The Kotla pitch fiasco December 28, 2009

'It's a hair transplant pitch'

ESPNcricinfo staff
The unsafe pitch for the fifth India-Sri Lanka ODI, at the Kotla, had the players, the press and officials in a tizzy

"It's a hair transplant pitch with bald patches …"
Sunil Gavaskar calls it right during the inspection ahead of the start of the game

"Luckily, most of our batsmen were left-handers, so the ball was actually going away from them. If there were right-handers batting, they would've probably got hit on the chest or head."
Mahela Jayawardene on how Sri Lanka managed to escape with bruises

"I took blows on my helmet, shoulder, knuckles... Batting was tough, but I had to stay put."
Sanath Jayasuriya tells his tale of horror

"Our failure, including mine, was not to insist on having trial games on the pitch before allowing an international match to take place."
Sacked curator Daljit Singh accepts responsibility

"What happened today at the Feroz Shah Kotla was a national embarrassment."
Sharad Pawar, the ICC president-in-waiting, and former BCCI president, is contrite

"It should not have happened. I watched the match a bit on TV and it was terrible to see such an incident taking place."
India's sports minister MS Gill echoes Pawar's sentiments

"We tested the two pitches using net bowlers and the bounce on this one seemed better. We didn't expect this."
The Kotla pitch curator Vijay Bahadur Mishra defends himself

"Instead of cutting the grass, they rolled it down with a heavy roller. And the blades of the rolled grass rose back when the ball landed on them, causing sharp bounce."
Former Kotla pitch curator Radheshyam explains how to make an unsafe pitch

"If the DDCA does not take any step then I will force them to."
Vibhakar Shastri, the government nominee to the DDCA, acts tough

"What is particularly troubling about the entire affair is that the world's richest cricket board cannot ensure the basic playing conditions needed to stage international matches. This raises the question as to what the BCCI does with the enormous sums of money that it makes from the game."
A Times of India editorial slams the Indian board for the fiasco

"The DDCA [Delhi & Districts Cricket Association] needs to be put in the dog house."
Former Indian captain Bishan Bedi is at his school-masterly best

"We have sought BCCI's comment and given them 14 days time to respond. Thereafter, Ranjan Madugalle and Dave Richardson will determine the issue to decide what is an appropriate sanction."
Haroon Lorgat, the ICC chief executive, on what happens next

"This pitch did not allow players to play with any confidence and was totally unsuitable for international cricket."
Match referee Alan Hurst gives the Kotla pitch the lowest possible classification in his report to the ICC

"Sri Lanka were at 83 for 5 and that's why they backed out... it was the Sri Lankans who chickened out."
Chetan Chauhan, the DDCA vice-president and former India player, feels the pitch was not unsafe enough to abandon play