It is ironic but Shane Warne, who led the Rajasthan Royals to the first IPL title, and is a hero here, may be forced to play his last match in a setting not to his liking.
The pitch controversy at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium refuses to die down with fresh information suggesting that the skipper might not get his kind of wicket for Wednesday's match against the Royal Challengers too. Warne preferred a wicket, which is to the immediate left of the centre wicket, the same track he had wanted against the Chennai Super Kings.
The match on Wednesday, however, will be played on the one where Monday's game against the Super Kings was eventually played. It is a fresh wicket and has no broadcast and TV cables, suggesting that it wasn't marked for the IPL.
After Monday's game, Warne admitted he doesn't have a say in pitch selection anymore. "I have no idea who instructed. No franchise is told which wicket to play on. But we were," he said.
In a mail, the BCCI said, "Neither of the playing teams has a choice of the wicket, on which to play the game. It is the curator, in consultation with the ground and pitches committee chairman, who prepares the wickets.” In that case, the Royals may feel hard done as the Delhi Daredevils were allowed to have their choice.
Asked to comment, Super Kings' coach, Stephen Fleming, said, "There was no directive from Chennai on the wicket."
Warne had earlier questioned the visit of pitches and grounds committee chairman, Venkat Sundaram, on May 30, a day before the match against the Pune Warriors. While the game against the Mumbai Indians was held on the centre wicket, the one against Pune was held on a track to the right of the centre wicket. Sundaram left the next morning after suggesting the wicket for the game against the Super Kings, without waiting to see the outcome of the evening's match against Pune. Turf war
“The IPL is being played at the end of the Indian domestic season, and after the World Cup. Therefore, the main pitches are bound to have wear and tear. The extreme heat has also taken its toll. Hence, it becomes necessary to change the pitches in some cases,” said Sundaram.