennis-ball on such a pitch - imagine this happened elsewhere , and that india faced the music what would you say then? And FYI krv954, cricktah, - did u all not watch the game? Its not about scoring 300+ its not about Consistent Bounce as we see in SA AUS etc. It's VARIABLE BOUNCE that is the issue. . Read the post by "Itchy" and try to learn something.The pitch is crap admit it.

  • luks on December 29, 2009, 4:45 GMT

    Folks are comparing this pitch to yesteryears' pitches but are forgetting that those were test matches where a player can spend time surviving and a pitch might worsen over 5 days. Whats the point of a bad pitch in an ODI? An opening batsman who played without helmet on the pitches against the west indies fast bowlers - Sunil Gavaskar himself criticized the pitch at the toss and then later while commentating as well.

    Many people are complaining based on the score and/or comparing the pitch with "lively" pitches. The comparison is wrong. The reason was not that the pitch was bowler friendly - that would have been fine. The problem was the dangerous inconsistency in bounce and pace. Ravi Shastri and Gavaskar while commentating were both unanimous in judging the pitch unfit for playing - what else do you need?

  • cskp on December 29, 2009, 3:59 GMT

    Its so funny and childish to see the Indian fans making remarks as to why the match had to be called off and SL chickned out of the match. Yes we accepet India played better cricket throughout the season. SL gave a real fight for the Indians others have never given. But Indian fans GROW UP! Why do you think Dhoni won the toss and elected NOT TO BAT? Would you guys have the same stance if it was Sachin or Veru getting hurt in the middle? so please, be a bit more matured and accept the fact the pitch was bad, so bad luck.

  • tallgrass on December 29, 2009, 3:33 GMT

    Sri lankan's chickened out? HAHA - from a country full of people who started throwing stuff on our players when they couldn't take defeat some of the remarks are hilarious - pride hurt indians? try and win a world cup in the modern era and then we'll talk...

  • cricktah on December 29, 2009, 2:39 GMT

    83 for 5 at the half-way mark leads me to believe that the pitch was a difficult one to play on but not bad enough to call off play. Not so long ago, ODIs had a par score of 210-215, especially in Australia, England, SA and I enjoyed watching those matches because of an even battle between bat and ball. India has played on worse surfaces/conditions abroad and never have they complained. I am tempted to ask - does this mean that if the team batting first is in dire straits, they should just refuse to continue???

  • rmt9 on December 29, 2009, 2:36 GMT

    agreed that it was dissapointing the match was called off, especially since the indians seemed willing to bat on that pitch, though this probably had something to do with the fact that sl were struggling at 83/5. with all the padding and protection that batsman wear, they should be prepared for the odd pitch of this kind

  • krv954 on December 29, 2009, 1:37 GMT

    So what is the definition of unplayable pitch these days. if the batting team cannot score at least 300, then the pitch is unplayable.

  • stalefresh on December 28, 2009, 23:05 GMT

    It is incredible. It took a patchy pitch to recognize the lack of professionalism in people who handle Indian cricket. What about the stupid batting belters are are laid out game after game for matches played in India? How is a patchy pitch any worst than a flat dead tracks that takes the bowlers out of the game completely?

    If BCCI cares a fig about cricket (which we all know then don't or else how can you explain the facilities that are on offer for spectators in the stadiums, or lack of test matches that India plays, or for that matter lack of dedicated website to purchase tickets, and Indian team shirts, parking at the venues, etc etc) it will get rid of the monster called "Dead Tracks".

    How dare we not play 5 test matches with South Africa in February and March than playing the stupid T20 circus? The focus is clearly on money than being on other important things like pitches.

  • saccs76 on December 28, 2009, 22:44 GMT

    Nonsense. DDCA is solely resposible for this fiasco. The ICC inspection team or the SL batsmen are not be blamed. DDCA must have been on something when they prepared this pitch. Intead of cutting grass, using road rollers

  • NRPOnline on December 28, 2009, 22:14 GMT

    There was an article sometime back about Viv Richards being the master blaster without wearing helmet. I wonder where are those former players now who spoke highly about Sir Viv and belittled all the current paper tigers who wear helmets and synthetic pads so they can portray themselves daredevil. Chetan Chauhan is right about SL chickening out. I would have said the same if Indian were on the receiving end. I remember Indian batsmen getting hurt in west indies due to variable bounce. Not to mention, some of the wkts in NZ are also not playable. Nobody seems to have any problems with that including ICC. If Kotla was redone 4 times in 5 yrs then it is obvious that it will take time to settle down. And that time is far greater than 23.3 over I assume. It is BCCI's mistake in hosting the game at Kotla versus the curators. I think saching the curators and the supporting zonal representatives is like trying to cure the symptom than the root cause.

