Dave Richardson, Chief Executive of the International Cricket Council, has conceded that the pitch used for the first semifinal of the World T20 at the R Premadasa Stadium on Thursday night wasn’t ‘ideal’ for Twenty20 cricket, but added that it had been the same for both teams.
Sri Lanka had defeated Pakistan by 16 runs in a low-scoring game to win through to their second World T20 final, defending their tally of 139 for 4 by restricting Pakistan to 123 for 7, leading Wasim Akram, the former Pakistan captain, to accuse Sri Lanka of having prepared a surface to suit their spinners.
“Ideally, we need to ensure that a pitch doesn’t change its condition from one innings to the next one,” said Richardson on Saturday morning. “Yes, the pitch used in the first semifinal wasn’t an ideal wicket for T20 format as there was too much assistance for spinners.”
But Richardson sprang to the curator’s defence, pointing out that the conditions had been the same for both teams. “There was advantage for both teams and the Sri Lankan spinners took better advantage of the situation,” said Richardson. “I spoke to the curator and he said that wicket was too dry for his liking. You have to accept in conditions where it is so hot, to prepare a wicket is incredibly difficult.”