All eyes will be on Kotla pitch

February 18th, 2011 - 9:47 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 18 (IANS) All eyes will be on the Feroze Shah Kotla pitch when the West Indies and South Africa play their World Cup match Feb 24, the first international game after the venue was banned for one year for “dangerous” wicket in the India-Sri Lanka ODI 14 months ago.

Kotla will be hosting three more World Cup games, including India-Netherlands match March 9.

The stadium came under a cloud when the India-Sri Lanka game was abandoned after 23.3 overs in December 2009 due to “unplayable pitch”. A month later, the International Cricket Council (ICC) banned the venue.

The freshly laid pitch, under the supervision of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) ground and wickets committee chairman Venkat Sundaram and the ICC pitch consultant Andy Atkinson, promises an even bounce and a good contest between the bat and ball. The outfield with the hybrid Bermuda grass has a lush green look.

“We also have got poly vinyl light weight covers from the US and these covers can easily be pulled over the square. We also have canopy covers to ensure the pitch retains a bit of moisture,” Sundaram said.

“Also, we have a new drainage system installed at the ground, so that the surplus water could be collected in a sump and pumped out in minutes. There are three heavy duty pumps installed to drain out the excess water.”

The practice area has been overhauled and lights have been installed. There are seven practice pitches, including one with a rebound ace surface with good pace and bounce. The surface is from Australia and is used at the Alan Border Institute of Excellence in Brisbane.

Also, new bowling machines are in place.

The Kotla, officials at the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) say, is ready for the big encounter.

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