  • TwitterJitter on December 28, 2009, 22:10 GMT

    TimesofIndia is a jingoistic Indian newspaper more interested in sensationalizing news than reporting facts. They are experts at Pakistan bashing given any opportunity. They create a false impression that everyone in India is a Pakistan basher. They were also leading sensationalizers of "racist attacks in Australia" as they call it all in the bid to win ratings war. Arnab Goswamy is the culprit-in charge although they have another idiot called Boria Majumdar who calls himself a historian. Of late, with BCCI putting strict conditions on media organizations stealing and showing cricket content without proper permissions they have fallen out with BCCI and they use every possible opportunity to get revenge at the board. They are a mirror image of an Australian media outlet called "Australian". Less news and more opinions and sensation. I don't put give much credence to whatever TimesofIndia says. Indian Express, Hindu and a few others are far more credible news outlets.

  • Itchy on December 28, 2009, 22:04 GMT

    Anit, bouncy pitches are still part of pitches in Australia, SA and WI - the difference is that these pitches offer consistent bounce. From all accounts the Kotla pitch was very inconsistent and was derided by people such as Sunil Gavaskar before the match started. Accept the fact that the match should not have been played on this pitch.

    Cnandu: not sure if the BCCI would appreciate, or even accept, the ICC saying "You will not...." to them on such an issue. The author has quoted from the ICC report rather than inserting the full text of the document so it is impossible to determine the context of the included comments The ICC has made a series of recommendations which have not been appropriately dealt with so it is obvious that somebody in the chain of command has failed.

  • edward_smythe on December 28, 2009, 21:27 GMT

    Amen, Anitpatel! And don't forget to mention that the ICC will find any excuse to criticize India (much as the UN and the NGOs do to the US, and the Africans do to the UK). The world cannot be run by crybaby bureaucrats with hidden agenda. I say India takes its ball and goes home, for a year. That is the only way for a superpower to act when faced with endless sniping from has-been losers.

  • edward_smythe on December 28, 2009, 21:24 GMT

    More ICC bureaucratic bs. In the 1970s and 80s, it was common for batsmen to face the likes of the Windies Quartet, Lillee, Thompson, WITHOUT HELMETS, and for the balls to whiz past the face. And what would Sir Don and Nari Contractor have to say about 'dangerous' pitches?? This is all b'coz today's batsmen are a coddled group (Sir Viv is 100% right!), and want lollypops they can deposit over midoff from outside leg. And of course, any excuse to bash India (as lesser powers are always doing to superpowers in any arena). I say declare this an SL forefeit, and move on.

  • rookie4u on December 28, 2009, 20:11 GMT

    Sometime back there had been talks of setting-up a committe that would try and monitor pitches so that there would be some kinda consistency in standard of cricket pitches. At-least there could be something in place that would make sure that a evenly balanced contest between bat and ball. Time and time again, the indian sub-continent pitches have been below standard. Especially, the indian pitches has been very bad. Last series with SL was a very good example when even Indian players came-out openly to critisize. Looks-like the board has been trying this strategy to have home advantage. But, i think they have gone far to secure a series win which will eventually end-up spoiling India's image and test cricket wud die. This i see is a prime reason why india fail to produce real quality seam bolwers in abundance.

  • Nisar_Awan_DXB on December 28, 2009, 18:55 GMT

    Hi Friends,i would like to tell u that i am a Pakistani person..... First of all you should not forget that curators in Pakistan & India are the best. Please don't criticise them a lot. Yes the pitch was bad, odd deliveries took off, so wot ??? It all happened because they wanted to give a supporting wicket, which helps bat n ball equally, it went wrong. Yeah if u ppl will keep criticising them, next time another batting paradise will be provided n surely its gonna be shame to cricket..... mates see 2nd test between pak n nea zealand was appreciated a lot because of balance between bat n ball,,,, so please tell your ppl, not to criticise but make it sure that u r with them in this difficult time.......

