'Wankhede pitch was very good'
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'Wankhede pitch was very good'

The Wankhede wicket for just-concluded third Test has got thumbs up from the match referee who has described it as a "very good cricket pitch".

india Updated: Mar 24, 2006 14:07 IST

The Wankhede Stadium wicket for the just-concluded third India-England Test has got a thumbs up from the International Cricket Council match referee who has described it as a "very good cricket pitch".

"In fairness to Mumbai, after reports were lodged last year (about poor pitch), they have made changes and you have seen a very good cricket pitch in Mumbai this time around," ICC chief match referee Ranjan Madugalle told IANS.

England defeated India by 212 runs to draw the three-Test series 1-1 Wednesday, after having lost the second Test in Mohali.

"There was a lot of bounce even on Day Five (of the Test), good turn for spinners and if batsmen wanted to stay and play shots they could," Madugalle, a former Sri Lanka Test batsman, said referring to Indian batsmen's inexplicable capitulation for 100 runs in the second innings.

"So, you couldn't ask for anything more," said the affable Madugalle.

This is a compliment that will make both pitch curator Sudhir Naik and the Mumbai Cricket Association happy, especially after the fiasco in 2004 when the fourth India-Australia Test ended in a mere two-and-a-half days, leading to a huge furore.

Home spinners, led by left-armer Murali Kartik, had ruled the roost on an under- prepared pitch, prepared by then curator and former India Test player Polly Umrigar, as they bowled India to victory to level the four-Test series 1-1.

Australia captain Ricky Ponting was furious after the pitch helped Indian spinners more than any other type of bowlers.

The issue reached the ICC, with the match referee apparently having a lot to say about the pitch.

First Published: Mar 24, 2006 14:07 IST