IPL monitor: Round-up of the day's news

A dicey pitch, and the arrival of Rajasthan's stars

April 21, 2008

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VVS Laxman, like many others, thought th Kolkata pitch was "shocking" (file photo) © Getty Images
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Desperate situations call for desperate measures
Following Sunday's pitch controversy at Eden Gardens, the Kolkata Knight Riders has asked the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) to hire an Australian pitch consultant to ensure better playing surfaces for the six remaining home games. The Indian board has also asked Daljit Singh, the chairman of its grounds and wickets committee, to inspect the surface in Kolkata.

Eden pitch makes headlines for the wrong reasons
Despite a low-scoring thriller that saw the Kolkata Knight Riders overcome the Deccan Chargers, the pitch at the Eden Gardens came in for much criticism. It displayed uneven bounce, and looked more like a fifth-day pitch. VVS Laxman, who was struck on his gloves from a delivery from Ishant Sharma, termed the pitch as "shocking", while Ricky Ponting revealed to a television channel that the curator, Kalyan Mitra, had apologised to the Kolkata team for the same.

A day of disruptions
The tense stages of the Kolkata match saw a flood-light failure adding to the drama, holding up the game for 30 minutes. Interestingly the two teams - Kolkata and Hyderabad - were tied on Duckworth-Lewis calculations at that point. The lights were to later come on, allowing the home side to clinch a thrilling win.

There was an interruption before the start of the Mumbai game as well. Eight minutes were lost when groundsmen and volunteers cleared the debris left after the fireworks that marked the host team's first encounter.

Rajasthan Royals finally get hold of their players
Rajasthan, who were struggling without their foreign signings, received a boost after it emerged that Graeme Smith will join the Rajasthan Royals earlier than expected. This is because his domestic side, the Cape Cobras, lost their Pro20 semi-final encounter against the Titans in Cape Town yesterday. Smith, if his team had progressed to the final, would have only been able to leave South Africa on April 26. Rajasthan will be further strengthened by the arrival of the Pakistan trio - Younis Khan, Kamran Akmal, and Sohail Tanvir - who played in a Twenty20 international in Karachi yesterday to complete the home series against Bangladesh.

No easy pass
None of Mumbai's former Test cricketers were invited to watch the IPL match yesterday, Mid-Day reports. Out of 66 Test players produced by Mumbai, 37 are alive but none were handed passes to watch the Mumbai Indians take on the Bangalore Royal Challengers. The Mumbai Cricket Association argued that this wasn't their event.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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