  • nick_japan_2007 on December 28, 2009, 18:49 GMT

    Maybe the pitch report from the ICC was still going through the bureaucratic process

  • Bachchu1949 on December 28, 2009, 18:47 GMT

    It is unfair and arrogant of Chetan Chauhan of DDCA to suggest that the SL Team 'Chickened out'. We like to see cricket as agame of skill and not a game you win by injuring your opponents and I felt quite disgusted at seeing SL batsmen being hurt by unexpected bounce and this was no fault of either team. Surely Mr Chauhan is not suggesting that we should go back to the bad old days and play in bad pitches or without helmets? The DDCA also appears as a law unto itself and refuses to listen to any warning or advice regarding preparation of cricket pitches resulting in the humiliating abandonment of the match on Sunday and for the world to see. Shame on you DDCA!

  • skpsarathi on December 28, 2009, 17:56 GMT

    The commentators are anyhowing submitting their pitchreport before the start of every math. why did they not say that the pitch is not good, and why did the match was allowed to played....?

  • JohnFernando on December 28, 2009, 17:43 GMT

    guys get the facts right and then talk. If the ball is always keeping a bit low its fine. or if its always bouncy then too its fine. but when one ball keeps very low and the next goes right above the batsmans head while pichting on the same spot, thats extremely dangerous. read the feature on cricinfo 'Toe to head in one over'. no body wants a bloody contest. read 'Former players lead criticism of Delhi pitch'. only Mr.Chetan Chauhan disagrees, when even the greats like sunil gavaskar is criticizing the pitch and agrees with the abandonment. its a joke why only Mr.Chauhan disagrees. official who are responsible for the pitch should resign or should be fired. read 'DDCA pitch panel members resign' and 'BCCI dissolves ground and pitches committee'. So get all the facts right before you speak out.

  • SatishPaniyur on December 28, 2009, 17:42 GMT

    Can't the world's richest cricket board take adequate care of one of their coveted cricket pitch? And why didn't ICC exercise its authority in denying the chance to host an international match, when the pitch condition needed "considerable improvement"? I guess the BCCI should have better infrastructure and improved pitch conditions high in their agenda, aside feverishly promoting T20.

  • CiMP on December 28, 2009, 17:42 GMT

    It was quite disappointing to see yet another match in India being abandoned due to an unfit pitch. Some reactions here have been defensive. What we need to do is aspire to be #1 in pitch preparations too so that any team that loses cannot take away the sheen of an India win by blaming the pitch. We should be world class in all infrastructure rather than seek to apportion blame.

  • Alikhan.dxb on December 28, 2009, 17:34 GMT

    I am really very disappointed with this situation. i am just thinking if these players got a seriouse injries and if they lose there future cricket then who is the responsible. i think both captans make a right decision to stop on such pitch. i think ICC should not allow this ground to host world cup so the rest of ground admintrators will care in future. i think players are more important then play ground

  • 9ST9 on December 28, 2009, 17:31 GMT

    What a contrast- from the Rajkot Belter to the Delhi mine-field. Pitches need to be more standardised. The true strength of sides can be evaluated only if playing conditions around the world are about similar. This is the case in many sports. There is n't even a fixed size for a cricket stadium. How would countries that have no cricket background consider it a professional sport in such circumstances? They talk of 2020 olympics. How can a non-standardised sport become an olympic event?

  • chandau on December 28, 2009, 17:28 GMT

    Nagraj, why dont you read this article out to Chetan Chauhan who has called Sri Lankan team chicken for no playing on. He has not only added insult to injury (literally) but also showed the whole world the inability of Indians to admit their low quality cricket infrastructure. Rather than admit a grave mistake he has taken the war path to undermine the sri lankan team and questioned why they played for 24 overs. May be he needs to understand the Spirit of Cricket, which we have won several times but INDIA will never for their holier than thou attitude. The whole world has witnessed how badly visiting teams are treated in India. Its all money for them. SHAME ON YOU!!! and we are still waiting for that apology for the pain of mind and body caused to the sri lankan cricketers by tour ineptitude. BCCI will have all the $$$ but never the class of sri lankan team and officers. Cheers

  • cricinme on December 28, 2009, 17:27 GMT

    The match should have gone on. Every match played so far have been batsman paradise so why not this one bowlers paradise. Even a score of 125-150 to chase would have been difficult and it would have been a close finish. Shame on the match referee to abandon the amtch. One must remember in the earlier days matches been played on dangerous pitches especially in West Indies and Newzealand and that too without proper padding and helmets, yet no one complained. The present day players are bound with an easy and painless attitude. Shame on all players. Sorry for the spectators.

