Rahul Dravid Terms New York Pitch Conditions As An Unfamiliar Territory
By CricShots - Jun 4, 2024 2:41 pm
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The ICC’s decision to host the T20 World Cup in the USA, specifically New York, has been met with mixed reactions. While it’s a bold move to introduce cricket to a new audience, the lack of local enthusiasm is undeniable. Cricket isn’t a major sport in the US, and this significantly dampens the usual pre-tournament buzz.

Team India
Team India started preparing in New York

Head coach Rahul Dravid acknowledged this during a press conference: “It’s obviously different…typically the buzz that you have around these events, with cricket not being one of the major sports in this country… But hopefully, once our games start and a lot of the Indian fans do start coming in, you start seeing that similar kind of excitement.”

While the passion for the game among players remains high, the environment itself feels unusual. Training facilities are a far cry from the grand stadiums typically associated with World Cups.

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“It’s a bit strange to be practicing in a park,” Rahul Dravid remarked, referring to their makeshift training ground at Cantiague Park. This lack of dedicated cricket infrastructure also shows on the field. The newly built Nassau County Stadium, with its drop-in pitch, received criticism after Sri Lanka’s shockingly low score against South Africa.

Rahul dravid
Rahul Dravid

Despite the challenges, India remains focused on their performance. They open their campaign against Ireland on Wednesday, but all eyes are already on the high-voltage clash against Pakistan on June 9th, a match that’s sure to generate excitement among Indian fans, regardless of the location.

Here, the pressure will be on, as Rishabh Pant says: “It’s always quite exciting because it’s a special match. You always feel more pressure because people remember these matches for a long time.”

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Hardik Pandya echoes this sentiment, acknowledging the immense fan support but emphasizing the need for focus: “There is a crowd everywhere you go… So that is very normal, which I accept. At the same point of time, I do my best to disconnect from all those things and focus on the sport.”

Will the ICC’s gamble of hosting the World Cup in the USA pay off? Only time will tell. But for now, Team India remains undeterred, ready to showcase their skills even amidst the unfamiliar American landscape.