MUMBAI, India: The Cricket World Cup-2023 has been hit by a storm as India are accused of switching the pitch before its clash with New Zealand in the first semi-final in Mumbai, against ICC agreement, to assist their spinners.
The Daily Mail claimed the Indian board have switched the pitch for the semi-final clash being played today. It said the semi-final will take place on a pitch that has already been used twice. And India could do the same if India reach final match to be played in Ahmedabad on Sunday where three of the four group games have been played on different surfaces from those on the schedule.
Pitches at ICC events are prepared under the direct supervision of the governing body’s consultant, Andy Atkinson, who agrees in advance with the home board which of the numbered strips on the square will be used for each game.
But Mail Sport claimed that the agreement has been ignored as the tournament reaches its climax, with the two semi-final set to take place on a pitch that has already been used twice – potentially assisting India’s world-class spinners in the game.
The pitch for today’s game at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium was supposed to be No 7, an entirely fresh surface that was not used for any of the four group matches.
But reports confirmed that the first semi-final had been moved to pitch No 6, which was used in matches between England and South Africa, plus India and Sri Lanka.
The matter was complicated by the fact that Andy Atkinson was told by the ICC’s senior events manager at the venue that the India v Pakistan game there on October 14 took place on pitch No 7, as per the schedule, when it actually took place on pitch No 5.