  • JoydeepGupta on December 28, 2009, 17:27 GMT

    Kotla has never been an ideal venue for an international cricket match. The ground is very small, and used for many occasions other than cricket. The pitch has always been very slow and low. Today, when we have some good grounds like Mohali, Nagpur or Eden, Kotla doesn't deserve any match at all.

  • Hassaaan on December 28, 2009, 17:20 GMT

    Pakistan have been barred from hosting the world cup because of concern over players' security. Well.. what guarantees security of the players in india when they've got pitches like this? It was an absolute shocker of a pitch! It could've resulted in some serious injuries to players on either side had the game carried on. So, those who're suggesting that the game should've continued are out of their minds. One can understand a pitch deteriorating over a 5-day test, but a pitch behaving in this manner in the first innings of an ODI is not acceptable at all. Chetan Chauhan said that Sri Lanka "chickened out" - what a moronic statement. I think they were really brave to stay out there for even 23.3 overs. The match was rightly called off.

  • sanath007 on December 28, 2009, 17:13 GMT

    it was a terrible pitch to play on..shame on d curator

  • Xasa on December 28, 2009, 17:02 GMT

    Again Chethan Chauhan says SL chickend out because they were 83/5. I am an Indian - but am sure India could have fared even worse! What a thing to say!

  • Xasa on December 28, 2009, 16:55 GMT

    Interstingly i watched on TV Chethan Chauhan saying only 9 balls were dangerous out of 22 overs. Hard to impagine saying such a thing - it was like saying only 9 cricket careers could have been destroyed. Contast that with Bishen Bedi saying the match should have been called off as soon as Dishan was hit in the inital overs....

  • Xasa on December 28, 2009, 16:51 GMT

    I think DDCA is too complacent about anything just the way anything connected with Delhi is....

    The right thing to do would be to ban the ground for 2 years and and not allow Kotla to host any international or national events - it is important such a tep is taken so that the cricket associations take things seriosuly and there is no such recorrence.

  • nafzak on December 28, 2009, 16:20 GMT

    They find all reasons to knock India these days. 1. They maybe #1 in Test, but they mostly win at home. 2. South Africa is the real #1 according to Australian player survey. 3. Who really cares about who's #1 in Test cricket anyway ( wink, wink..unless it was a team filled with white players)? 4. Until there is a Test championship, #1 in Test does not matter. 5. They have all those flat pitches that favours batsmen and that's why the Indian batsmen score so much. And the colonial mentality continues.. that white men from England and Australia are the best managers, the best coaches, the best at running the ICC, the best curators of pitches and cricket grounds, the best at umpiring, the most honest umpires and referees (hello Chris Broad!), the best Captains and the list goes on. If a coloured player is great, it is because he is born that way and if a white player is great, it is because he is intelligigent. That is why, I, a West Indian, root for Modi to stick it to them!

  • avis1001 on December 28, 2009, 16:18 GMT

    Can the pitch be built artificially and then brought on site so that consistency can be achieved and there by these things will not get repeated. Also, based on Captains and umpires decisions, they can select any of -- fast, medium or slow pitches. I think this may become a serious business if any one interested and would like to put some investment on it.

  • Ilin on December 28, 2009, 15:53 GMT

    I still dont understand that where the pitch has gone wrong?what was the reasons to call the pitch unfit?there were only few patches of grass from where the ball was carrying a good bounce...just simple.from where that dangerous factor has come?was there any low bounce which hurt any player.....no man.in newzealand 2002-2003 season,india played lot of matches on similar type of pitches.and who can forget the brisbane pitch.Actually it was due to the low score of sri lanka,which force them to withdraw.it was bad sportsmanship.HOW CAN U REALISE THE UNFIT CONDITION OF PITCH AFTER 24 OVERS instead of 5-10 overs?if the runs will be coming easily,then there would be no problem for sangakkara and co.,but when they were losing then he realise that he should discontinue.WHY LANKANS DECLEARED THE PITCH UNFIT AFTER PLAYING HALF OF THEIR OVERS?because they lost 5 wickets for 63,and it was sure that they wont be able to win.its a shame.

