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HindustanTimes Wed,16 Apr 2014
Kotla pitches it in despite the cold
HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, January 05, 2013
First Published: 01:06 IST(5/1/2013)
Last Updated: 01:09 IST(5/1/2013)

It is not always tough to guess the ideal score on a track. But so harsh has been the winter and so brittle India's batting that no one wants to predict it.

The Ferozeshah Kotla was shut out to all forms of cricket for almost a month before this India-Pakistan tie to be played on January 6. The reason - the Delhi association (DDCA) didn't want to take a chance, considering the weather and a chequered past.

"This (winter) season has been extremely tough to prepare a wicket. There is a lot of moisture and fog and that is why we began work on it so early," said curator and former Delhi batsman Venkat Sundaram.

Although wickets for this season's first-class games — Ranji Trophy — often had low bounce and were full of runs, the ground staff needed to work extra hard to grow the grass on the square to bind it for the international match. “It is tough to strike a balance. We need to avoid dew falling on it and also allow it some sunshine, which hasn't been enough. I think it'll have something for everyone.”

The match timings were advanced to noon as the dew and fog set in late in the evening. The centre wicket, where Delhi scored an outright win over Orissa in a match full of runs and wickets, will be used for the ODI.

Security & Tickets

Considering the high-profile nature of the match, the security has been tightened with the police holding special meetings with senior officials.

The DDCA general secretary Sneh Bansal and Pakistan team media manager Nadeem Sarwar said they have no knowledge of any head of state from India or Pakistan attending the match although there has been speculation about it.

It seems, however, that the demand for tickets from Pakistan has come down a bit while there is a clamour for it from the Indian fans. Of the 1000 Hill A tickets sent to Pakistan, 300 have been returned.  Fresh from their series win and upon arrival in Delhi, the Pakistan team attended a dinner and felicitation hosted by their High Commission.


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