BCCI disbands pitch committee

December 27th, 2009 - 6:51 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 27 (IANS) Taking a serious note of the abandonment of the fifth one-dayer between India and Sri Lanka due to an unplayable pitch at the Ferozeshah Kotla Sunday, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) immediately disbanded the Grounds and Pitches Committee.
“The BCCI has disbanded its Grounds and Pitches Committee with immediate effect,” BCCI secretary N. Srinivasan said in a statement.

The ODI between India and Sri Lanka was abandoned after 23.3 overs as the players and match officials felt that the pitch was not fit for playing with the ball shooting and jumping on an uneven track. The Sri Lankan batsmen were in all sorts of trouble, getting hit by the misbehaving deliveries.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) can now keep Kotla off international cricket from 12-24 months and the board may not be in a position to plead Delhi’s case. ICC will decide on the quantum of punishment after hearing from its Match Referee, Australian Alan Hurst, and an inquiry by its General Manager and the Chief Match Referee.

The ICC Executive Board had three years ago decided to institute a pitch-monitoring process for international cricket. The process includes sanctions ranging from a formal warning to a fine on the member-board or even suspension of international status for venues that produce substandard pitches. An appeals process is available to the relevant member board.

Daljit Singh, who is the chief co-ordinator of the committee, was in charge of the Kotla pitch preparation and the relaid track came in for criticism during the India-Australia one-dayer in October and before that during the Champions League Twenty20. At that time the pitch was considered to be on the slower side but the one for Sunday’s match was dangerous for batsmen.

At a meeting with the Pitch Committee, Dec 2, board president Shashank Manohar warned the members that they would be held accountable for substandard pitches.

Manohar made it clear to the members that the board would not take the flak for bad pitches and the pitch committee members should take the rap.

As a first step, earlier this season, the post of chairman of pitch committee was abolished and now it only has members and they have been assigned to look after the pitches in their zones.

Last year, the board had decided to punish state associations for poor pitches for the Ranji Trophy matches as some of the four-day games ended within three days as teams collapsed dramatically. But nothing seems to have come of it, though the matches were to be recorded with six television cameras and the footage was to be shown to the technical committee for further action.

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