Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014

India tour of England: MCC groundstaff rakes up pitch controversy

A Lord's groundsman was seen dragging his foot while sweeping the pitch during lunch break on day three on the second Test between India and England on Saturday. A Lord's groundsman was seen dragging his foot while sweeping the pitch during lunch break on day three on the second Test between India and England on Saturday.
Press Trust of India | London | Posted: July 20, 2014 3:06 pm

The furore over the “poor” pitch in in Trent Bridge is yet to settle down but that has not stopped a new controversy from brewing in the India-England second Test after MCC was forced to tender an apology for the manner in which one of its groundstaff swept the pitch at Lord’s.

“MCC were forced to apologise and defend the conduct of a member of their groundstaff after Kevin Pietersen drew attention to his method of sweeping the pitch at lunch,” reported ‘The Independent’ after third day’s play on Saturday.

“Shane Doherty’s work attracted the attention of Sky Sports’ commentators and Pietersen was moved to post a video on social media, captioned with the remark “Unbelievable” – followed, in customary KP fashion, by seven exclamation marks,” the newspaper stated.

Doherty was then approached by fourth umpire David Millns but MCC, the keepers of the Lord’s Cricket Ground, asserted that it was “a genuine, honest mistake, and there was no intent to damage the pitch”.

However, Pietersen said there was something more to it.

“He knew what he was doing,” he wrote on Twitter. The newspaper claimed that the visiting Indians will not make any issue of the incident.

“Indian cricket sources indicated that there would be no complaint from the team, although the final decision would rest with the captain, MS Dhoni, and his players. Whatever the explanation – and there is no reason to believe Doherty was anything other than careless – it was another talking point in a series that has already had plenty of them.”

During the opening Test in Nottingham, the groundstaff drew considerable flak for preparing a placid pitch which resulted in a tame draw. The track was labelled poor by the match referee on Saturday and an ICC investigation is underway on the matter.

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