ODI World Cup 2023: BCCI's last-minute pitch change sparks controversy
The Wankhede Stadium finds itself embroiled in controversy with allegations of a last-minute pitch change at the behest of the BCCI.
Controversy ensues as the Wankhede 'Pitch Swap Controversy' takes center stage ahead of the Cricket World Cup 2023 semi-final clash between India and New Zealand. Allegedly, the BCCI requested a last-minute change in the pitch, sparking varied reactions from cricketing legends and former players. According to reports, the BCCI initially opted for a 'fresh pitch' for the semi-final, but later, there were claims of a shift to a 'used pitch.' The International Cricket Council's pitch consultant, Andy Atkinson, reportedly expressed concerns in an email, speculating whether the pitch selection was influenced by team management or the home nation board.
In response to the controversy, Indian cricket great Sunil Gavaskar downplayed the significance of the pitch, emphasizing the team's adaptability to various surfaces. Gavaskar expressed confidence in India's ability to handle any conditions and suggested that the Mumbai pitch, traditionally favourable for batting, should not pose a significant challenge.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan joined the discourse, asserting that a World Cup semi-final should be contested on a fresh pitch. His viewpoint emphasizes the importance of fairness and equality in the playing conditions for such high-stakes matches.
As the controversy unfolds, it is notable that New Zealand has not raised objections to the alleged 'pitch change' so far. The BCCI, when approached for comments, is yet to provide a response, leaving the cricketing community in anticipation of the unfolding developments.