Antigua ‘fever pitch’ reaches Rajkot | india | Hindustan Times
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Antigua ‘fever pitch’ reaches Rajkot

Players, umpires and the match referee termed the pitch, at the SCA stadium, Khanderi in Rajkot, under-prepared and dangerous after Gujarat had won the toss and elected to bat, reports Bivabasu Kumar.

india Updated: Feb 17, 2009 00:12 IST
Bivabasu Kumar

The visiting teams aren't happy with the Saurashtra Cricket Association's arrangements for this year's West Zone Ranji One-Day league matches and their annoyance reached a climax on Monday when Mumbai's match against Gujarat was stopped after just 6.1 overs because of a poor pitch at the SCA stadium, Khanderi in Rajkot.

Players, umpires and the match referee termed the pitch under-prepared and dangerous after Gujarat had won the toss and elected to bat. The pitch had little holes and every time Mumbai pacers, Dhawal Kulkarni and Avishkar Salvi, would hit them, puffs of duct would come out.

The SCA stadium, Khanderi, situated on the outskirts of Rajkot, is one of the two venues hosting the West Zone Ranji One-Day league matches even though the stands are still under construction. The players are miffed over SCA's decision to host matches at a venue where even basic facilities are unavailable. Lack of a proper dressing room and the stands under-construction make the ambience unsuitable for cricket.

Both the skippers, Wasim Jaffer and Parthiv Patel, decided against continuing with the match after Gujarat opener Jesal Karia was hit in the belly by a Dhawal delivery. Nearly an hour was wasted in deliberations and both the teams agreed to play a new 41-over game on the adjacent pitch.

Besides, the food served here has also been criticised, with the Gujarat manager, Girish Mehta, calling it unhygienic. "We played our first game against Maharashtra at the same venue. Parthiv and Bhavik Thakar got out in similar fashion (caught behind) as the pitch showed uneven bounce. We are not happy with the entire arrangement," said Mehta.

Mumbai manager Nitin Dalal, also expressed disappointment over SCA's arrangements. "From accommodation to the playing conditions, nothing is in place. The match against Baroda was delayed by half-an hour as breakfast was not served on time."

SCA tournament director, Madhukar Worah, accepted that Mumbai's game against Baroda was delayed because of catering problems, but refused to accept that accommodation for the players was not upto the standard.

"We have been hospitable and given them accommodation in good hotels. The BCCI has approved the SCA Stadium for Ranji games. The players have whatever they need here. I don't know what they are complaining about."