'This is unacceptable': ICC ripped apart for ‘terrible’ drop-in New York pitch after low-scoring SL vs SA T20WC match | Crickit
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'This is unacceptable': ICC ripped apart for ‘terrible’ drop-in New York pitch after low-scoring SL vs SA T20WC match

Jun 04, 2024 08:53 AM IST

Experts ripped apart ICC after a bizarre T20 World Cup match between Sri Lanka and South Africa where 157 runs were scored at a rate of 4.4 runs per over

An unusually low-scoring match between Sri Lanka and South Africa on Monday, in Group D of the 2024 T20 World Cup, sparked criticism from veteran cricketers and experts, with ICC blasted for the treacherous Nassau County International Cricket Stadium pitch in New York. 157 runs were scored between the two teams in 35.3 overs, implying a run rate of just 4.4 as South Africa survived with a six-wicket win.

Sri Lanka's captain Wanindu Hasaranga (2nd L) celebrates after the dismissal of South Africa's Heinrich Klaasen (L) during the ICC men's Twenty20 World Cup 2024 group D cricket match between Sri Lanka and South Africa at Nassau County International Cricket Stadium(AFP)
Sri Lanka's captain Wanindu Hasaranga (2nd L) celebrates after the dismissal of South Africa's Heinrich Klaasen (L) during the ICC men's Twenty20 World Cup 2024 group D cricket match between Sri Lanka and South Africa at Nassau County International Cricket Stadium(AFP)

Opting to bat first after winning the toss, Sri Lanka were folded for just 77 runs in 19.1 overs as South Africa fast bowler Anrich Nortje registered the most economical four-over spell in the history of men’s T20 World Cup, finishing with 4 for 7. This was Sri Lanka's lowest-ever total in T20I cricket, and the fifth-lowest by a full-member nation in the World Cup. South Africa chased down the target in 16.2 overs for the loss of four wickets, where they managed to score just six boundaries.

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Amid muddled thinking and careless batting from Sri Lanka, scoring was extremely difficult for either team on the tacky New York track, which also showed signs of uneven bounce. Former India cricketer Irfan Pathan described the pitch as "not ideal", while former South Africa performance coach Prasanna Agoram labelled it as “terrible”.

In addition to the uneven wicket, Nassau County International Cricket Stadium was also criticised for the poor outfield, with former India cricketer Manoj Tiwary pointing out how the ball tended to stop or lose pace when batters hit along the ground. Speaking on Cricbuzz, Tiwary lashed out as ICC for the poor conditions provided for an event as big as the World Cup.

“I say it blatantly: This is unacceptable because if a batter hits a shot along the ground, the ball does not even travel, and that is because the amount of sand used is more. It will be difficult for teams to score runs. It is not possible to hit sixes consistently. You have to play some shots along the ground. You will get to see a lot more singles than doubles. This is unacceptable from the ICC because when there is a World Cup going on, and when you had time to prepare for it, they should have made a proper outfield as well,” he said.

The venue is slated to seven more matches through the course of the World Cup, including three of Team India - the next being against Ireland in Wednesday.

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