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Sunil Gavaskar Defends Pitch Integrity In India-New Zealand Semi-Final
By CricShots - Nov 16, 2023 12:01 pm
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Legendary Sunil Gavaskar defended the integrity of the pitch used in the India-New Zealand World Cup 2023 semi-final, refuting allegations of pitch tampering to favor spinners. Gavaskar, on the eve of the crucial match, refuted claims of a conspiratorial change to the 22-yard strip, asserting the integrity of the game. He urged critics to refrain from taking “potshots” at India, advising against unwarranted scrutiny.

wankhede pitch
Rohit Sharma inspected the pitch before the game

“They (India) scored close to 400 runs, and had that extra 70-80 runs cushion. This has been such a wonderful pitch. We’ve got more than 700 runs scored on this. All those morons who have been saying that the pitch has been charged to favor the Indian spinners, I hope they just shut up, stop taking potshots at India just because it helps you to get whatever eyeballs,” Sunil Gavaskar said on Star Sports after India beat New Zealand to enter the final.

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The match unfolded unexpectedly, witnessing over 700 runs scored with pacers dominating the wickets. Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer and Daryl Mitchell notched up centuries, while Shubman Gill and Kane Williamson secured half-centuries. Later, Mohammed Shami set a record with seven wickets, marking a thrilling performance by Indian bowlers.

Sunil Gavaskar
Sunil Gavaskar

As per ICC regulations, the host association must choose and ready the pitch for World Cup matches. The 74-year-old highlighted that the guidelines don’t mandate fresh pitches for knockout games. He emphasized that any potential pitch change, if made before the toss, equally affects both competing teams, ensuring a level playing field regardless of alterations.

“It’s nonsense. Even if it was changed, it was done before the toss. It wasn’t changed after the toss or in the middle of the innings. You are a World Cup team, you play on that pitch, you win. India have done that. So stop talking about the pitch,” Sunil Gavaskar said.

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Sunil Gavaskar’s comments come amid growing scrutiny over pitch preparation in recent years, with several high-profile matches affected by controversial pitch conditions. His defense of the pitch used in the India-New Zealand semi-final is a welcome reminder that the integrity of the game is paramount and that wild accusations of pitch tampering should not be made without concrete evidence.