‘Nonsense’, Sunil Gavaskar shuts down pitch swap controversy talks; Kane Williamson says ‘it was a used wicket, but…’

Tribune Web Desk

Chandigarh, November 16

On Wednesday, before the semi-final between India and New Zealand started at the Wankhede Stadium, a foreign media outlet claimed that the pitch was changed after a request was made by the Indian management who reportedly wanted the pitch to be slower.

Former cricketer Sunil Gavaskar while speaking on Star Sports said, “This has been such a good pitch to bat on. We’ve had nearly 730 runs scored here. All those morons who were talking about the pitch being changed and that it would do the Indian bowlers a favour, I hope they will just shut up. Stop taking potshots at India just because it helps you get eyeballs. Nonsense.”

He went on to state that even if the pitch was changed it was the same surface for both teams throughout the game. According to him, if a team is “good enough” they can play on any pitch and secure victory.

“Even if the pitch was changed, it was there before the toss for both the teams. It wasn’t changed in the mid-innings. It wasn’t changed after the toss was done. The pitch was the same for both teams. You are a good enough team, you play on that pitch and you win. And India has done that. So stop talking about pitches. Already they’re talking about the pitch in Ahmedabad (the venue for the final). The second semi-final hasn’t even taken place, you’re talking about the pitch being changed in Ahmedabad,” Gavaskar added.

When New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson was asked about the same at the post-match press conference, he played down the chatter.

Williamson admitted that it was a used wicket, but since it was a good one, New Zealand had no objection.

“Yeah, it was a used wicket, but a pretty good surface really, as we saw. I mean, they got plenty out of it in the first half of the match. And conditions, I guess they change as they go under lights and things, and that’s what we’ve seen throughout this competition. That’s fine, that’s what you expect and they played really well. So yeah, I mean it’s disappointing to get to this stage and not go further, but also at the same time you sort of reflect on the seven weeks rather than a couple of small moments and we lost to a better side,” he said, responding to a question.

The International Cricket Council issued a statement earlier regarding the pitch, saying the ICC independent consultant was made aware of the change.

“Changes to planned pitch rotations are common towards the end of an event of this length and has already happened a couple of times. This change was made on the recommendation of the venue curator in conjunction with our host. The ICC independent pitch consultant was apprised of the change and has no reason to believe the pitch won’t play well,” the ICC stated as per ESPNcricinfo. With ANI inputs


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