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Late pitch switch stirs up controversy ahead of India, New Zealand Cup semi-final

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There was controversy due to a late pitch switch ahead of the Cricket Cup semi-final between hosts India and New Zealand in Mumbai on Wednesday.

The pitch (pitch 6) in question has already staged two matches during the tournament, whereas the strip originally intended (pitch 7) for use in the semi-final remains unused.

The semi-finals of the Cricket Cup in 2019 were both played on fresh pitches.

However, the late change is within the rules as stipulated by the ICC in its guidelines: “It is expected that venues that are allocated the responsibility of hosting a match will present the best possible pitch and outfield conditions for that match.”

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‘Not happy’

The Daily Mail reported that the ICC’s independent pitch consultant, Andy Atkinson was not happy about the late change in a leaked email. In the mail he alleged that the pitch that will be used in Ahmedabad for the final on Sunday “will be the first ever ICC CWC final to have a pitch which has been specifically chosen and prepared to their stipulation at the request of the team management and/or the hierarchy of the home nation board.”

That email places suspicion on the Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI), should the host nation, as expected, progress to the final.

Australia’s Pat Cummins, who will play against South Africa in the second semi-final on Thursday, said: “Yeah, I saw that [the report]…obviously ICC have an independent pitch curator who manages that so I’m sure they are all over making sure it’s fair for both teams,” he said. “So far this tournament [on pitches] that we’ve played on I’ve not seen any issue.”

@Golfhackno1

Sport

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