The Irani Trophy cricket match scheduled to be held from September 21 to 25 was today shifted to another venue after the BCCI Pitch and Grounds Committee Chairman Venkat Sundaram found the Sawai Man Singh Stadium pitch unsuitable for the important tie.
Sundaram inspected the pitch today and later announced that the match would be shifted to another venue, which will be decided by the BCCI.
"It was saddening to note that the Sawai Man Singh stadium ground, which was voted the best in the IPL, has deteriorated. There was a lot of moisture in the pitch and the outfield too was in a bad shape," Sundaram said.
"With the Met department forecasting more showers in coming days it was not worth taking risks for such an important match like the Irani Trophy tie. I will have to intimate the BCCI that the match should be shifted to some alternative venue," said Sundaram.
The preparation of the pitch was hit hard by the war of egos between the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) and the Rajasthan State Sports Council which reportedly handed the ground late to the RCA.
"I was told that the ground was not in possession of the RCA and the sports council handed the ground only a few days back. Despite all efforts from Taposh Chatterjee, who was adjudged best curator, it appears that the ground needs at least six to eight weeks to get back in shape," Sundaram said.
"We can't take the risk for the Irani Trophy which is the opener for the coming season. In fact, Rajasthan would be fortunate if the ground is ready in time for the Ranji season, it would need work done vigorously," he added.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the RCA and RSCC regarding the use of the stadium had expired last month and it was not renewed.
The RSCC was reluctant to renew the MoU in the present form and the RCA was not willing to relent either.
The officials of the RSCC, however, claimed that it was the RCA's fault which led to the shifting of the match by making a mess of the MoU.
"We had asked the RCA to apply for the ground and stage the match. They did no pay any heed and even then we handed over the ground without formalities on September 3, which meant that they had enough time to prepare the ground.
"In fact, the RCA did not want to stage the match because it is not going to be profitable," an official of the RCA said.