'All the morons...': Sunil Gavaskar's explosive reply to pitch switch 'nonsense' in WC semifinal (Watch)
Cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar dismisses rumours surrounding a 'pitch change' in the Cricket World Cup 2023 semifinal clash between India and New Zealand at Wankhede Stadium.
Sunil Gavaskar expressed strong disapproval of the reports surrounding a 'pitch change' in the Cricket World Cup 2023 semifinal between India and New Zealand. The match, held at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, became controversial amid claims that the hosts altered the pitch to favour their spinners. Despite the speculation, India emerged victorious in the semifinal, led by Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, and Mohammed Shami.
Gavaskar vehemently dismissed the rumours and criticised those questioning the integrity of Indian cricket. He urged detractors to cease making baseless comments, emphasising that the pitch, even if altered, was consistent for both teams before the toss. Gavaskar emphasised that changes were not made mid-game or after the toss, asserting that a skilled team would succeed regardless of the pitch conditions. He also criticised pre-emptive discussions about pitch changes in Ahmedabad before the second semifinal had taken place, deeming such talk as unfounded.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) responded to the controversy, stating that alterations to planned pitch rotations are typical towards the end of an event of this duration. The ICC clarified that the change at Wankhede Stadium was recommended by the venue curator in collaboration with the host. Additionally, the ICC highlighted that its independent pitch consultant, Atkinson, was informed of the change and expressed confidence in the pitch's performance.
The ICC emphasised that the host association is responsible for pitch selection and preparation according to the Playing Conditions for the World Cup. The statement clarified that there is no mandate for a knockout match to be played on fresh pitches.