After the Feroz Shah Kotla pitch fiasco in the Ranji Trophy match between Delhi and Madhya Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association (MPCA) on Monday lodged a complaint with the BCCI, asking the board to address the issue at the earliest.
BCCI’s North Zone curator Sunil Chauhan overwatered the Feroz Shah Kotla pitch and then, breaching protocol, left the venue before the start of Delhi-Madhya Pradesh Ranji Trophy match on Saturday, his indiscretion leading to a delay of two and half hours, beginning in the second session despite a perfect weather.
Vikas Mishra tormented Madhya Pradesh batsmen with a six-wicket haul as Delhi thumped the visitors by nine wickets for their first victory of the ongoing Ranji Trophy season.
MPCA wrote to BCCI COO Saba Karim and CEO Rahul Johri, saying that the late start resulted in loss of overs on day one and the conditions did not remain sporting, making the toss crucial. Cricbuzz quoted MPCA CEO Rohit Pandit as saying, “We want BCCI to do a thorough investigation of the incident and fix the loopholes on a priority basis.”
BCCI’s head of pitches Daljeet Singh said that they need to ensure that such incidents are not repeated. “This incident is one-off but curators make mistakes, like everyone else. We have to look into this, learn and ensure it isn’t repeated,” he said. “To make a four-day pitch is the toughest task. On paper, it says that the pitch needs to assist pacers on the first day, batsmen on the second, have a bit of wear and tear on the third, etc. But to replicate that, from Kerala to Jammu across 250-odd games is a challenging job.”
After reports emerged of the pitch fiasco, Saba Karim was quoted by PTI as saying, “I agree that what happened at the Kotla today shouldn’t have happened but I believe Mr. Chauhan must have had some compelling reasons to have left early. He took a 10 am flight from Delhi. Normally, he has never done that, so I would like to believe that there is some reason behind it. We will find out.”