Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Y did the BCCI take a U-Turn on kotla?

It had been a long time since the BCCI made headlines no matter for what reasons. Be it good or bad, the BCCI always wants to see itself making the headlines as frequently as possible. And now, as it happens, the BCCI has made news once again for the wrong reasons that can rather be considered funny than unfair. BCCI has decided to challenge the ban on the Firoz Shah Kotla stadium in New Delhi that was imposed by the game's world governing body-the ICC on the 21st of this month. The ICC had imposed a 12 month ban on playing international cricket matches on the Firoz Shah Kotla cricket stadium after the December 27th incident.

As everybody is aware of, the fifth and the final one dayer between India and Sri Lanka that was scheduled on 27th of December 2009 had to be abandoned after bowling just 23.3 overs, after which the pitch was cited to be dangerous. This was first concluded by guess whom, the former Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardane, after he received blows on his finger. Sri Lanka had until then lost 5 wickets for a score of 83. One need not come to the conclusion that Jayawardane did that to escape from the would-be jaws of defeat. For, the result of the series had already been decided.

Anyways, that is not the issue here. The point is that, BCCI who was silent until now, and also the decision of the ICC was welcomed by the Delhi & District Cricket Association on the day the ban was imposed, now starts raising the issue suddenly. And also, as far as the rules of the ICC go, the appeal against the ban should have been challenged within 24 hours of imposing the same. The reason for the DDCA welcoming the ban can be guessed. For, no international cricket matches are scheduled by the ICC until early next year and hence, the ban can be hardly of any effect to the DDCA.

Though the IPL matches are scheduled in Delhi, that doesn't come under the ICC's tours' programme and that can take off peacefully. However, another aspect that I would want to cite here is that, similar to the Firoz Shah Kotla, the second test between England & the West Indies scheduled in Antigua on February 13th 2009 also ended with just 10 balls being bowled and owing to a sand based outfield, that was also termed dangerous for bowlers. But, the ICC never showed any signs of imposing a ban on the venue whatsoever. Unlike Mahela Jayawardane, none of the West Indian bowlers raised any sort of issues regarding the pitch. And also, the duration of the match was just 10 balls as mentioned above while that on the Kotla match was far longer upto 23 overs. Can the bias on the ICC's side be justified?

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