Former England captain Michael Vaughan has criticized the decision to stage the World Cup semi-final between India and New Zealand on a used pitch.
Wednesday’s match was to have been played on a new court, but Mail Sport revealed yesterday that India’s cricket board, the BCCI, had breached a previous agreement with the ICC and had opted to make a late switch to a pitch that had already was used twice in the competition. tournament.
The hosts are accused of taking this decision to assist their world-class spinners, Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav.
Vaughan was not happy with the change and made his feelings clear on social media on Wednesday morning ahead of the toss.
He posted on X: ‘A World Cup semi-final should be played on a new pitch… It’s that simple.’
Former England captain Michael Vaughan (left) has been hit at the last minute over the decision to change the pitch for the semi-final
The match will be played on a field that has already been used twice in the tournament
Vaughan’s view on the field was shared by ex-Australia coach Darren Lehmann (pictured)
Elaborating on his thoughts on Test Match Special later on Wednesday morning, Vaughan emphasized that India did not need to look for more advantages as they are already the best team in the competition.
“It’s a bit of a sour taste,” he said. ‘It doesn’t bother me that a World Cup semi-final is played on a used field.
‘I don’t think India had to do anything. They have played the best cricket by a country mile. They shouldn’t have bothered with what the surface should look like.
‘Let’s not shy away from the truth… the ICC wants India in the final. They probably would have beaten New Zealand on any court because they are so good and so much better than most of the other teams in the tournament. It’ll still be a great game, but the rest of the world will say, “Really? Don’t make it so obvious.”
“We should be talking about cricket, but instead of these two incredible teams we’re talking about the field.”
His on-field thoughts were shared by former World Cup winner and former Australia head coach Darren Lehmann, who wrote on X: ‘Fresh pitch for ICC events a must. Not even a question, it should just be done.”
Another Australian World Cup winner, Damien Martyn, agreed but suggested there may be another reason for the late change.
‘Agree @MichaelVaughan if this happens..A World Cup semi-final needs a new pitch. But maybe we’re all missing something?’ he added.
SEN radio presenter Gerard Whateley was even more scathing when he said: ‘I can’t believe that. No, I shouldn’t say that… I can absolutely believe this, that this is happening.
‘I think it’s scandalous. This is an international tournament. Prepare the pitches as you wish for your home series, each country has the choice to do that if they wish.
‘But this is an international tournament, it didn’t quite feel that way.’
Meanwhile, 1992 World Cup winner Wasim Akram was also critical of the situation created by the Indian management.
Former Pakistan bowler Wasim Akram was critical of the decision to change fields
Indian great Anil Kumble (pictured) admitted he was surprised the pitch had changed but didn’t believe it would have a big impact on the result
“This should be the last thing on the Indian cricket team’s mind. This is simply unnecessary,” he said.
Indian grandmaster Anil Kumble admitted he was ‘surprised’ by the move but insisted it would have little impact on the final result.
‘I have no idea (why). It is very surprising that the field has changed,” he said.
‘All the broadcast equipment was set up for the (new) field and now it looks like they have been moved to the used surface. But at the Wankhede the surface generally helps the batters and it hits home well, so it really shouldn’t matter.’
Commenting on the late change, an ICC spokesperson said: ‘Changes to scheduled pitch rotations are common towards the end of an event of this length, and have happened a few times.
‘This change was made at the recommendation of the venue curator in collaboration with our host. The ICC’s independent pitch consultant has been informed of the change and has no reason to believe the pitch will not play properly.’
Rohit Sharma (left) and Kane Williamson (right) both downplayed the significance of the pitch change at the toss
Despite a number of former players expressing concerns about the pitch, both captains at the toss tried to play down its significance.
After winning the toss and electing to bat first, Indian captain Rohit Sharma said: “It looks a good pitch, a bit on the slower side, but whatever we do, we have to get it right .
“We have to perform on the day and be in control.”
His counterpart, Kane Williamson, added: “We would have had a bat first too. It’s obviously a used surface but we’ll try to make use of it with the ball up first and hopefully there’ll be some dew later.”