ICC pitch consultant Andy Atkinson has held the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) responsible for last year’s Ferozeshah Kotla pitch fiasco while absolving curator Daljit Singh.
Atkinson’s report comes after he visited the stadium to suggest corrective measures for the pitch, deemed too dangerous during an India-Sri Lanka match which was eventually abandoned in December last year. Atkinson said BCCI former pitch and grounds committee chairman Daljit had given the right suggestions but the DDCA over-ruled him.
“...the decision to use Perennial Rye grass was the only option left at a very late stage in an attempt to obtain some grass cover for the ODI on the 27th December and was recommended by Mr. Daljit Singh (Chairman BCCI Pitches Committee) quite correctly as an emergency measure,” Atkinson wrote in his report.
“Unfortunately the then local authority of DDCA did not agree with that course of action and went ahead and planted some local Cynodon grass, creating damage to the surface levels in doing so. As predicted this grass did not grow then...” he added in an eight-page report sent to BCCI’s chief administrative officer Ratnakar Shetty.
Soon after the incident, BCCI disbanded the Pitches and Ground Committee and ICC slapped a one-year international ban on the venue. Atkinson felt the pitch surface had been damaged by the use of a heavy roller “creating ridges”.
DDCA had re-laid the track last year after the Indian Premier League was moved out of India and agreed to host to Champions League just months later, a blunder felt Atkinson.