ICC Consultant Andy Atkinson To Monitor Pitch Preparations For World Cup Final: Reports

The International Cricket Council (ICC) pitch consultant Andy Atkinson, who accused India of pitch-switching in the semi-final for their benefit, will monitor the pitch preparations for the final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, according to the reports in PTI.

Andy Atkinson isn’t a likable figure among the BCCI officials following his accusations of pitch-switching in the India vs New Zealand first semi-final. The high-octane clash between the Men In Blue and New Zealand was played at the iconic Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

The match was played on a used pitch, which had staged two matches in the tournament. Reportedly, the match was set to be held on the fresh Pitch 7, but later it was shifted to the used Pitch 6.

After the matter came to light, the ICC released an official statement to clarify that changes in the planned pitch rotations are not uncommon. Also, the governing body informed that Andy Atkinson was apprised of the development in advance.

“Changes to planned pitch rotations are common towards the end of an event of this length and has already happened a couple of times. This change was made on the recommendation of the venue curator in conjunction with our host. The ICC independent pitch consultant was apprised of the change and has no reason to believe the pitch won’t play well,” ICC stated.

Andy Atkinson hasn’t gone back home – BCCI official

The ICC pitch consultant Andy Atkinson was not present during the pitch preparations for the World Cup final on Friday and earlier it was reported that he left the country.

However, an ICC official revealed that he is still in India, but arrived in Ahmedabad on Friday afternoon, which was the reason for his absence at the venue.

“Andy hasn’t gone back home. He has come with ICC delegation today afternoon and hence didn’t come to the ground. He will be available tomorrow to check on the preparation of the track,” an ICC source told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

According to the same PTI report, senior BCCI chief of ground staff Ashish Bhowmick and his second in command Taposh Chatterjee, along with BCCI’s GM Abbey Kuruvilla, were present in Ahmedabad to monitor the preparations of the track for the high-profile summit clash.

It’s not yet been confirmed whether the World Cup final will be staged on a fresh or used pitch, but heavy roller was used on the surface.

“If heavy roller is being used on a black soil strip then the idea is to create a slow batting track where you can get a big score but you possibly can’t consistently hit through the line. 315 could be a defendable score as batting second will be difficult,” a state association curator explained.

The summit clash of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 will see a high-voltage battle between the Rohit Sharma-led India National Cricket Team and Pat Cummins-led Australia National Cricket Team at the world’s largest cricket stadium – Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad – on Sunday, November 19.

India entered the final after defeating New Zealand by 70 runs in the first semi-final at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. The Aussies, on the other hand, beat South Africa by 3 wickets at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, to a final berth.

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