Lucknow India Curator Sacked For “Shocker of a Pitch”: India captain Hardik Pandya had criticised the surface after chasing the target of 100 with only one ball to spare
The curator of the Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow has been removed from his job for preparing a slow and turning pitch for the second T20I between India and New Zealand.
Though India won the game on Sunday with a ball to spare, the wicket received criticism from India captain Hardik Pandya, who called it a “shocker of a pitch”. New Zealand were restricted to 99 for 8 in 20 overs and India had a hard time chasing the small target, winning in 19.5 overs. Spinners bowled 30 of the 40 overs in a match that had zero sixes.
“The curator has been removed and replaced by Sanjeev Kumar Agarwal who is a very experienced curator,” a UPCA source was quoted as saying by PTI. “We will turn things around in a month.
“A lot of domestic crickets was already played on all the centre wickets ahead of the T20I and the curator should have left one or two strips for an international game. The surface was overused and due to the bad weather, there was not enough (time) to prepare a fresh wicket.”
Lucknow India Curator Sacked For “Shocker of a Pitch” for Second India NZ T20I
Agarwal has experience preparing pitches in Bangladesh in the past before being removed in October last year. According to the source, he will work closely with veteran BCCI curator Taposh Chatterjee.
Hardik has not been happy with the quality of pitches so far in the T20I series. “To be honest, it was a shocker of a wicket,” Hardik told Star Sports after the second T20I. “Both the games we have played on so far. I don’t mind difficult wickets. I am all up for that, but these two wickets are not made for T20.
Somewhere down the line, the curators or the grounds that we are going to play in should make sure they prepare the pitches earlier.”
With the T20I series level at 1-1, India and New Zealand play the decider in Ahmedabad on Wednesday.
India’s T20I squad against New Zealand: Hardik Pandya (Captain), Suryakumar Yadav (vice-captain), Ishan Kishan (wk), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, Deepak Hooda, Rahul Tripathi, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik, Shivam Mavi, Prithvi Shaw, Mukesh Kumar.
What is T20I?
A Twenty20 International (T20I) is a form of cricket, played between two of the international members of the International Cricket Council (ICC), in which each team faces a maximum of twenty overs. The matches have top-class status and are the highest T20 standard.
The game is played under the rules of Twenty20 cricket. Starting from the format’s inception in 2005, T20I status only applied to Full Members and some Associate Member teams. However, in April 2018, the ICC announced that it would grant T20I status to all its 105 members from 1 January 2019.
The shortened format was initially introduced to bolster crowds for the domestic game, and was not intended to be played internationally, but the first Twenty20 International took place on 17 February 2005 when Australia defeated New Zealand, and the first tournament was played two years later, with the introduction of the ICC T20 World Cup.
In 2016, for the first time in a calendar year, more Twenty20 International matches (100) were played than ODI matches (99). As of November 2021, 90 nations feature in ICC T20I team rankings.