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Rediff.com  » Sports » Kotla stares at international ban after pitch fiasco

Kotla stares at international ban after pitch fiasco

December 27, 2009 19:53 IST

The Ferozeshah Kotla stood disgraced on Sunday after the fifth and final India-Sri Lanka ODI was abandoned following visiting captain Kumar Sangakkara's refusal to play on a dangerous pitch, raising the possibility of the venue being banned for a minimum of one year.

The pitch fiasco, which brought an abrupt and embarrassing end to the five-match series which India won 3-1, has cast a shadow of uncertainty over Delhi's prospects of hosting 2011 World Cup matches.

As per the ICC Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Process, a first time breach could invite "a suspension of the venue's international status for a period of between 12 and 24 months, together with a directive for appropriate remedial action and the need for prior ICC re-accreditation as an international venue".

An ICC spokesman said that the process has started and match referee Alan Hurst would submit his report in the next 12 hours.

"The BCCI will also get 14 days to reply and the entire process may take about four weeks before a final decision is taken on Delhi as a venue," the spokesman said.

The Kotla had drawn much flak for its slow and low nature in recent times with most of the Champions League matches being low-scoring affairs and the last ODI, between India and Australia on October 31, was also a low-scoring contest.

Ironically, it was only to address this problem that the Delhi and District Cricket Associated headed by senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley decided to relay the pitch.

 An apologetic DDCA on Sunday said it would take all possible steps to ensure that such an incident did not happen again.

"We regret the inconvenience caused to all spectators and others. We offer our apologies to them. We have decided that all gate tickets will be refunded," Jaitley said.

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