The Indian cricket board is unlikely to give much weight to the sparkling batting performances of Cheteshwar Pujara, Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan and Wriddhiman Saha in the Challenger Trophy as the Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA) failed to follow its order during the premier domestic one-day tournament in Rajkot (Sept 29 and Oct 2).The BCCI is miffed with the host association for not preparing sporting wickets despite its technical committee issuing a directive at its meeting in February. The dead wickets prepared by SCA led to a plethora of runs for the list ‘A’ matches.
The technical committee, then headed by Sourav Ganguly, had accepted the proposal for preparing sporting pitches for the 2012-13 domestic season.
“The board has taken a serious note of the lifeless wicket offered by the state association for the Challenger Trophy. It has communicated its displeasure to the association and may soon send a letter seeking explanation,” said a senior official.
Interestingly, the SCA had prepared two strips and initially planned to use them alternately. However, the decision was changed during the tournament and all four matches were played on the same strip.
The members of the BCCI's pitch inspection committee, sent there for inspection prior to the tournament, were also reportedly unhappy with the wickets and had written to the BCCI saying that they would offer little help to the bowlers.
Thus, it came as little surprise when teams scored more than 300 runs in five of the eight innings.
India ‘B’ skipper Cheteshwar Pujara, the leading batsman from Saurashtra, scored two centuries (158* and 124*) in back-to-back matches.
Shikhar Dhawan (99*, 152), Wriddhiman Saha (116) and Murali Vijay (155) also slammed tons.
SCA chief Niranjan Shah brushed aside the criticism saying pitches for limited overs games should be conducive for batting.