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ICC pitch consultant satisfied with Jaipur wicket

September 15, 2006 17:57 IST

ICC pitch consultant Andy Atkinson on Friday expressed satisfaction about the pitch and ground condition at Jaipur's Sawai Mansingh stadium, which will host matches in next month's Champions Trophy.

Atkinson was in Jaipur along with the ICC team of Communications Manager Brian Murgatryod Media Manager Sami ul Hassan and Liaison Officer M H Doodhia to inspect the venue, which has been renovated extensively.

Atkinson was appreciative of the curators, former Ranji Trophy player Taposh Chatterjee and coach Abdul Saeed.

"When I was here few months back the stadium looked like a desert but it has been transformed with a good looking pitch and lush green outfield," said Atkinson, who also worked in Pakistan and was also in the West Indies recently.

Asked about the wicket that is being re-laid, Atkinson admitted that there's not much time left, but said the pitch is in good condition.

Asked whether the late rolling would not bring out moisture from underneath later on, Atkinson replied that the grass roots allow the moisture to come out through them.

"Here we have more clay in soil and it binds very well. In fact, the soil report I got says that soil here was among best available at the centres around the world," he said.

"There is no reason why India can't maintain faster and bouncy wickets."

"I feel in world cricket most of the captains are batsmen, so perhaps they want lively wickets. But the Indian captain Rahul Dravid during last West Indies tour had told me during an informal chat that he wanted Indian wickets to have some life," Atkinson said.

"But this is not the case in Pakistan. I remember I was in Pakistan and we had prepared a wicket with a bit of grass but captain Inzamam-ul Haq got it shaved next morning.

"Sehwag scored a triple century in that match and more than 600 runs flowed during next couple of days."

Atkinson was also a bit worried about the wickets in the West Indies, being prepared for coming World Cup early next year.

"The pitches there had gone docile, low and slow. Now, for the World Cup most of the wickets are being re-laid. They need time to settle down.

"But that does not mean that there will be low scoring games, grounds there are on smaller side and that would compensate," he said.

Regarding India's complaint over the wicket for the triangular series in Malaysia, Atkinson said the ICC has nothing to do with it.

"It was prepared by Malaysian authorities and perhaps BCCI. Probably it had developed a depression at the good length spot from where either the ball rises sharply or keeps very low.

"It happens that sometime the soil sinks underneath the surface," he said.

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