Sunday, Oct 26, 2014

ICC World Twenty20: At the Sher-e-Bangla, white chairs, low lights and a series of drops

Yuvraj Singh spills one of the many that have been put down in this ICC World Twenty20 (AP) Yuvraj Singh spills one of the many that have been put down in this ICC World Twenty20 (AP)
Written by Nihal Koshie | Mirpur | Posted: March 25, 2014 1:02 am | Updated: March 25, 2014 10:22 am

A certified safe fielder, Yuvraj Singh has now dropped two high catches in successive World T20 games. But he isn’t the only reliable man who has grassed the ball while guarding the fence at the Sher-e-Bangla. Before Yuvraj had spilled Chris Gayle’s mishit off Amit Misra on Sunday, the day’s first game, at the same venue, had seen at least clear four drops and equal number of ‘no attempts’ by the Australians, a team known for its discipline on the field. (Full Coverage ICC World T20)

Interestingly, most misjudgments at Mirpur have happened in the arc between deep square-leg and mid wicket, the cow corner area to be exact, when a right-hander has faced the bowler from the Press End. Bangladesh skipper Mushfiqur Rahim solves the mystery by pointing to the empty stands. “When you are fielding at the West End it can be tough to spot the white ball. That’s because of the white chairs in the East Stand,” Rahim says.

WhiteSeats With this sea of white seats as the backdrop for a high atch, the white ball is said to disappear rather conveniently (IE Photo)

Another problem faced by the fielders concerns the low floodlights. Suresh Raina has spoken about this. “The light towers are very low. It is difficult when you are fielding at midwicket,” Raina had said.

As if white chairs and low floodlights were not enough, there is also the dew that players who field on the fence talk about. “The ball is very slippery, it is a nightmare to be on the fence,” said a player on the condition of anonymity.

Keeping all this in mind, Indian skipper MS Dhoni has moved his best fielders to the fence from the in-field. So Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh and Ravindra Jadeja are outside the 30-yard circle. This has resulted in an unusual sight of Mohammed Shami at point. Remember it was his throw from the inside circle that resulted in Gayle’s run out.

Collective inconvenience

The Indians are not the only team finding it difficult to judge the speed and trajectory of the ball. West Indies coach Ottis Gibson said on Monday that the wicket-keeper was finding it tough to spot the ball when throws were coming in from the deep. “There have been catches dropped at night. When I watch the fielders throw the ball back at a certain height, the wicket-keeper seems blinded. The lights seem a little low,” Gibson said.

BCB CEO Nizam Uddin Ahmed, however, said that no official complaint had been lodged by any of the teams. “The Sher-e-Bangla Stadium meets all ICC norms. I don’t think the height of the lights should be an issue. continued…

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