Connect with us

Cricket

ICC confident of drop-in pitches at T20 WC

Published

on

The International Cricket Council’s (ICC) pet project, the stadium with temporary stands coming up at Nassau County, over an hour’s drive from New York City, is nearing completion. The 34,000-seater stadium will host eight T20 World Cup matches next month, including the India-Pakistan showdown.

In an aerial view, construction continues on the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium at Eisenhower Park on April 22, 2024 in East Meadow, New York. The site will be the host to the ICC World Cup 2024 in June of this year.(Getty Images via AFP)

Contrary to general belief, the outfield is “as big as the Gabba, the Oval or the Wankhede”, according to ICC’s head of events, Chris Tetley. “It will be 75 yards East-West and 67 North-South. It’s not a token-sized playing field by any stretch of imagination. It’s a full-fledged cricket ground and one that we are very proud of,” Tetley told select media.

Unlock exclusive access to the latest news on India’s general elections, only on the HT App. Download Now! Download Now!

Unlike T20 games around the world, the ICC claims it does not bring the boundary rope in. In IPL for example, spinner Ravichandran Ashwin recently pointed out that the boundary has been shortened by 10 yards due to LED sponsorship boards. That and the Impact player rule have resulted in teams scoring 200-plus totals on 37 occasions until Tuesday, already a joint record with IPL 2023.

DROP-IN PITCH

The pitches for the World Cup, particularly for the Caribbean leg, are expected to play slow. Teams like England and Australia are playing their entire World Cup in the West Indies while India and Pakistan will play all their league matches in the USA. “Pitch variations (nature of the surface) are a feature of cricket. It was the same when we had the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia. Different venues will have slightly different characteristics. It’s part of the charm of the game,” said Tetley.

There’s a fair amount of curiosity over how the drop-in pitches at New York will behave. “We are after pace, bounce, where players can play their shots…not a lot of seam or spin. You can never predict but that is what we are trying to achieve,” said Damian Hough, head curator of Adelaide Oval, who is overseeing pitch operations at New York.

“People shouldn’t be concerned about drop-in pitches. In Australia, some of the best cricket is played on these pitches. All I will say is let’s embrace technology. It’s here for a reason. There was a shorter time frame here. It was snowing here ten weeks ago. There was no other option. We are happy with the way we are rolling out,” he added.

Some community games will be played to test the ground in New York over the next two weeks and then a few pre-tournament warm-ups before the first match is played in New York on June 3 between Sri Lanka and South Africa. India are likely to play their only warm-up match at New York.

Continue Reading