The first semi-final of the World Cup 2023 between India and New Zealand is to be played today, but news circulating on social media that India has changed the pitch surface for the semi-final game, has led to controversy even before the first ball has been bowled.
بھارتی کرکٹ بورڈ پر نیوزی لینڈ کے خلاف ورلڈ کپ سیمی فائنل کی پِچ بدلنے کا الزام pic.twitter.com/YQxu6j4v7j— Geo News Urdu (@geonews_urdu) November 15, 2023
According to Daily Mail sources, India has changed the pitch surface ahead of the semi-final game against New Zealand. A fresh pitch had to be used for the crucial match but now Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has changed the pitch surface to a slower pitch to make it easy for their spin trio, Kuldeep, Jadeja, and Ashwin, and make the match more difficult for the New Zealand seamers.
Indian Express sources have said that Indian team officials asked BCCI curators to remove grass from the pitch and make it slow for the match against New Zealand without the permission of International Cricket Council (ICC).
A WhatsApp message is circulating in (ICC) and BCCI officials group that Pitch number seven was to be used for the semi-final at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, which was not used earlier, but now the match has been shifted to pitch six, on which India bowled out the Sri Lankan team for just 55 runs.
ICC pitch consultant Andy Atkinson said that when he asked BCCI who authorized these changes they said it was GCA (Gujrat Cricket Association). “But when I asked GCA, they said we are working under BCCI and these changes were directly asked by the Indian team management.”
Andy Atkinson is frustrated that the pitch for India vs New Zealand semifinal was changed at the last moment.
A leaked email from Atkinson speculated “This is the first ever ICC CWC final to have a pitch which has been specifically chosen and prepared at the request of the team management and/or the hierarchy of the home nation board.”
“Or will it be selected or prepared without favoritism for either of the sides competing in the match in the usual manner, and unquestionably because it is the usual pitch for the occasion?”
English former cricketer Michel Vaughan also wrote on X, “The World Cup semi-final should be played on a fresh pitch, its simple as that.”
A World Cup semi should be played on a fresh pitch .. It’s as simple as that .. https://t.co/dRf6rlTO2O— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) November 15, 2023