No matches for a year at Kotla; venue remains on 2011 WC itinerary | cricket | Hindustan Times
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No matches for a year at Kotla; venue remains on 2011 WC itinerary

The Ferozeshah Kotla will stage four matches as planned in the 2011 World Cup after it received what, in effect, was a get-out-of-jail-free card from the International Cricket Council on Thursday. There has been no mention of a ban, nor a financial penalty. HT reports.

cricket Updated: Jan 22, 2010 08:18 IST

The Ferozeshah Kotla will stage four matches as planned in the 2011 World Cup after it received what, in effect, was a get-out-of-jail-free card from the International Cricket Council on Thursday.

There has been no mention of a ban, nor a financial penalty. A carefully worded ICC order stated: “Following the conclusion of a full investigation into the circumstances that led to the abandonment of a One-Day International match between India and Sri Lanka on 27 December 2009, the ICC confirms that no international cricket will be played at the New Delhi ground until the end of December 2010.”

The fifth and final ODI was stopped after the pitch was deemed too dangerous to play.

It continues: “The ICC received a submission from the BCCI assuring it that no international match is scheduled and therefore no international match will be played at the ground until the end of 2010. Keeping this in mind, the ICC has decided to endorse this action on the part of BCCI as part of its concluding report.”

“In any case, we were not planning any international matches at the Kotla this year,” a BCCI official told HT. “So this isn’t really an issue.”

ICC pitch consultant Andy Atkinson will work with local officials to “oversee remedial work” ahead of the World Cup.

But, in the meantime, the Kotla will host both IPL team Delhi Daredevils’ home matches and domestic games.

Delhi Daredevils’ COO Amrit Mathur confirmed this. “We are looking forward to the IPL games at the Kotla,” said Mathur.

“It was a tricky situation for the ICC,” said a DDCA source. “If they had banned us, it might have become difficult for them to get out of it, particularly in the context of our right to appeal, as proper procedure had not been followed. A ban involves being inspected thrice, disaffiliation and re-affiliation and a fine. Here they’ve basically said they endorse the calendar of the BCCI.”

“They have managed to uphold their match referee’s (Alan Hurst) stand, yet have called Kotla an iconic ground, one which has never been dubbed unfit before.”

Interestingly, the ICC order says there was an “excessive degree of variation” while Hurst’s report said that seam movement was “occasional”.

It’s a point of interest, in case the DDCA does decide, for legal reasons, to challenge the order. This remains to be seen. For now though, all is well.