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Gilchrist asks for level playing field

Adam Gilchrist backed Stephen Fleming's views on unfavourable conditions and asked administrators to bring "level playing field" to one-dayers.

india Updated: Nov 05, 2003 17:54 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Australian vice captain Adam Gilchrist on Wednesday backed New Zealand skipper Stephen Fleming's views on unfavourable conditions in the ongoing triseries and asked administrators to bring "level playing field" to limited overs cricket internationals.

Gilchrist, while denying there was "too much sinister" on the part of Indian Cricket Board in scheduling matches in the triangular series, agreed with Fleming that playing conditions in some matches were at variance and toss of the coin played too crucial a role.

"I certainly agree to the point that toss has played a major role in certain matches. Fortunately for us, we have been on the winning side but it could be frustrating if important games are too reliant on toss," Gilchrist said.

"Stephen Fleming has a relevant point when he says there must be level playing field, because there has been unfair variance (in playing conditions) in some of the matches.

"Otherwise I don't think there is too much sinister in what the Indian Cricket Board has done," the swashbuckling Aussie batsman added.

Fleming was critical of the match schedule in the current series which pitted Australia and New Zealand in day encounters which started at 9.00 am.

Fleming said morning starts meant moisture in the air made things difficult for the team batting first. He also accused the tournament organisers of drawing an itinerary that suited the hosts more than the other two teams.

Gilchrist said Fleming's outburst was understandable because he had been at the receiving end twice.

"Having played in the same matches, I can identify myself with Stephen (Fleming). Probably it is the frustration of having been at the receiving end," the Aussie opening batsman said.

In their second match of the series against Australia at Faridabad, New Zealand were dismissed for 97 after winning the toss and electing to bat.

They were off to a disastrous start again in the next encounter, against the Aussies in another day match at Pune, but recovered from 151 for seven to post 258 for nine. Australia went on to win that nail-biter by two wickets.

"New Zealand have played remarkably well. In fact, I told Fleming that these are conditions you don't expect in India".

"There has been good bounce and grass, the ball has been winging and seaming ... I don't think that is something to complain about, these are conditions like at home," Gilchrist said.

Australia next play New Zealand in Guwahati on Sunday when play will start at 8.30 am to make up for early sunset in the north-east region.

The Aussie batsman said administrators should plan the schedule with care and avoid holding matches in such places or have them as day-night fixtures.

"I don't know ... There is difficulty in scheduling. I know Cricket Australia puts a lot of work in trying to arrive at he right balance, getting the matches at the right place at right time (by discussing with host national boards)," Gilchrist said.

"May be they should not have matches at such places or have all matches day-night."

Gilchrist did not agree that the Kiwis had failed to adjust themselves to difficulties of a subcontinent tour.

"New Zealand are led by a brave captain in Stephen Fleming. They take everything in the right spirit, they have the right attitude.

"They drew the Test series, a result we have not been able to achieve."

First Published: Nov 05, 2003 17:43 IST