Feroz Shah Kotla: Who’s Fault?

Posted on December 27, 2009 in Sports

Kumar Ankit

It was great going for the Indian team as they were in a hurry by wrapping up five quick Lankan wickets, but the game had something else in store. Due to uneven bounce in the pitch, Sangakkara reported to the match referee, the players went to the pavilion, and a close room meeting was conducted. Ultimately after an hour the decision to abandon the match came.

The decision brought a moral disgrace for the Indian cricket and a bad name for DDCA that for the second time in months it was not able to provide a good pitch of international standards. Now an uncertainty lies for Feroz Shah Kotla as now it seems that ICC might take same serious action.

Once referees submit their reports within 4 days, ICC will ask for an answer from the BCCI within 14 days. If found guilty of preparing dangerous pitch then a question mark will hover over its stature as an international venue.

As a result, prospects of Kotla hosting a world cup match now seem to be in danger. According to ICC latest code of conduct regarding poor pitches, a first breach should be met with “a suspension of the venue’s international status for a period of between 12 and 24 months together with a directive for appropriate remedial action and the need for prior ICC re-accreditation as an international venue”.

So what went wrong? Daljit Singh, who has been the BCCI head of pitches committee on several occasions said that it is a freshly re-laid pitche and it will take time to settle in. Then what was the urgency that in spite of this warning, the ground hosted Champions league and an ODI against India and Australia in October. It is indeed a matter of concern and the BCCI should look into the matter and appropriate actions taken against them if found guilty.

DDCA should also feel the heat as it owns the ground and is accountable for its maintenance and well being. So, it is mandatory to take action against it.

Former cricketers are demanding actions against DCCA. They are holding BCCI responsible for the fiasco. Former India spinner Bishan Singh Bedi squarely blamed the DDCA for the pitch fiasco.

“DDCA had made a mess out of the pitch and they should own up to the responsibility. I wondered how a pitch which was not used even for Ranji Trophy matches was used for the one-dayer,” Bedi said.

“Action should be taken against them (DDCA) but that is BCCI’s job,” he said.

BCCI has dissolved its group of pitches and ground committees with immediate effect. The DDCA, meanwhile, has apologised for the fiasco. “[The] DDCA regrets the inconvenience caused to all spectators and others. We offer our apologies to them. All gate tickets will be refunded,” Arun Jaitley, DDCA’s president, said in a statement. The incident also triggered off crowd trouble as the incensed spectators hurled water bottles and broken chairs into the ground. “The DDCA takes this matter very seriously. We will look into this matter and do all that is required to ensure that such a situation doesn’t reoccur,” Jaitley said.

But the bigger questions remain that shouldn’t this step be taken earlier because our countries prestige was at stake so how could have they played with our prestige? Is this due to the political interference in cricket? Why a practice game was not played to check the conditions? Why did BCCI remain quite, time after time and not blacklisted the venue as it failed the international standards? Why were the BCCI and DDCA busy making money? Why the richest cricket board in the world was not able to make a quality pitch? Why we as a nation are not able to improve our sporting facilities (as preparation for commonwealth is running behind its schedule time)? Why a mockery was made of cricket? Why our board tries to shift the blame and finds an escape goat (this time it is Daljeet Singh)?

Proper action against these things must be taken so that Indians do not face alienation in international community and proper arrangements should be made before hand. For this, proper planning along with proper controlling should be made. BCCI needs to spend some money in making pitches. Government should also look into this matter as it affects a nation’s pride.


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