  • TwitterJitter on December 28, 2009, 15:52 GMT

    A better solution to this would be before assigning venues for any series, the BCCI fixtures committee should get a certificate from ICC pitches committee that they are okay for play, and only then can be suitable for being assigned. The certificate should be valid for a 4-month period. Once assigned, the pitches should not be tampered with until the game is complete. Also, the same pitch can be reused for future assignments within that 4-month period as long as the pitches are not tampered with, in that window. In this case, the intentions of DDCA in re-laying of the soil in the pitch were good. However, they should not have been assigned any international fixture without a couple of domestic games being played first to the satisfaction. This will discourage other associations from tampering with their pitches and we might see more flatter pitches in future as they all play safe.

  • sankar2178 on December 28, 2009, 15:47 GMT

    It is such a shame on part of the so called supreme cricket board in the world to not take care of the pitch on which a ODI match is being played.They are more busy or eager in formulating rules for the IPL-3 that they are forgetting the international cricket.I think even the govt of india should intervene in this issue as this incident is linked with the national pride and honour.

  • used_to_be_a_player on December 28, 2009, 15:28 GMT

    Shame on ICC and BCCI. ICC for not issuing a statement categorically banning any international matches till the time the pitch meets the standards. BCCI should have a better control on the Indian pitches. It may sound nice to fire the pitch-management team as a reactive measure but how come they did not have a pro-active measure to monitor and govern the effectiveness of these teams.

  • Tiptop32 on December 28, 2009, 15:20 GMT

    I agree with Mr.ruvvy. Delhi exposed modern day batsmen. They cant take any challenge with all the protection they had. It is shame that the play is called off. They did not complain when they scored 400 runs. Modern day Batsman are hypocrites. Bowlers should not play if opponent scores above 250 runs. I just wonder how these batsman would have played against former WI greats in uncovered pitches. BCCI will teach a hard lesson SLCB. Lanka wont get any India tour in near future (Remeber India tour is Gold biscuit for all the boards which no one can afford to miss).

  • AvidCricFan on December 28, 2009, 14:12 GMT

    I am equally disappointed by the team deciding to abandon the game. The game should have been carried on. India in the past has played test matches on very hostile grounds. The chin music was a normal thing in Australia and West Indies for the Indian team until early 90's. There were no abandonments at that time. I think the modern-day cricket players are trained to play in the most benign conditions only.

  • ruvvy on December 28, 2009, 12:34 GMT

    If we can keep this in mind and compare the so called current great batsmen and the erstwhile great batsman we will understand how difficult it was to play on uncovered pitches left to the vagaries of weather. Current players are mere paper tigers good for flat pitches (all included)

  • ripu1983 on December 28, 2009, 11:26 GMT

    One good option is to hire professional curators from either Australia or South Africa,England etc.so that good sporting and hard bouncy ptches are prepared in India.This is go a long way in development of our domestic talents.

  • cnandu on December 28, 2009, 10:47 GMT

    Why did the ICC not say categorically that no matches should be played before the improvements were carried out satisfactorily rather than just a politically correct disclaimer to say:

    ""There is an ODI at this venue on 27th December 2009 and considerable improvement of the pitch block will be required by then to make the pitch provided more acceptable"

    More acceptable, does not mean that the pitch is 'unacceptable' which is what they should have said.

    So there is no need to look for scapegoats. The ICC pitch inspection team should accept responsibility

  • EjazMahmood on December 28, 2009, 9:16 GMT

    Can we ask Lalit Modi to import some good foreign pitches just like foreign players as we don't have either of them in here.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • EjazMahmood on December 28, 2009, 9:16 GMT

    Can we ask Lalit Modi to import some good foreign pitches just like foreign players as we don't have either of them in here.

