ICC panel inspects Ekana Stadium, chief curator keeps fingers crossed | cricket | Hindustan Times
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ICC panel inspects Ekana Stadium, chief curator keeps fingers crossed

The inspection of the Ekana International Cricket Stadium in Lucknow had chief curator Daljeet Singh hoping the pitch lived up to its usual standards.

cricket Updated: Sep 07, 2017 13:04 IST
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Javagal Srinath and BCCI officials inspecting Lucknow stadium in Wednesday.
Javagal Srinath and BCCI officials inspecting Lucknow stadium in Wednesday. (HT Photo)

On a day when India’s ICC elite panel match referee Javagal Srinath and BCCI’s general manager MV Sridhar inspected the Ekana International Cricket Stadium, the only worried man was the chief curator Daljeet Singh.

While Srinath and Sridhar along with the directors of the Ekana Sports City kept inspecting each and every thing available at the stadium to confirm ICC’s accreditation, Daljeet was busy in managing the 22-yard strip in the middle.

“It’s not going to be usual pacey and bouncy wicket as we couldn’t get adequate time to make it perfect for the four-day game, especially the season opener Duleep Trophy,” Daljeet told HT, adding, “It is the BCCI that decided so late. It’s nobody’s fault at all.”

Only last week, four days after striking the Duleep Trophy off the 2017-18 domestic schedule, the BCCI was forced to reverse its decision and restore it on last Tuesday after the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) asked it to retain it as an important tournament in the itinerary of the new season.

“It would have been better if we were given an additional 10-15 days’ time. We could have organised a few local matches to set the surface,” said Daljeet, who also happens to be the former head of the BCCI’s pitch and ground committee.

“It is a tough call to have four-day match in the season opener on this pitch. We are keeping our fingers crossed,” he said. “Conduct of a few local matches as well as more dressing work could have made the surface lively. I am hopeful that gradually the pitch will have bounce and pace. This would be altogether a different pitch when the final match of the Duleep Trophy takes place here in the last week of this month.”

He, however, claimed that generous grass on the pitch would help new ball bowlers do well in the beginning but overall it would a slow surface, which was good for batting. “We will have a far better pitch in the next 20 days. Red soil here has got a different character,” Singh said.

“For now, it is equal for everyone after a rainy season and no special work on its dressing. But once a few matches are played here, the red soil will have a different character to play. We hope for a good turnaround even in the first match,” he added.