T20 WC: NY pitches 'bordering on dangerous', says Flower

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | June 06, 2024 IST

New York Stadium

New York, June 6: Challenging pitches in New York during the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024 have sparked lot o debates. Several former cricketers from different nations have expressed their dissatisfaction and have condemned the match surfaces.

Joining the long list, former England head coach Andy Flower has said pitches at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium are "bordering on dangerous" in the ongoing Men’s T20 World Cup.

Flower’s comments come after India beat Ireland by eight wickets, with the pitch and slow outfield coming under heavy scrutiny.

On Wednesday, India bowled Ireland out for just 96, with the drop-in pitch having excessive swing and variable bounce, which was uneven on various occasions in the game, leading to batters like Rohit Sharma and Rishabh Pant suffering blows. On Monday, Sri Lanka were bowled out for 77, as South Africa won the match on a challenging pitch at the venue.

"I’ve got to say that is not a good surface to play international cricket on. It is bordering on dangerous. We saw the ball bouncing from a length both ways, keeping low occasionally but in the main bouncing unusually high and striking people on the thumb, gloves, and helmet.

 “It proved very, very tricky batting conditions for any side, let alone a smaller, cricketing nation like Ireland taking on the giants of India," said Flower, the former Zimbabwe cricketer who’s a leading coach in franchise T20 cricket, to ESPNCricinfo.

Former India batter Sanjay Manjrekar agreed with Flower’s views and felt the issues with pitches at New York may not be solved easily. "They have a problem on their hands. Inherently, I think there is something wrong with the base of the surface. We’ve seen dangerous pitches before as well at the international level.

"It seems the cart has been put before the horse. With all the excitement of getting cricket in New York, the most important thing, which is the pitch, isn’t living up to the hype. But something’s gone wrong with the preparations, where either the pitch has been under-prepared or something that is beyond their control.

"This seems more like something beyond their control where they put in a lot of work in trying to get the right surface in the Big Apple and all that,” he concluded.

Ireland will be back at the venue to play Canada on Friday, followed by the Netherlands taking on South Africa on Saturday and the marquee India-Pakistan clash scheduled on Sunday.

Though the standard of pitches in New York have been severely criticised by teams, coaching staff and former players, the matches are unlikely to be shifted elsewhere. 

Teams have to find ways to play their matches on those challenging surfaces to keep alive their World Cup campaigns. (With IANS support)

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  • T20 World Cup 2024

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