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Why is New York’s pitch so difficult: Less time was given for preparation, 8 matches were held in 10 days; average score was 105 runs

Why is New York’s pitch so difficult: Less time was given for preparation, 8 matches were held in 10 days; average score was 105 runs

8 hours agoAuthor: Sandipan Banerjee

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5 matches, 10 innings and an average score of just 105 runs. This is the condition of the pitches of Nassau County Stadium in New York, which is hosting the T20 World Cup. Here on Sunday, India won the match by 6 runs despite scoring just 119 runs against Pakistan. So far, New York has seen a lot of help for the bowlers and dangerous bounce for the batsmen.

Now compare the statistics of New York with the IPL that ended in May. In the last season of IPL, an average of 180 runs were being scored in every innings. So what is the reason that New York pitches are proving to be a graveyard for batsmen?

There was little time for preparation
A drop-in pitch has been installed at Nassau Stadium in New York. It was brought to America from Australia 5 months ago. The pitch was kept in Florida and reached New York in April. It takes about 9 months for a drop-in pitch to be made and ready for a match. Where it is to be used, it also takes 3 to 4 months.

There was less time for proper rolling and maintenance of the pitch in Nassau, so the pitch is not fully ready. Despite the pitch not being ready, the World Cup matches started here, the result of which is in front of everyone. The bowlers are getting uneven bounce, the batsmen are facing problems, due to which the scoring rate has also fallen rapidly.

The drop-in pitch was installed at Nassau Stadium in New York in April. It took only 5 months to prepare it.

The drop-in pitch was installed at Nassau Stadium in New York in April. It took only 5 months to prepare it.

What is the reason for uneven bounce?
Chief pitch curator Damian Hogg said that grass has grown on many parts of the pitch in Nassau. The grass did not get time to settle, due to which uneven bounce is being seen. The cold weather of New York is also helping the bowlers here. Due to the match being played in the morning, there is moisture on the pitch, due to which there is a lot of movement of the ball. The grass was cut before the India-Pakistan match, due to which uneven bounce was seen less on the pitch. Despite this, there was a problem in shot making.

The ICC also carried out work to improve the drop-in pitch during the tournament itself.

The ICC also carried out work to improve the drop-in pitch during the tournament itself.

Why was a drop-in pitch installed at Nassau Stadium?
The Nassau Stadium in New York was an empty land until January 2023. The ICC started building a modular, temporary stadium here for the World Cup in December last year. It was not possible to make a pitch in New York due to the cold weather from December to March, so a drop-in pitch made in Australia was used.

10 pitches reached America from Australia via sea
10 pitches were made for the New York Stadium in Adelaide, Australia. The pitch weighing about 30 tonnes was transported to Florida, USA via sea in December last year. The pitch was prepared in Florida for 5 months and fitted in the Nassau Stadium in April.

It took about 4 days to transport 10 pitches from Florida to New York by road. For this, trucks and containers carrying a workload of more than 30 tonnes were used. During this time, the road was closed for the general public, so that the pitch transportation could take less time.

4 pitches were put, scoring was difficult on 3
Out of the 10 pitches that came from Australia, 6 are for practice and 4 are for matches. 5 group matches and one warm-up match have been played on 3 of the 4 pitches so far. Batting was difficult on all three, bowlers were helped and scoring was very slow.

  • The first match was played between Sri Lanka and South Africa on pitch number 1. Sri Lanka could score only 77 runs, while South Africa could achieve the target in the 17th over.
  • Netherlands could only score 103 runs on pitch number-2. South Africa was able to achieve this target in the 19th over. India-Pakistan match was held on the same pitch on Sunday. In which India was all out after scoring 119 runs, but Pakistan could also score only 113 runs in reply.
  • India played a match against Ireland on pitch number-4. Here Ireland could score only 96 runs and India achieved the target easily. The Canada-Ireland match was also held here, Canada scored 137 runs and restricted Ireland to 125 runs. A warm-up match was also played here between India and Bangladesh, in which Bangladesh could score only 120 runs.

Practice matches were not held due to lack of time
Before playing an international match on a drop-in pitch, testing is done many times. Domestic matches are also played here, so that the bounce and swing can be ascertained. In New York, the organizers had the challenge of converting a common ground into a stadium within 106 days. Here, time for practice matches was not available, due to which testing was not done, the effect of which is visible in the World Cup.

India will play one more match in New York
A total of 16 World Cup matches are to be held in 3 US cities, New York, Florida and Texas. A modular stadium was built in New York for the tournament, while cricket matches are already being held at the other 2 venues.

There is a temporary stadium in New York, but the venue has got the hosting rights for 8 matches. Out of which 5 matches have been played and the remaining 3 matches are to be held in the next 3 days. Here on June 12, India will face the home team America. This will also be the last match on this ground.

More matches in less days is also a problem
The warm-up match was played in New York on June 1, and two more matches were played till June 5. The ICC then issued a statement saying that uneven bounce was seen on the pitch and its criticism is justified. Therefore, work is being done to improve the pitch of the stadium.

However, after the ICC’s statement, continuous matches were played in the stadium, which reduced the time for improvement. One match was played here every day from 7 to 9 June. Now 3 more consecutive matches will be played here till 12 June. The pitch is not ready in any way, and on top of that, due to continuous matches, the condition of the pitch is getting worse.

The use of drop-in pitch in cricket is not new
The use of drop-in pitch is not new in cricket. Matches are being played on drop-in pitches in Adelaide Stadium in Australia and Auckland Stadium in New Zealand since 2013. World Cup matches have also been played at both the places. However, the pitch was made in nearby cities at both the places. Whereas for New York, the pitch was taken from Australia, prepared in Florida and then fitted in the stadium.

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