T20 World Cup: New York’s ‘dangerous’ pitch has stunned everyone, batsmen are getting injured, former cricketers call it a ‘joke’

New Delhi. The reason for the increasing popularity of T20 matches is that fans get to see a lot of fours and sixes in them. It is a common complaint that this format is becoming completely dominated by batsmen, which is also justified to a large extent. In most T20 matches, due to batting friendly pitches and rules, bowlers get beaten a lot and batsmen have a great time. This point has been raised from time to time that the pitch and rules should be such that they are equally ‘helpful’ for both batsman and bowler. It is fine to make bowler friendly wickets in cricket, but the fate of the batsmen at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York in the T20 World Cup 2024 is completely unacceptable.

It would be better to put this uneven bounce pitch in the category of ‘dangerous’ rather than ‘bowler friendly’, on which there is a serious risk of injury to the batsmen. This happened during Team India’s match against Ireland (India Vs Ireland). During the match, a few times the ball jumped dangerously and hit the helmets of the batsmen, due to which many batsmen of both the teams got injured. The erratic nature of the pitch was such that some balls were going so high above the batsman’s head that the wicketkeeper had to jump and collect them, while many were staying so low that they were reaching the keeper only after bouncing. Former cricketers have termed this pitch as substandard and raised questions on the ICC.

In an important tournament like the T20 World Cup, this low-level pitch has spoiled the ‘taste’ of cricket fans. The situation is such that till June 5, two matches have been played in New York and in none of them, any team has crossed the 100-run mark. In the first match of the tournament held in New York between Sri Lanka and South Africa, the Sri Lankan team collapsed for just 77. The quality of the pitch was such that South Africa had to play 16.2 overs to achieve the target of 78. The top score in both innings was 20 runs which was made by Quinton de Kock.

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The story of Wednesday’s India-Ireland match was no different. Batting first, Ireland team collapsed for 96 runs in 16 overs and with the help of Rohit Sharma’s 52 and Rishabh Pant’s unbeaten 36 runs, India achieved the target by losing two wickets. Rohit and Pant definitely played good innings but during this time both of them also got injured due to the pitch. Rohit had to retire after Josh Little’s ball hit his shoulder. Pant also got injured more than once, once he had to seek the help of a doctor due to an elbow injury.

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Both matches were played on different pitches but still…
Earlier, a similar scene was witnessed during Ireland’s innings. Irish batsman Harry Tucker was hit on the fingers more than once by the ball. The ball from Bumrah on which he was out hit his gloves and then his helmet and he returned to the pavilion with a feeling of pain. The batsmen were seen struggling with the uneven bounce of the pitch throughout. In a big tournament like the World Cup, such a pitch is also raising serious questions on the ICC which earns a lot of money from cricket. It is not that both the matches in New York were played on the same pitch. The first match was played on pitch number 1 while the India-Ireland match was played on pitch number 4. The low score and uneven bounce of both the matches raise questions on the quality of the pitch. Let us tell you, for the T20 World Cup, four main pitches and six drop-in surfaces have been prepared in Florida and brought to New York.

‘Bitter gourd and neemchadha’..outfield is also slow
The New York pitch is proving to be a ‘tough task’ for the batsmen, and the slow outfield has made the rest of the problem. This is the reason why only 8 fours were hit during Ireland’s innings and only 7 fours during the Indian innings. Despite the powerful shots of the batsman, the ball slid slowly to the boundary, sometimes it could not even reach the boundary. The bad pitch and slow outfield have dealt a ‘double blow’ to the fans’ enjoyment of the game.

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Former cricketers expressed anger over the pitch

Both the matches played in New York under the T20 World Cup have been disappointing for the fans and former cricketers. Many former cricketers/critics have termed the pitch as shameful. Former England captain Michael Vaughan wrote on X, ‘It is good to try to promote the game in America but it is unacceptable for the players to play on this poor surface in New York. You work very hard to reach the World Cup, then you have to play on such a pitch.’ Earlier in another post, Vaughan had described the pitch as ‘shocking’. Former coach Mickey Arthur considered the New York pitch to be very poor while cricket expert Paul Newman called the pitch shameful for the ICC. During commentary, Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri also seemed surprised at the nature of the pitch. ‘Sunny’ said, ‘Look at the bounce of the pitch, the ball is going so high above the stumps, in such a situation it will be very difficult to give LBW.’ Some other commentators also described the wicket as tricky.

Tags: ICC T20 world cup, Rohit Sharma, T20 cricket, T20 World Cup, Team India

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