Kotla pitch is ready for World Cup: Atkinson

Saturday, February 19, 2011

NEW DELHI - International Cricket Council (ICC) chief pitch curator Andy Atkinson Saturday tried to dispel all apprehensions about the newly laid pitch at the Feroze Shah Kotla Stadium here, saying it is “ready to play”.

Atkinson, alongwith chairman of Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) grounds and wickets committee Venkat Sundaram, has been supervising the pitch preparation at Kotla. The ICC banned the ground from holding international matches for one year after the India-Sri Lanka match in 2009 December was abandoned due to “dangerous and unfit” wicket.

The stadium will now be hosting four World Cup matches, the first being Feb 24 between South Africa and the West Indies.

“A four or a five-day pitch can be different, but a one-day pitch should have a consistent bounce and a batsman should strike with confidence. The idea is not to negate the bowlers,” said Atkinson, who came here late Friday from Colombo, told IANS.

“The World Cup is big cricket, it should be enjoyed because you don’t get such an environment anywhere else in the world. There need not be any apprehensions.”

Sundaram said the track will not only favour the batsmen, but it will also have something for the bowlers.

“We can’t prepare a pitch to suit a particular bowler or a team. In Australia, South Africa, England where the ball moves and bounces, a 250 plus total becomes a winning score. The track should have something for the bowlers,” Sundaram said.

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