  • cnandu on December 28, 2009, 10:47 GMT

    Why did the ICC not say categorically that no matches should be played before the improvements were carried out satisfactorily rather than just a politically correct disclaimer to say:

    ""There is an ODI at this venue on 27th December 2009 and considerable improvement of the pitch block will be required by then to make the pitch provided more acceptable"

    More acceptable, does not mean that the pitch is 'unacceptable' which is what they should have said.

    So there is no need to look for scapegoats. The ICC pitch inspection team should accept responsibility

  • ripu1983 on December 28, 2009, 11:26 GMT

    One good option is to hire professional curators from either Australia or South Africa,England etc.so that good sporting and hard bouncy ptches are prepared in India.This is go a long way in development of our domestic talents.

  • ruvvy on December 28, 2009, 12:34 GMT

    If we can keep this in mind and compare the so called current great batsmen and the erstwhile great batsman we will understand how difficult it was to play on uncovered pitches left to the vagaries of weather. Current players are mere paper tigers good for flat pitches (all included)

  • AvidCricFan on December 28, 2009, 14:12 GMT

    I am equally disappointed by the team deciding to abandon the game. The game should have been carried on. India in the past has played test matches on very hostile grounds. The chin music was a normal thing in Australia and West Indies for the Indian team until early 90's. There were no abandonments at that time. I think the modern-day cricket players are trained to play in the most benign conditions only.

  • Tiptop32 on December 28, 2009, 15:20 GMT

    I agree with Mr.ruvvy. Delhi exposed modern day batsmen. They cant take any challenge with all the protection they had. It is shame that the play is called off. They did not complain when they scored 400 runs. Modern day Batsman are hypocrites. Bowlers should not play if opponent scores above 250 runs. I just wonder how these batsman would have played against former WI greats in uncovered pitches. BCCI will teach a hard lesson SLCB. Lanka wont get any India tour in near future (Remeber India tour is Gold biscuit for all the boards which no one can afford to miss).

  • used_to_be_a_player on December 28, 2009, 15:28 GMT

    Shame on ICC and BCCI. ICC for not issuing a statement categorically banning any international matches till the time the pitch meets the standards. BCCI should have a better control on the Indian pitches. It may sound nice to fire the pitch-management team as a reactive measure but how come they did not have a pro-active measure to monitor and govern the effectiveness of these teams.

  • sankar2178 on December 28, 2009, 15:47 GMT

    It is such a shame on part of the so called supreme cricket board in the world to not take care of the pitch on which a ODI match is being played.They are more busy or eager in formulating rules for the IPL-3 that they are forgetting the international cricket.I think even the govt of india should intervene in this issue as this incident is linked with the national pride and honour.

  • TwitterJitter on December 28, 2009, 15:52 GMT

    A better solution to this would be before assigning venues for any series, the BCCI fixtures committee should get a certificate from ICC pitches committee that they are okay for play, and only then can be suitable for being assigned. The certificate should be valid for a 4-month period. Once assigned, the pitches should not be tampered with until the game is complete. Also, the same pitch can be reused for future assignments within that 4-month period as long as the pitches are not tampered with, in that window. In this case, the intentions of DDCA in re-laying of the soil in the pitch were good. However, they should not have been assigned any international fixture without a couple of domestic games being played first to the satisfaction. This will discourage other associations from tampering with their pitches and we might see more flatter pitches in future as they all play safe.

  • Ilin on December 28, 2009, 15:53 GMT

    I still dont understand that where the pitch has gone wrong?what was the reasons to call the pitch unfit?there were only few patches of grass from where the ball was carrying a good bounce...just simple.from where that dangerous factor has come?was there any low bounce which hurt any player.....no man.in newzealand 2002-2003 season,india played lot of matches on similar type of pitches.and who can forget the brisbane pitch.Actually it was due to the low score of sri lanka,which force them to withdraw.it was bad sportsmanship.HOW CAN U REALISE THE UNFIT CONDITION OF PITCH AFTER 24 OVERS instead of 5-10 overs?if the runs will be coming easily,then there would be no problem for sangakkara and co.,but when they were losing then he realise that he should discontinue.WHY LANKANS DECLEARED THE PITCH UNFIT AFTER PLAYING HALF OF THEIR OVERS?because they lost 5 wickets for 63,and it was sure that they wont be able to win.its a shame.