"The pitches will be such that they do not change much during the course of the match," Dave Richardson said
Ever since the Indian team capitulated on a grassy pitch in overcast conditions in their first warm-up game against New Zealand at The Oval on Saturday, there is concern among the Indian supporters about the type of pitches the ICC will provide during the World Cup. With the weather being fickle, the fans are worried that the Indian batsmen may struggle during the tournament.
But ICC's Chief Executive Dave Richardson dispelled any move to have grassy pitches during the tournament. "We would be providing pitches which give both teams equal chance. The pitches will be such that they do not change much during the course of the match. No team will have an advantage by bowling first. We believe that such wickets will provide for keen competition, without giving a particular team additional advantage," Richardson said.
The recent ODI series between England and Pakistan saw scores in excess of 300 in all four games. Those pitches, of course, were provided by the ECB, being a bilateral series. The last thing the ICC would want is a team like India struggling during the tournament. They know that the success of the event rests largely on the Asian teams doing well. And if the pitches are dicey, it will be poor advertisement for the tournament.
"We want the World Cup to inspire a new generation. We hear so many times about people who came into cricket because India won the World Cup in 1983 or the West Indies in the late 1970s.
"Hopefully, this will provide an opportunity, in particular to one country which goes away with the trophy but to everyone really around the world," Richardson said. "From an entertainment point of view, for me that is really all about exciting cricket. The new format with the 10 best teams in the world, everyone in very good form, means that it promises to be one of the most competitive tournaments ever," the CEO said.
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