Pitch fiasco: One-year ban for Kotla

The ICC has confirmed that no international cricket will be played at the New Delhi ground until the end of December 2010.

updated: January 21, 2010 17:05 IST
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No international cricket will be staged at New Delhi's Feroz Shah Kotla stadium for one year after a one-day international was abandoned in the Indian capital last month due to a dangerous pitch.

As part of its investigation, the ICC received a submission from the BCCI assuring it that no international match is scheduled and therefore no international match will be played at the ground until the end of 2010. Keeping this in mind, the ICC has decided to endorse this action on the part of BCCI as part of its concluding report.

In addition, the ICC pitch consultant will inspect the Feroz Shah Kotla ground as soon as possible and oversee a programme of remedial work throughout 2010 designed to ensure the pitch returns to the standard required to host international cricket, in particular, matches in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 as planned.

The decision was made by the ICC s General Manager Cricket, David Richardson, and the ICC s chief match referee Ranjan Madugalle after considering all the evidence, including studying video footage of the match, and examining both the match referee s report and the submissions from the BCCI. The decision was relayed to the BCCI today (21 January).

Mr Richardson said: We understand that turf pitches, by their very nature, are not and cannot be expected to always behave predictably and that an occasional delivery of unexpected steep bounce, while not ideal especially for limited-overs cricket, is part of the game."

In this instance, however, we are of the view that the frequency of the misbehaving deliveries (on average just more than one every three overs) and the excessive degree of variation had the potential to inflict serious injury to the batsmen and that therefore the pitch that was prepared for the above match was dangerous and should therefore be classified as unfit ."


David Richardson comments on the finding that the Kotla will not host international cricket for 12 months.

We acknowledge and endorse the decision by the BCCI not to schedule any international cricket at the ground prior to the end of 2010, which is consistent with our own finding and within the parameters of the relevant regulations that apply."

While the pitch was unfit for international cricket, it is also worth bearing in mind that it is the first time the Feroz Shah Kotla pitch has been rated as unfit, that the ground has a long history of successfully hosting international cricket and that it is scheduled to host matches at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011."

ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat added: We are confident that there is ample time for the necessary remedial work to be carried out ahead of next year s ICC Cricket World Cup and it is important now that the work should be carried out and domestic cricket played on the pitch to make sure it returns to the standards required for high-level international cricket."

Let s not forget, this ground is one of the world s iconic venues and it s imperative it stages matches during what is the game s biggest tournament, said Mr Lorgat.

ICC President David Morgan had earlier told NDTV in an exclusive interview, that he did not want Delhi to get a ban.