BCCI disbands grounds and pitches committee

Following the Kotla pitch fiasco, the BCCI has disbanded its grounds and pitches committee with immediate effect.

updated: April 16, 2010 08:57 IST
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New Delhi:

The BCCI on Sunday scrapped its grounds and pitches committee with immediate effect after the final one-dayer between India and Sri Lanka was called off due to a dangerous Feroz Shah Kotla pitch.

"The BCCI has disbanded its grounds and pitches committee with immediate effect," BCCI Secretary N Srinivasan, who is also the convenor of the committee, said in a statement on Sunday.

It was headed by Daljit Singh, the chief BCCI curator. Apart from Daljit, who also represents the North Zone, other members of the committee are - Dhiraj Prasanna (West Zone curator), Ritul Das (East Zone), PR Vishwanathan (South Zone), Rajiv Gokhale (Central).

Daljit, along with umpires and match referee Alan Hurst, had inspected the tricky Kotla track as well as the wicket laid adjacent to it after the game was stopped. The decision to call it off came after an hour and ten minutes.

After India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and asked Sri Lanka to bat first, the visiting batsmen found themselves on a tricky track where the odd ball bounced alarmingly.

Sri Lankan opener Tillakaratne Dilshan was hurt by such a delivery from Ashish Nehra, which had him in pain and receiving on-field treatment.

Veteran Sanath Jayasuriya was also at the receiving end of the poor pitch, sustaining many a blow on his upper arm and wrist.

The match was into its 24th over when Sri Lankan batsman Thilina Kandamby complained to the umpires and the match was eventually called off.

It was the second instance when a match was called off due to dangerous playing conditions. Last time it happened in 1997 during an ODI between India and Sri Lanka in Indore, when the match was stopped after just three overs and the ICC banned the venue for two years.

The Kotla Stadium might also face the ICC's wrath, as according to ICC's latest code of conduct regarding poor pitches, first such breach should be met with a suspension of the venue's international status for a period of between 12 and 24 months.

The low scoring Kotla track at the inaugural Champions League this year which was followed by an India-Australia ODI, under the supervision of BCCI pitches and grounds committee chairman Daljit Singh and new curator Vijay Bahadur Mishra, was given a facelift last month with a tinge of grass cover on it.

The preparation of the pitch was done by Mishra, who began the process on November 8 which left the organisers with nearly 50 days to ready the track for the match.

Delhi District Cricket Association (DDCA) Vice-president Chetan Chauhan, who is also the pitches and grounds committee chairman for the state association had earlier refused to take the blame and said the pitch was prepared as per the instructions from the BCCI technicians.

Earlier during a West Zone Ranji Trophy match between Gujrat and Maharashtra in Rajkot, the pitch was found to be woeful. It was a league match where this problem cropped up.