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ICC breaks silence on criticism over New York pitch conditions ahead of blockbuster India vs Pakistan clash

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The International Cricket Council (ICC) has released an official statement addressing the criticism surrounding the drop-in pitches at the ongoing T20 World Cup in New York. The statement comes after a below-par surface during the match between India and Ireland at the venue, where the latter were bowled out for just 96. While the Irish batters did lack the application on certain dismissals, the uneven bounce troubled the batters throughout the match.

India’s captain Rohit Sharma bats for a half century during the ICC men’s Twenty20 World Cup 2024 group A cricket match between India and Ireland(AFP)

The ICC acknowledged the need for improvement in its statement, particularly ahead of the highly anticipated India-Pakistan match at Nassau County Ground on June 9. Efforts are also being made to enhance the playing conditions for the remaining six games in New York. Concerns were raised that the India-Pakistan clash might also turn into a low-scoring affair, with a considerable advantage for the team winning the toss and electing to bat.

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“T20 Inc and the ICC recognise that the pitches used so far at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium have not played as consistently as we would have all wanted. The world-class grounds team have been working hard since the conclusion of yesterday’s game to remedy the situation and deliver the best possible surfaces for the remaining matches,” ICC stated.

According to Cricbuzz, the ICC officials also believe the inconsistent bounce is due to “green veins” on the pitch. The cricketing body has commenced top-dressing the surfaces of the four drop-in pitches at Eisenhower Park in Long Island. By pressing and levelling these grass veins, the ICC will aim to create more consistent and fair playing conditions.

Arch-rivals clash on Sunday

India captain Rohit Sharma, who was retired hurt after facing a blow to the arm while batting against Ireland, stated that the side will prepare for the Pakistan clash with a similar approach on the surface. Rohit, however, was bewildered by the track’s behaviour and conceded that he didn’t know what to expect from it against Pakistan. The team’s batting coach Vikram Rathour was a shade more reticent in his analysis.

“It is a challenging wicket as far as batting is concerned but this is what we have. So we need to find ways to deal with that,” Rathour said in the post-match press conference, placing the onus on his team to find ways to score.

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