New Zealand news February 27, 2012

Mills slams small New Zealand grounds

ESPNcricinfo staff

Some of New Zealand's grounds have boundaries that are too small and pitches that are too flat, especially with the increasing power of bats, fast bowler Kyle Mills has said. Mills' comments came ahead of the second ODI between New Zealand and South Africa at McLean Park in Napier, where the square boundaries are a little over 50 metres long.

"I'm a bowler so I'm going to be a little bit biased. I think the wickets are too flat and the boundaries need to go out further," Mills told Fairfax NZ News. "The bats are all pretty good these days and a mis-hit can go for six.

"I think Hamilton is ridiculous. The ropes are 4m in from the [advertising] boards; that's absurd. Richard Levi probably would have got out three or four times if the rope was back on the boards."

Levi hit a record 13 sixes during his 117 off 51 balls, the fastest Twenty20 century, at Seddon Park. His first six was a top-edged sweep over the fine-leg boundary against the spinner Nathan McCullum.

Mills also called the length of the straight boundaries at Eden Park in Auckland "absurd".

"A good-sized cricket ground makes for exceptionally good batsmanship; we saw that at the Cake Tin [in Wellington], where there are reasonably sized boundaries," Mills said. "We saw plenty of ones, plenty of twos, and the odd three. It was great for people to watch a batter like [AB de Villiers] on a good-sized ground."

The ICC's playing conditions stipulate that the boundary rope must be at least three metres away from the fence/advertisement hoardings for safety reasons. It also says the shorter of the square boundaries should be a minimum of 59.43 metres and both the straight boundaries should be at least 64 metres. According to the playing conditions: "In all cases the aim shall be to provide the largest playing area, subject to no boundary exceeding 90 yards (82.29 meters) from the centre of the pitch to be used".

There is, however, a provision for cricket grounds that have smaller dimensions. "Any ground which has been approved to host international cricket prior to October 1, 2007, or which is currently under construction as of this date which is unable to conform to these new minimum dimensions, shall be exempt."

Edited by George Binoy

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Shulz Van on February 29, 2012, 10:03 GMT

    Stop this nonsense....Mills trying to find excuses...I dont see SA bowlers complaining as they are doing their job even in this small ground....If Levi utilized the small ground..what happened to NZ batsmen? The grounds were not broader when they batted? Please perform in the field than talking rubbish...or atleast back up your rubbish sledging with performance. SA slapped bowlers like Mills and Southee in the face with performances and taught them how to play proper cricket. If Steyn glares he atleast backs it up with performance. And please give some credit to the young lad (Levi) where it is appropriate.

  • Dummy4 on February 28, 2012, 17:38 GMT

    The quality of comments on this website is pathetic

  • Mike on February 28, 2012, 11:52 GMT

    What do you expect when you try and host cricket matches at rugby stadia ?

  • Chris on February 28, 2012, 10:45 GMT

    @Rzwan you said: " The matches in NZ are so boring to watch. Only Sixes and Fours. U dont see good fielding or running between the wickets"

    You must be joking mate! Were you watching the games? In the first ODI most runs scored were two's & singles... Did you watch AB's innings? and the fielding comment, cmon! We have witnessed some great cricket in the past few weeks :)

  • Mark on February 28, 2012, 10:45 GMT

    Yes, there should be a worldwide norm, but both teams play on the same size pitch. And then to try to take credit away from Levi's brilliant knock is just cheap. Surely if it was that easy, there would have been many more big scores in the game. Maybe that 'Levi Bloke' is good. Funny, if NZ had won, would he have complained? Or had A NZ player struck a 100, then it would be all fair hey Jonesy 2.

  • Chris on February 28, 2012, 9:30 GMT

    @Luke Haynes - I agree with you, both teams bowled and batted on the same ground... so it's not like one team was disadvantaged @jonesy2 - Levi did hit 117 on a small ground, but how many other small grounds are there, and why has only a handful of other batsmen hit 100's? Give the guy some credit for a good innings :)

    Cricket is the winner in the end! Good luck to both teams for the second ODI!

  • Dummy4 on February 28, 2012, 9:03 GMT


  • Dummy4 on February 28, 2012, 7:53 GMT

    he didnt make this comment when mccllum scored his t 20 100 against the aussies?

  • Ahsan on February 28, 2012, 7:44 GMT

    People who are saying that it's the same for both teams are not getting it. It's basically same for batsmen from both sides. I am sure Mills wouldn't like bowlers from the opposition to concede 6 runs of a top edge. The thing is , bowlers are being hit for a 6 when they could have picked up a wicket. What does a top edge mean? It means that the bowler deceived the batsman and the batsman was unable to time the ball properly hence the top edge, or the leading edge. Why should a batsmen get rewarded for a mistake? Agreed had his team won, he wouldn't have complained. But inside he still would not have felt good, because for his team to win, it would have required the bowlers from both sides being bashed and the batsmen making merry from both sides.

  • Kerry on February 28, 2012, 5:18 GMT

    It's becoming a farce. Tiny grounds are bad enough, but having the ropes in 4-5m is ridiculous. It's bad enough on the larger Australian grounds. Is it a directive from the game's administrators to generate more excitement through more boundaries? There are a lot of soft boundaries scored in modern cricket. Poor shots and mediocre batsmen are getting more than they deserve. I can just imagine how someone like Viv Richards would fare with today's bats, pitches and boundaries against the current crop of bowlers.

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