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Home > Cricket > World Cup 2003 > Reuters > Report

Bacher orders inspection of
Port Elizabeth pitch

March 12, 2003 11:16 IST

World Cup executive director Ali Bacher has ordered an examination of the Port Elizabeth pitch in an effort to improve it ahead of next Tuesday's semi-final.

Bacher instructed the inspection by a group of experts after Australia and New Zealand fought out a low-scoring match in difficult batting conditions on Tuesday.

Dr Bacher said in a statement: "This is not a criticism of the Eastern Province Cricket Board or the ground staff.

"However, we are determined to produce a pitch for the cricket World Cup semi-final at St George's Park that is conducive to great one-day cricket."

The inspection will be carried out by Hilbert Smit, chairman of the South African groundsmen's association, and the United Cricket Board of South Africa's director of cricket operations Brian Basson.

They will work with Adrian Carter, the groundsman at the venue, and World Cup pitches consultant professor Neil Tainton to try and ensure a better batting surface.

The inspection will take start on Wednesday.

Tuesday's pitch started damp and the early moisture was exploited by New Zealand's pace bowler Shane Bond, who took six for 23 to reduce Australia to 84 for seven.

It later dried out and, after Australia had reached 208, New Zealand were dismissed for 112.

The inspection is not the first of the tournament at St George's Park.

Bacher asked Smit to examine the surface and work with the ground staff to improve it after a thrilling but relatively low-scoring match between England and Australia on March 2.

England made 204 for eight and Australia replied with 208 for eight, winning in the final over.

In the other World Cup match at the venue England scored 272 against Namibia before the part-timers replied with 217 for nine.

Australia captain Ricky Ponting was critical of the pitch after the match against England. On Tuesday he said the surface had improved but was still not ideal.

"It was probably a bit damp this morning but overall it played a little bit better," Ponting told reporters. "It still wasn't a great one-day wicket."

A World Cup spokesman said Bacher was heartened by Ponting's comments, adding the semi-final would not be moved away from Port Elizabeth.

Australia's win over New Zealand confirmed they will play their semi-final at the same venue. Their opponents have yet to be decided.

© Copyright 2003 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

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Number of User Comments: 26

Sub: cricket pitch

pitch preperation for international cricket has to be standardized across the world by icc taking care it wont result in batsmen oriented pitch as the ...

Posted by sujesh

Sub: For a change...

I don't know why a slow pitch is a bad thing. All through the world cup we've seen fast racy pitches with the ball coming ...

Posted by Nisha

Sub: It is okay!

I suppose, the pitch inspection is okay. Some one said that if the team that commented on pitch is India, they wouldn't have taken any ...

Posted by Udaya Kumar.R

Sub: india's play.

I am a pakistani and great lover of cricketer whoever is providing and playing a wonderful cricket. My humble suggestion is Indian cricketers should not ...

Posted by haris zamir

Sub: Ali Bechar's Pitch Inspection

They have prepared all pitches for World Cup Cricket well in advance. Now it is almost end of World Cup Cricket 2003. Now why Mr. ...

Posted by ADG


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