Mills slams small New Zealand grounds
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