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ICC admits ‘borderline dangerous’ T20 World Cup pitch not good enough

India's captain Rohit Sharma pulls a short ball against Ireland during the Twenty20 World Cup
Rohit Sharma was struck twice by deliveries that reared up at New York's Eisenhower Park - Getty Images/Timothy A. Clary

The Twenty20 World Cup organisers have admitted problems with the New York pitch after it was described as dangerous and batsmen were hit during India’s match with Ireland.

The drop in surfaces in the two games so far at the Nassau County stadium have played inconsistently with balls from the same length rearing up or skidding through to the keeper. Rohit Sharma, the India captain, retired hurt when he was hit on the shoulder against Ireland and Rishabh Pant also needed lengthy treatment when he was struck in the arm. It raised fears of potential serious injury when India play Pakistan on Sunday with both sides boasting some of the quickest bowlers in the world.

The pitches have overshadowed attempts to raise the profile of cricket in the United States. There were also complaints from supporters that tickets are overpriced in New York with the Ireland game failing to sell out despite the number of India supporters living in the US. The ground on Long Island is also difficult to access by public transport and fans have complained there is also not enough parking at the venue.

India have privately raised concerns with the International Cricket Council but there are no plans to shift matches away from the venue. A fresh, unused pitch has been prepared for Sunday’s match, the showpiece event between India and Pakistan that will attract a massive worldwide audience increasing scrutiny on the ground’s suitability for hosting international cricket.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan described the pitch as “shocking” and Andy Flower said it was “it is bordering on dangerous.”

The ICC and T20 inc, the company set up by the governing body to organise the competition, issued a joint statement today responding to the criticism. “T20 Inc and the ICC recognise that the pitches used so far at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium have not played as consistently as we would have all wanted. The world-class grounds team have been working hard since the conclusion of yesterday’s game to remedy the situation and deliver the best possible surfaces for the remaining matches.”

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