A major controversy has emerged in the run-up to the highly anticipated semifinal match between India and New Zealand in the ongoing ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023.
1st ICC WC Semi-Final Between India and New Zealand
The first semifinal of the 13th ICC World Cup is taking place today (November 15) at Mumbai’s renowned Wankhede Stadium.
India, who finished first in the points standings during the league round, will face fourth-placed New Zealand in the first semi-final.
However, only a few hours before kickoff, the pitch has become a big talking point.
Accusation on BCCI
Following the confirmation of the location for India’s semifinal match, sources suggested that the hosts had requested that a slow pitch be built.
And now it has been revealed that Indian officials have changed the pitch for the crucial match against the Black Caps.
The pitches for an ICC competition are prepared under the supervision of the governing body’s consultant, according to the rules.
The game’s governing body decides on the surface to be utilized in advance.
The accord, according to the Daily Mail, has been ignored by Indian officials.
ICC Expert Andy Atkinson and the BCCI
The pitch for the semifinal had already been agreed upon by ICC expert Andy Atkinson and the BCCI.
The parties involved chose an unused pitch for the semifinal match between India and New Zealand.
However, the match will now be played on a surface that has already been used twice during the competition.
The utilized surface will very likely aid India’s strong spin attack.
Alleged WhatsApp Message
According to the allegation, a WhatsApp message was sent to 50 Indian and ICC officials, indicating that the semifinal will be played on field No. 6, rather than pitch No. 7.
The No. 6 pitch had previously held league games between England and South Africa, as well as India and Sri Lanka.
According to reports, Indian officials informed Atkinson of an unidentified concern with the No. 7 surface.
Reservations on the Final Pitch
According to the British news agency, there are also reservations over the pitch that will be utilized for the final.
The match is set to take place on November 19 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
The final pitch could be changed unilaterally, as it was during the league stage.
Atkinson had conveyed his displeasure with the Indian officials’ behavior in an email to his ICC bosses.
He allegedly remarked that the adjustments were made “without proper notice or forewarning.”
ICC Expert Suggestion
According to the news outlet, Atkinson suggested that the final be played on pitch No. 5, which has only been utilized once before.
The ICC consultant recently discovered, however, that the final would be played on No 6, which had previously been used twice and would certainly generate greater spin.
When Atkinson questioned the officials, the BCCI and the Gujarat Cricket Association began pointing fingers.
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