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Rediff.com  » Sports » Not the worst of pitches to abandon the match: Daljit

Not the worst of pitches to abandon the match: Daljit

December 29, 2009 19:02 IST

Sangakkara and DhoniThe Kotla pitch was by no means an unplayable surface and the fifth and final One-dayer between India and Sri Lanka should have proceeded, according to former BCCI Pitches and Grounds Committee chairman Daljit Singh.

The Kotla pitch fiasco, which saw the ODI being called off after 23.3 overs due to a dangerous playing surface, had a direct bearing on the Daljit-led five-member committee which was sacked by the BCCI immediately after the incident.

But Daljit said he was amazed to see the match being abandoned, especially after Sri Lanka were already in the middle of their innings.

"It (the pitch) wasn't the worst wicket in the world. It was not the best of pitches but I don't understand the reason behind the match being abandoned. If you see only 5-6 balls rose dangerously and none of the batsmen were seriously injued," Daljit said.

"I feel definitely the game should have gone on. 23.3 overs were already through and the slower bowlers were already in. I feel the worst was over by then," he said.

He, however, refused to blame both the teams for not turning out to play, especially when the outcome of the series had already been decided.

"The teams were no way to be blamed for the abandonment. The series was at its end and the match also had hardly any significance. With another new series coming up, the players thought about their safety," Daljit told CNN-IBN channel.

The Sri Lankan team came under an attack from the host Delhi and District Cricket Association with its vice president Chetan Chauhan claiming that with India already pocketing the series 3-1, it was the visiting side which was reluctant to carry on the game.

Daljit feels instead of indulging in a blame game, both the DDCA and the persons involved in preparing the turf, which includes himself, should accept their responsibility.

"It is sad that the match was abandoned but it is a collective responsibility. I don't want to play the blame game but I was just helping the DDCA.

"The wicket was relaid in summer. The DDCA called me and told that they want a bouncy wicket before the World Cup. But during the Champions League the wicket was not really ready due to insufficient rain and played low and slow," he said.

"During the India-Australia also it played low and slow. Since there were quite a few days left for this match, the DDCA asked me whether some work can be done on the wicket.

"I'm not at war with DDCA but if we had any idea that this is going to happen then we would have done something different in the two days before the match I was there," he added.

He also came in support for DDCA curator Vijay Bahadur Mishra, who along with the state association pitch committee chairman Chauhan resigned after the episode.

"When things go wrong people talk like this but Vijay is very talented person and is going to be a very good curator in future," Daljit said. Daljit also accepted that both he and the DDCA were at fault for not testing the wicket before the One-dayer.

"That is a mistake I and the DDCA made and we must owe it. We made a cardinal mistake of not playing a practice match. I came in late and suggested a bowling session but not a match.

"The two pitches were ready by 24th and on 24th in presence of Vijay and DDCA pitch committee chairman Chetan Chauhan, few balls were bowled on this wicket and later decided to play the match on this wicket," he said.

"While planting the grass the surface got disturbed and it should have been tested," the veteran curator and former first class cricketer added.

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