IPL 2010 March 1, 2010

Kotla pitch improvements on course for IPL

Cricinfo staff

The pitch at the Feroz Shah Kotla, which was severely criticised following the abandonment of the India-Sri Lanka ODI on December 27, has passed the scrutiny of Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, chairman of the IPL cricket committee.

Pataudi inspected the pitch on Sunday in the presence of Arun Jaitley, the Delhi & District Cricket Association president, and Venkat Sundaram, who oversaw the repair work on the surface. "It's looking good, I am happy with the work Venkat has put in," Pataudi told PTI. "We will play practice matches here soon and only then we will be able to get a clear picture. Till now, it appears good to me."

Sundaram was pleased with Pataudi's assessment of the conditions at the ground. "Pataudi had a look at the pitch, the outfield and the practice arrangements here at the stadium and expressed satisfaction," he said. "He is happy with the work done here and expressed confidence that matches will be played out well during the Indian Premier League."

The Kotla wicket first came under scrutiny during the Champions League Twenty20 in October when the pitch was slow and offered uneven bounce. Following a low-scoring ODI between India and Australia in October, the pitch behaved alarmingly in the India-Sri Lanka game which was called off after 23.3 overs. The ICC then slapped the DDCA with a one-year suspension of international matches at the Kotla. Since then, Sundaram's team has worked against the clock to ready the pitch in time for the IPL, which begins on March 12.