The fate of the Ferozeshah Kotla as a 2011 World Cup venue hinges on whether the International Cricket Council’s cricket brass — General Manager (Cricket), David Richardson, and Chief Match Referee Ranjan Madugalle — will see matters as the Delhi & Districts Cricket Association does.
The ICC on Monday confirmed that it had received a report from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on the December 27 Kotla fiasco — when the India vs Sri Lanka ODI was abandoned after 23.3 overs — and will now have Richardson and Madugalle “consider all the evidence”, including studying video footage of the match, before reaching a decision.
Sources said that the BCCI’s reply, itself based on a report by the DDCA, centred around the fact that the pitch could be graded as “poor” and not “unfit”, as categorised by the match referee for the India-Lanka game, Alan Hurst.
“The report does concentrate on the fact that we believe the pitch was poor or difficult and basically, only six deliveries in all were really shooting,” said an official.
“We’ve sent in a detailed report, including expert analysis by (former BCCI pitches and grounds committee chairmen) Daljit Singh and Venkat Sundaram, the offer of a second available pitch and other details. We’re hopeful that after studying our report, the ICC will agree with our point of view.”
While the upholding of an ‘unfit’ categorisation carries a ban of between 12 and 24 months and, therefore, a possible World Cup miss for the Kotla, being categorised as “poor” means the DDCA could get away with a warning, or, at worst, be fined $15,000 (about Rs. 6.9 lakh).
Because of prior commitments, there is no specific time frame for when Madugalle and Richardson will give a reply by, but the BCCI will be free to appeal an unfavourable judgement.