Vijay Hazare: Vidarbha skipper Wasim Jaffer slams 'unfit' pitches
NAGPUR: The newly-president elect Sourav Ganguly has expressed his concern over the state of first-class cricket in the country. While there are several issues lined up for the former India captain, the nature of wickets on offer would definitely be a big concern for BCCI.
The teams playing Vijay Hazare One-day Trophy in Vadodara have expressed their “dissatisfaction and anguish” over the nature of wickets provided for the tournament. While most teams TOI spoke to preferred to speak off the record, Vidarbha skipper Wasim Jaffer tweeted on Tuesday evening expressing disappointment with the wickets.
“Absolutely unfit pitches to play in List ‘A’ matches in Vadodra. @BCCI #motibaug #barodacricketassociation,” Jaffer tweeted from his twitter handle @WasimJaffer14 after Vidarbha won the low-scoring match against Baroda.
Absolutely unfit pitches to play in List 'A' matches in Vadodra. @BCCI #motibaug #barodacricketassociation— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) 1571140224000
If sources are to be believed, the first ball of the match between Vidarbha and Baroda bowled by Rajneesh Gurbani shot off from good length spot unexpectedly. Baroda opener Kedar Deodhar was lucky to have escaped the injury. “Throughout the match, the ball misbehaved. The bounce was uneven. You couldn’t guess about the next ball whether it would bounce or keep low,” a Baroda player, who doesn’t wish to be named, told TOI.
Around 4-5 players, including India T20 allrounder Krunal Pandya and Vidarbha opener Faiz Fazal, were hit while batting during the match.
Vidarbha and Baroda players weren’t the only one to complain about the wickets. Maharashtra, Odisha, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh players also complained about the poor wicket conditions, especially at Moti Bagh ground.
A UP player actually defended Vidarbha despite recording a 109-run victory over the latter on Monday. “If you see the score card, only two UP players reached double figures. They actually didn’t play badly. They didn’t know what was happening. It was turning square. Some balls were keeping low, while some were shooting off the good length,” a UP player said.
A member of Maharashtra support staff said “there’s hardly any grass on any off the square in Vadodara”. Due to incessant rains, they couldn’t prepare the wickets properly. If that wasn’t enough, revised schedule gave groundsmen hardly any chance to repair the wear and tear. The wickets here aren’t suitable for List ‘A’ matches,” he said.
An Odisha support staff member also echoed the same sentiments. “The Moti Bagh ground wicket is actually dangerous for players. This is just the start of the season and you don’t want to lose key players. It’s up to the match officials to take the call about security of the players,” said the Odisha official, wishing not to be quoted.
A Haryana player too had similar thoughts. “There’s no point playing cricket on these types of wickets. It’s different between a challenging wicket and a substandard wicket. Here, wickets aren’t up to the mark. Neither the batsmen will improve and anyone who can roll over his arm can turn here,” a Haryana player said.
Baroda 131 in 50 overs (Rishi Arothe 30, Swapnil Singh 27, Krunal Pandya 21; Akshay Wakhare 4-22, Rajneesh Gurbani 2-16, Aditya Sarvate 2-28) lost to Vidarbha 134-3 in 34.2 overs (Faiz Fazal 58 not out, Jitesh Sharma 37, Akshay Wadkar 16 not out; Krunal Pandya and Yusuf Pathan one wicket each) by seven wickets.