- Sinchan Saha | January 31, 2023 | 6:24 pm
In order to prevent a repeat of the recent pitch disaster during the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) season, the Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association (UPCA) has stated that it will appoint two experts to the Ekana Stadium in Lucknow.
“We are going to appoint two specialists who will take care of the stadium. One will be an expert on the pitch and another will be a professional on the outfield. We are taking required permissions from other state associations to hire their services,”said Ankit Chatterjee, the CEO of the UPCA and confirmed the association’s decision to part ways with the curator responsible for the preparation of the substandard pitch during the recent Twenty20 International.
During the second Twenty20 International on January 29 between India and New Zealand, the stadium received a lot of criticism for the way its wicket looked. India captain Hardik Pandya called the wicket “a shocker of a wicket” after just 200 runs were scored in close to 40 overs.
“To be honest, it was a shocker of a wicket. Both the games we have played 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,”Pandya had said after India struggled its way to a modest 100-run target in the match.
Surendra Yadav was the curator of the pitch and he is being replaced by a specialist from Gwalior, Sanjeev Agarwal. The association is yet to confirm the outfield expert.
“We want the playing conditions to be fool proof and we don’t want to take any chances for the IPL. The franchise also practices a lot at the ground and they need to have home advantage and we will make sure everything is in place for the IPL and we will ensure there are no such issues during the season.”the UPCA official said.
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Even though Lucknow has hosted the IPL in the past, the Lucknow Super Giants will be the city’s home team for the first time this year. The Indian Premier League (IPL) is scheduled to begin on April 1, and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided that the regular home-and-away format, which had been discontinued for reasons related to Covid the previous three seasons, will be reinstated starting with this season.