Kotla pitch 'poor' not 'unfit': BCCI to tell ICC

The BCCI top brass met on Sunday to draft their reply to the ICC showcause notice on the December 27 pitch fiasco at Feroz Shah Kotla.

updated: January 04, 2010 14:48 IST
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The BCCI top brass met here on Sunday to draft their reply to the ICC showcause notice on the December 27 pitch fiasco at Feroz Shah Kotla so that the venue evades an international ban and gets away with a fine.

Top BCCI officials, including Board president Shashank Manohar and Delhi and District Cricket Association chief Arun Jaitley, met here to draft the Cricket Board's reply to the ICC showcause notice on the episode that led to the abandonment of the fifth and final India-Sri Lanka ODI after the wicket in Delhi was found too dangerous to play.

According to sources, BCCI, in its response, would stress on the point that while the pitch may have been "poor", it was not "unfit" altogether.

"If the pitch is deemed just 'poor', you can pay the fine and get away with it. But if it's considered 'unfit', that would entail a 1-2 year ban which the Board just doesn't want since Kotla is also a 2011 World Cup venue," a source said.

Accordingly, BCCI is preparing a dossier on the entire episode and would base their arguments on the fact that play continued till the 24th over in that match before the officials abandoned the game.

According to sources, BCCI would point out that of the 130-odd balls bowled in that fateful match, merely seven behaved awkwardly -- either rising alarmingly or keeping low.

Incidentally, DDCA vice president and former player Chetan Chauhan had used the same argument to claim that the match officials made a haste in abandoning the match.

Once ICC receives BCCI's response, Chief Match Referee Ranjan Madugalle and ICC General Manager (Cricket) Dav Richardson would take a final decision on the issue.

If the track is established as 'poor', Kotla would get away with a $15,000 fine with a directive for appropriate corrective actions.

On the other hand, if the pitch is found 'unfit', it may lead to a suspension of Kotla's status as a venue for international matches from 1-2 year.